6 Tips To Stop Whining

6 Tips To Stop Whining

Whining and griping over the small stuff in life feels natural to us and we are all guilty of it. It feels important to air these frustrations, and when we’re on the verge of doing so it’s almost impossible to stop ourselves. But in order to maintain healthy and whole relationships and a positive outlook in life, it’s equally important to recognize how often we complain, and if necessary, to cut back.

However, instead of trying to stop ourselves right while we’re on the brink of lamenting, we can make minor adjustments in our daily lives to avoid the urge altogether. This will allow us to gain insight on the little things that aren’t worth whining over and the bigger issues that require more attention. Here are 6 tips to keep you from whining:


1. Look Inward

Self-awareness is key. Take note of how often you find yourself complaining during your regular day, and try to figure out what triggers those complaints. Is it co-workers, your boss, your spouse, neighbors, traffic, weather? Is it everything, is nothing outside the wrath of your grumbling? Is it something you can control or something far beyond? Could it be dealt with peacefully and professionally, or is it destined to bother you for the remainder of your days? If you’re aware of how often you complain, what it pertains to, and how it can be dealt with, you’ll be more likely to assess whether there’s a larger issue you’re trying to get at, or if you have the tendency to gripe over things that aren’t worth the breath.

2. Look Outward

Think of the things or people in your life that make you happy or give you comfort. Take some time every day to list some of these. We’re all very grateful for the things we have, but if we don’t remind ourselves of our fortunes often, we’ll push the stuff that matters to the back burner and allow the negative influences to take over. Plus, when you’re right in the moment of feeling ‘complainy’, trying to list your fortunes will only result in that screaming inner voice yelling at you to shut up and let anger preside, so by adding it to your daily routine you’ll maintain a better overall sense of thankfulness and gratitude.


Also, think of the person whom the complaint pertains to. Is it the man sitting next to you in the coffee shop, for instance, who’s tapping his pen and it’s really bothering you? More often than not, if a person knew their actions were annoying other people, they’d stop. He’s not out to get you. He’s not intentionally getting under your skin. So think about whether it’s worth it to politely ask him to discontinue the tapping, or if the problem lies within your own sensitivity to noise and you should try to overcome it. (A self-proclaimed noise-a-phobe’s #1 trick: bring headphones with you wherever you go.)

3. Take Your Time

A lot of our complaints come about when we’re feeling impatient or when we’re in a hurry. Standing in a long line, waiting in traffic, or waiting on someone else to complete a task you could do in half the time are all instances when we’re in a high state of agitation, and anything can set us off. These days long lines, traffic jams or slow drivers are the perfect excuse to get on our Facebook pages and leave passive-aggressive posts, such as, “Dear Mr. Slow Driver McGoing Nowhere, I’ve got places to be so HURRY UP … ” But we’d be a lot less irritated if we allowed ourselves more time, slowed our pace, and enjoyed the ride; and we’d spend more time posting about the little things we notice or the things that make us laugh or smile, rather than what drives us nuts.


4. Don’t Put Things Into Perspective

Have you ever been upset over something when someone stops you mid-sentence to tell you it can’t be that bad, there are starving children in Africa, or that you’re lucky to even have a job because millions of Americans don’t? There is a time and a place for thinking about the suffering in the world, and when you’re angry or upset is not that time.

Understanding true suffering takes compassion and empathy, and it requires our full attention. When you’re angry, you’re running on a short fuse, and adding guilt and sadness to that fuse isn’t putting it out, it’s only making you feel worse. If you really want to gain perspective in a meaningful way, take some time out of your life when you’re feeling understanding and willing to think about other people’s problems and what you can do to help. Being compassionate when appropriate will carry over into your daily life. It will help you gain understanding of true strife and it will make the biggest difference in the way you approach trivial concerns.


5. Do Good

As in the last point, making an impact in the world will carry over into your daily life. Do something selfless on a regular basis. It will make you feel good, you’ll be helping others, and it will give you a sense of what really matters in life. Doing a little good every now and then will help you understand what you truly value, what’s important and what’s not worth it.

6. Do Whine …

… when it really matters. In an effort to stop complaining, don’t put on a happy face all the time to mask a greater problem you’re dealing with. Vocalizing why you hate your job could lead to a drastic effort to change your career, and it could really pay off in the end. Telling a loved one or your boss you don’t feel you’re being treated appropriately can open up a meaningful conversation and a significant step toward change. Filter out the small complaints in order to be heard when something is really bothering you, and keep an open line of communication between you and anyone else involved.

The Boy Who Whined About The Wolf

Sometimes there really is something pressing in our lives that needs release, and it’s a matter of finding the right person who will listen to our troubles with compassion. Be aware that constant complainers may have a bigger issue underneath all the trivial gripes, so instead of cutting people off or telling them to stop whining, listen to them. And when it’s your turn, the people you care about will listen to you. But don’t be the person who cried complaint; make sure you’re putting the small stuff aside and focusing your energy on the positives in life.

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Last Updated on March 14, 2019

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

How it helps you:

If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?


How it helps you:

Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

How it helps you:

This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.


A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

How it helps you:

One word: hierarchy.

All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

How it helps you:


Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

6. What do you like about working here?

This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

How it helps you:

You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.


How it helps you:

What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

Making Your Interview Work for You

Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

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Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via

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