Why we Complain so much about Work – This is what helps!

complaining about workIntroduction

A colleague who is always late, a boss who does not respond to emails, noise from the factory, cramped offices and more of these irritating things. Everyone is almost always annoyed by something at work. This is the way of the world. But it won’t help you if you are only complaining and keep pointing at others. There is a better way, but you have to take control yourself.

Read here why we complain about work so much and some tips for help.

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Practical example

One of the marketing offices where I worked received an email at the general e-mail address. A company’s name was misspelled on the website. The question was whether it could be adjusted. A colleague immediately replied: “This is not an article I have written, but I will ask if it can be changed.” Another colleague soon followed: “Thanks for the email and sorry for the inconvenience. I didn’t write it either, but I just changed it everywhere! “

Another example

For example, somebody’s order got lost at a take-out restaurant, after which the boy behind the counter said, “Hey, don’t blame me, my shift has only just started.”

I think these are two typical examples of defensive behavior and they are very annoying to the customer and other colleagues.

Sense of responsibility

People often lack a sense of responsibility and you can suffer from that, especially in the work environment. sense of responsibilityEmployees ask questions such as: when is that department going to do its job properly? Why don’t they communicate better?

Be aware that this kind of questions lead to nowhere and you better ask yourself how you can become more involved in the organization and what you can do to develop yourself.

It is not surprising that many people dodge the responsibility. When we are dissatisfied or disappointed, we like to respond at first by pointing out and complaining about someone else.

Automatic response

This almost goes without saying. It is knee-jerk behavior and comes from a sense of powerlessness. So it’s not just laziness. Fear also plays a role. If we want to change our destiny, we have to do or try something new. That’s exciting by definition. 

It’s safer to complain about a boss giving unclear instructions than asking him or her for help. Moreover, it is tempting to lapse into thoughts like it is also the job of the manager to give feedback, I should not have to ask for that. That’s a logical thought and it may even be true, but at the same time it doesn’t help you.

Different approach

questions to ask yourselfWhy don’t you try something completely new? Why not convert defensive thoughts into questions that you can benefit from yourself. The idea: don’t focus on where you have no influence, but on what you can change.

Begin the question with “what” or “how”, never with “why”, “when” or “who”. Put the word “I” in the question and focus on an action item. For example: what can I do? If you think that communication is poor in the company or between departments: how can I become more involved in this process?

Understanding your emotions

At the same time, it is important not to rush over the underlying emotions that cause us to fall victim. There is also the option of changing your perspective. First you are fed up with something, then you are going to compare and judge. For example, you think of your previous boss and suddenly you find your current manager a jerk. You feel helpless and frustrated and disappointed. Those emotions are there and you must first acknowledge them, only then can you accept the situation. 

Anyone who feels that his or her manager is not providing good feedback or unclear directions probably feels insecure about his or her own performance. When you recognize that and realize that you need certain information to do your job well, it is easier to take the next step and think about how you will get that information.

What do you want and what can you do?

And if you have accepted the situation? Well, afterward there is always time to research what you want. The betterwhat do you want you know that, the easier it is to answer the question of what to do. For example, if you know that you want to grow in the organization, but do not know where or how little will happen. 

On the other hand, if you have a clear idea that you want to become a manager, you are more focused on news about vacancies, you look more often at internal vacancies or indicate during a performance interview that leadership is your ultimate goal.

Not always easy, but good for your self-confidence. One of the best things about personal leadership is overcoming your own fears and trying something new every now and then. Taking control of your working life therefore also has everything to do with guts.

As an entrepreneur, you might also complain

John Ross (not real name) founded an advertisement agency  He started the business about eight years ago as a kind of hobby. The company was very successful and grew and grew into a multi-million dollar business that was active in ten countries.

Ross was increasingly guided not by what he thought he should do, but by what others wanted from him. He got carried away and lost himself. “The tricky thing about success is everyone is cheering you on and telling you to get even more out of it. The company determined what I did, how I felt, who I was and what I stood for. “

Sold his company

He tried to take control again, even moved to another country so that he had more distance, but he was unable to live his life the way he wanted to. Ross sold the agency because he felt the company was running him instead of the other way around. And started being himself again, advising other people in management.

How did he do that? 

what do you like your life to beHave you ever heard of this quote? On the last day you have on earth, the person you became will meet the person you could have become. What would your life look like if you would live with this in your thoughts? Something might go wrong or when you don’t feel like doing something, then you think about it and take responsibility for situations again. This is about minimizing the gap between those two versions of yourself, between what you want and your potential. For everyone, especially when you are employed: no one is going to save you. If you want something, you have to do it yourself. 

Final thoughts + my recommendation no. 1

People complaining about work will always be there, past, present and future. What people do about it is purely subjective and thus op to the individuals themselves.

In this article I have mentioned what you can do about it, as it will seldom come from above. You have a choice, do you want to be happy or do you want to feel somewhat miserable all the time?

Anyway, it needs to start with yourself. The quote given above can be a very good guideline. What do you want to achieve in your life? Is this the moment you want to take things into your own hands? Then I can help by giving you a unique way out!

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2 thoughts on “Why we Complain so much about Work – This is what helps!”

  1. I completely agree with acting instead of complaining. When something does not feel right, like we are doing a job we do not enjoy, we tend to find excuses for every mistake. We do not take responsibilities. 

    The key to a happy life is to find what makes you happy and do it. We are all humans and we all are placed in hard situations. What makes us different is what we do about it. 

    • Very wise words! We should always act in an adverse situation, as any change might be for the better. Especially at work, you might get sick when a bad condition exists for too long.


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