How to Deal with People That Complain All the Time

You find this kind of people everywhere; there’s no getting away from them. So, you have the question of how to deal with people that complain all the time. Ignoring or merely telling them to go away will not do it, but here are some good ideas for dealing with them.

1. Actually listen to their problems

There are some people who just complain for the sake of doing it, but if you listen to them, it can help to diffuse their need to complain further.

It is not enough to solve their problem; very often, they can do that themselves. No, the person has a powerful need to vent frustrations or get sympathy from someone else. If you brush them off or start to argue with them, you will just make the situation worse.

2. Show empathy for them

This can be tough, but you need to try and show real empathy for how the person is feeling. Again, for many complainers, this can be the main issue for them; they want sympathy from someone.

3. Ask them what they need done in order to solve their problem

This is an excellent way to deal with people that complain all the time. By turning the situation back on them or by asking them what they need to put a problem right, you force them to look at themselves.

In most instances, they already know what they need, they merely want to find someone to vent the troubles they’re having to.

By using this technique time and time again, the complainer will eventually come to expect it from you. So, if they don’t want to deal with you forcing them to face the truth they already know, they won’t bother you anymore. On the other hand, if you are good at showing them empathy and being helpful, their complaint sessions will go quicker.

4. The important errand

If you truly don’t want to deal with a chronic complainer, use the excuse that you have something to do, right now.

Pick up the phone and tell the person you have an important phone call to make. Tell them you have to run out to take care of something: a doctor’s appointment, groceries, pick up a child from school etc.

Even simply saying you have to go to the bathroom can get you away from the person long enough for them to go bother someone else.

5. Drive the complainer out

This might sound extreme, but it does not have to be all that direct an action; you can be quite subtle. Does your complainer not like Hip Hop or talk radio? When he or she shows up, simply tune your radio to one of the “offensive” stations, and they will eventually leave.

6. Do not add to the problem

While it’s okay to listen to what the complainer has to say and empathize, do not add your own comments to the mix. That will only serve to keep encouraging them to talk and to pester you again in the future with yet another of their problems.

7. Define your limits

If you try to solve all of their problems, then they’re going to come to you with all of their problems. So, if there are some issues that you just can’t deal with, make that clear to them as soon as possible.

This is critically important in an office. If you spend all of your time on their problems, you’ll never get your work done, and your position in the company will suffer.

When it comes to how to deal with people that complain all the time, there are a number of steps available. Which ones you use will depending on the person and the situation; so choose wisely.