I've got a complaint

sgkeat By sgkeat, 27th Jan 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/bbxl1nx_/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Essays

Are we all not already masters at this art? Learn how to handle ourselves and others in situations.


Consider the following situations.

  • "I've had it with my wife! Can't she see I'm working my butts out...” shouted Tom.
  • "My husband doesn’t understand me. I feel so misunderstood.” Maggie lamented to her good friend Jill.
  • "My boss and colleagues are victimizing me. I'll ....” Joseph began cursing.
  • "My parents want me to enjoy my life- ......imprisonment with my school work. Urghhhh.....” Paul raised his hand in frustration.
  • "The service in this restaurant is pathetic. Even the food taste horrible and you overcharge!
  • "I want to lodge a complaint against you...." remarked John, trying to contain his anger.

Are they unfamiliar? Have you not heard them before? Usually, we would term these statements as grouches ... or simply complaints.

We don't like to hear them. Do we notice most people complain more than ....what's the opposite of a complain? Yes...praise. We are a complaining lot. Very seldom do we praise at length. In forums, most people tend to vent their frustration more than complimenting someone for something they have done, save the comments on articles read by fellow writers. Please share your views if you take a total anti-thesis view from me. It would encourage the rest of us.

Why do we complain?

What is a complaint? Wikipedia defines it as a statement of displeasure. It can be used in situations such as a statement against a service establishment, over seeking reinforcement from others of the pathetic state of affairs in our life.

To me, a complaint is a non value-add statement putting the blame on someone else. It adds no value to the complainant, nor the receiving party. It's like putting the cart before the horse. It doesn't serve to resolve the issues. True, it may define a problem statement, although usually, only the symptoms are revealed more than the cause of the problem.

or example, in the first statement:

"I've had it with my wife! Can't she see I'm working my butts out...”

It seems Tom has an unreasonable wife, but the real issue could be Tom is trying to work off his debts. The cause of his unhappiness has nothing to do with his wife, who innocently became the trigger for his complaint.

The same can be said for Joseph. Why does he think his colleagues are, collectively, wrong? Could a self-reflection be a better approach to understanding the psyche of his fellow workers?

Why do we complain so much? I opined we were all born with the need to cry for help. We didn't come into this world calling our fathers dad. What did we do? As babes, we cry. If we could talk, it might have sounded as a complaint. So it is a natural thing to do, although not the recommended thing. That could also be the reason why we were told "Stop behaving like a baby" whenever someone cannot appreciate our plea (...or complaint).

What we can do about it

  1. If you are lodging a complaint
  2. In whichever situation you are in, first learn to stop, maintain calmness and reflect. Could it be some disharmony in your work-life balance when you felt like lodging a complaint. Try to identify what the real, or root cause, to the issue is.

    An effective method might be to ask yourself "Why?" five times. That is, for each complain you have in mind, ask yourself why do you think is the cause of your frustration. Open-ended questions may also help. To maintain calmness, you might opt for prayer or meditation, if you are religious. Or cast your burdens on Jesus, for He cares for you.

    When you have identified the cause, or causes, make plans to resolve them. Learn problem-solving techniques.

    Most importantly, communicate in peace with the object of your frustration. Remember, a complaint has no value-add until there is a proposed mean of resolution. You can consider using your creative energy to do something positive instead.

    If you do talk to others, besides lodging a complaint, ask for suggestions to help you see the entire issue in a different light.

    Let us learn to praise others more than complain.

  3. If you are on the receiving end
  4. If others complain against us, let reflect rather than react. The last thing you want to do is to react. Wrong, do not react. Not even if it is the last thing on your mind. That would flame the anger or hurt in the other person. A difference in opinion might turn into a quarrel.

    Remain calm and listen actively to the complaint. Don't allow the other party to get to your nerves. Ask probing questions to help the complainant identify the cause of displeasure. It may have nothing to do with you. Help the complainant look at the issue and not at you, the person.

    Do recognize, especially if you are in the service industry, that a complaint could sometimes be a gift in disguise. It opens up areas for improvement.

For both situations, do learn to take time-outs (e.g. relax) to release the pressure built within you. Remember, all these (problems) shall come to pass. None came to stay forever. Take it as a learning experience and grow.

Here’s wishing you all the best and take care.

The following articles by the same author may be of interest:

  1. Solve that problem
  2. What is the use of questioning?
  3. Time out - Part 1
  4. Time out - Part 2

Or join us at wikinut and start writing as a hobby/career.


Calm, Complaint, Gift, Praise, Problem Solving, Question, React, Time Out

Meet the author

author avatar sgkeat
I am here to contribute to the body of writing in the cloud. I hope to focus on topics of encouragement and slowly moving towards different genres. Join me at http://www.wikinut.com/in/tlnnm/

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author avatar LOVERME
27th Jan 2011 (#)

we complain
to come out plain

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author avatar mountainside
28th Jan 2011 (#)

Hi there, good article. Some time ago, we were in Texas for dinner after work. I found a long blonde hair in my salad, I have brown hair. I called the waiter over in this very nice restaurant and told him about the hair. He quickly took the salad and brought me another one without hair. The three of us finished our meal and dessert. The waiter told us the entire thing was on the house. We left a big tip. Easy does it. Cheers.

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author avatar mountainside
28th Jan 2011 (#)

...meant to say... I quietly told the waiter,....

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author avatar sgkeat
28th Jan 2011 (#)

That's a very nice example of giving feedback calmly with positive results.

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author avatar mountainside
28th Jan 2011 (#)

...Yep. We were happy not to pay the fifty dollars or so, though all I wanted was a salad without the extra "garnish". Take care.

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author avatar Artur Victoria
30th Jan 2011 (#)

Great article – Thanks for sharing

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