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The Perks Of Constructive Complaining

Because there are things worth complaining about, right?

Some of us are the type to complain—whether on social media or in private, to our family and close friends—and some of us are the more patient kind who can easily shake things off—the ones who live by "out of sight, out of mind."

We have a way of being more drawn to the happier, barely cranky, type of people. They can just make our day by taking our mind off of the bull we encounter, or make us complainers wish we could be more like them.

You might have tried to refrain from complaining for a week or two, like other people online who are now sharing the experience. And while it's great that doing so helps lessen negativity, it's not all that bad, for the following reasons:

1. Complaining can help us feel supported. This happens when people understand where we're coming from, and there is that desire within us as humans to be understood and feel connected. It's inherent that we want to talk to someone or get help when something worries or threatens us; and complaining can be that flag that signals help.


2. Complaining makes things bearable; it can even be healing. Imagine keeping all your grievances and annoyances to yourself and having to pretend everything is all right with your surroundings when that's really not the case. You'll lose your mind! Keeping all those things to yourself can be toxic for you and your relationships with people. You can be very bitter/angry/sad/lonely for a long period of time that it can badly affect your physical and mental health.

If you expressed your complaints to the right people, you'd be able to get the comfort and help you need, hence feel lighter, happier.

3. People need to know what's wrong. If there's something wrong with how things are going in the world, country, city, office, or school, it has to be made known to other people so that there can be change. Sure, knowing the problem doesn't immediately or always lead to action, but awareness is necessary before anything else can happen.

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Talking about what's wrong isn't pleasant, but who said life has to be pleasant all the time? And isn't wanting to right the wrong a way to push for a fairer life for everyone?

But let's not be hasty and start bitching on Facebook or Twitter. There's such a thing as constructive complaining, which involves addressing a problem that can be fixed or improved on with other people's cooperation, being in a rational state when expressing oneself, and speaking about something that's in the interest of everyone. For instance, you're not advised to rant about the hot weather or the strong rain, but it is okay to rant about climate change (which has real repurcussions for everyone) and how people seem to be ignoring it or not taking the problem seriously at all.

So if you're going to complain and you don't want to appear whiney, make sure you're constructive. Don't forget to pick the right people to complain to, and to know when you've said too much or gone overboard. Be sensitive to your listeners/readers.


Follow Stephanie on Twitter.

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