Why Whining about Our Problems Makes People Resent Us and How It Can Doom All Our Relationships

November 19th, 2020

Do you ever take it upon yourself to dump your problems on the people you talk to, and practically “force” them listen to your woes and complaints?

For example, and without invitation: Do you ever complain about your relationships with the people in your life and whine about their behavior or how you don’t appreciate the way they treated you? Do you ever bitch about the trials, tribulations and obstacles life throws your way? Or do you ever whine about your health problems and complain about aches and pains, or start griping about your mental health issues?

If you do, have you ever stopped to consider the situation from your listener’s point of view?

Have you ever asked yourself this very simple question:

“Does this person even care about what I’m bitching about?”

If you want to be a powerful communicator and one who others love and respect, wouldn’t you consider it a wise idea to make it your mission not to subject people to hearing about things they have no interest in, for the simple reason that it will bore or irritate them? After all, think about yourself ... when people start talking to you about things you don’t really care about or want to hear, do you tell them that you’re not interested?

You don’t, do you? You probably just sit quietly and listen to them, right? It seems we’ve been socially conditioned to view interrupting people and telling them directly that we don’t give a damn about what they’re saying to be rude and impolite.

So even though people listen to us when we unload our complaints on them, and even though they appear to be taking an interest by listening to us, is that the reality of the situation?

Think about yourself again:

How do you react internally when people dump their complaints on you and tell you their sob stories in great detail? Unless it’s a serious matter, like losing a loved one or getting fired – which is usually not the case – isn’t the truth simply that you don’t care about their complaints?

If someone starts complaining to you for ten minutes about how their back aches, do you really care? If they start whining about how their boyfriend isn’t available to hang-out as much as they’d like, are you actually vested in their trouble? Or if they start moaning on endlessly about how their boss doesn’t see and appreciate their effort and give them a raise, could you honestly care less? Don’t you just nod your head and politely agree with them?

But I’m willing to bet you don’t really give a damn, and I’m also willing to bet that the longer you have to listen to them complain, the more annoyed, irritable and bored you become. In these situations, don’t you often just wish the person would shut-up? When someone is in the habit of continually dumping their complaints and troubles on you, don’t you start thinking something like this:

“You are such a victim. You think every problem in your life is someone else’s fault – but your own. Take some responsibility for yourself and seek to solve your own troubles. Everyone has problems – what makes you so special that yours deserves special attention? Not only that but rambling on to me about your complaints is not going to solve them. Don’t you want a solution? Furthermore, your complaining is really starting to get on my nerves and I’m hoping it ends soon!”

So if our complaining turns others off and irritates and bores them, why do we do it? What perceived benefit do we get by unloading our troubles on others?

If you think about this for a moment, isn’t the reason we dump our complaints on others because it tends to give us a feeling of being understood? Don’t we feel somewhat satisfied when someone agrees with us that our difficulties suck? But is this a genuine feeling? If others don’t really care about our complaints and they’re just agreeing with us to be polite and not rock the boat, aren’t those feelings just illusions?

So how do we really profit from that? In fact, don’t we actually gain a “deficit”? Why do I say that? Well, if we get the illusion of feeling understood, but meanwhile the person on the receiving end is secretly harboring feelings of irritation and perhaps even resentment for us because of our complaining, aren’t we actually losing something? Aren’t we losing their esteem and respect? I mean, how do you perceive people who constantly unload all their mundane problems on you? Do you respect them? Do you admire them? Do they strike you as cool, calm and confident people who can “take on the world” and deal with the obstacles we all face – or do you look on them with a mixture of pity and contempt for promoting themselves as helpless victims?

If you find you’re in the habit of dumping your complaints on others, I want you to get this firmly in your head: People hate listening to others complain about their troubles – unless they ask from a place of genuine curiosity. So if you want to improve your personality and make it much more attractive and you want to maintain good-will and harmony with the people you talk to, I strongly encourage you to work toward eliminating all complaining from your interactions with others. You will be perceived as stronger for it.


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