Changing the Complaining Habit
We all complain at times. Some just do it more often than others. Some seek attention by complaining; some use complaints to badger others; but many complainers are ruminators, repetitively worrying about problems.
Repetition, however, is the mother of all learning. When we repeatedly focus on the negative by complaining, we’re firing and re-firing the neurons responsible for the negativity bias—and, as Rick Hanson, a neuroscientist and author of Buddha’s Brain, reminds us: What gets fired, gets wired. In other words, the more we complain, the more we notice things to complain about. (Click to Tweet!)
Thanks to something called “neuroplasticity”, negative habits change our brains for the worse. But positive habits change them for the better. If you find yourself caught in a complaining loop, try breaking it by:
Have you ever noticed that complaining usually leads to more of a negative outlook? What happens when you try to break the cycle? To join the conversation, click "comments" above.
If you would like to learn more about creating a habit around masterful communication, check out our online learning programs.
7/2/2019 09:16:08 am
In "Changing the Complaining Habit" many of the suggestions for getting out of a complaining loop are recommendations of the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu in their book, "The Book of Joy" - Lasting Happiness in a Changing World."
7/2/2019 11:48:34 am
And the Glasers will definitely read "The Book of Joy." And you've probably encouraged others as well. It's always reassuring when art and science reinforce each other. Thank you cousin Iris for sharing this with our online community.
7/3/2019 12:09:29 pm
It seems this is a fine line to walk as a leader. As unhealthy as this practice is portrayed a number of improvement opportunities arise when you listen to complaints. Perhaps the point is to make this conversation less critical and more about the positive implications of changing our circumstances for the better? As a life long "realist" it is often difficult to communicate a gap in a way that isn't perceived as a complaint.
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