Moaning can become quite a habit. So much so, that the habitual moaner does not even realise it. He or she will start and finish the day moaning. I have often heard people refer to somebody by saying “he’s not happy unless he moans” or “she simply loves whinging”. Actually, this could not be further from the truth. The words that come out of the mouth reflect what is on the mind and you can be sure that the habitual moaner is not a particularly content person. What’s more, being near a moaner, e.g. at work or in a relationship, puts you in a bad mood. Moaning is almost contagious. It certainly does not spread joy and laughter.
What can we do about it? To simply stop moaning is not enough. The reason for the moan is still there demanding attention. If you stop talking about what is wrong other people may draw a sigh of relief, but if the conversation continues in your head – your inner moaning dialogue – you are no further forward.
I have a colleague who always appears content and cheerful. She, like everybody else has her ups and downs in life, the rest of us just do not hear much about it. She has worked out the moaning formula and lives by it.
It is quite simple: If I can’t change it, there is no point moaning about it. If I can change it I will do so and then there is no need to moan.”
In other words, don’t moan about something you are not willing to change or do not have the power to change. If, e.g., you are not happy in your job, think about ways to improve the situation instead of just moaning about it. If, like me, you can’t stand the Eurovision Song Contest, don’t watch it, do something else that night, because we do not have the power to get rid of it anyway.
Moaning and complaining are often used synonymously, but there is a difference. Moaning is when you express your dissatisfaction instead of fixing the problem. Complaining is when you express your dissatisfaction as part of the process of fixing a problem. If your mechanic did a poor job on our car there is no point moaning to your neighbour about it, go back to the mechanic and complain about the poor service and demand a proper solution to the problem.
When you take ownership of a problem you also take action to fix it. Talking about how you have fixed a problem or found a solution is far nicer than moaning about it and it comes with a sense of pride and inner wellbeing. Even if that conversation is only with yourself.
Perhaps you are the person people go to for a whinge and a moan. Being such a person can be quite tiring and there is a simple way of putting an end to being the shoulder to cry on.
To be a really good friend, colleague, or partner you can help the moaner find solutions to their problems and make their situation better. The simple questions “what could you do to fix this?” or “what have you tried to change things?” could open up a constructive conversation about putting things right – or the person may just choose never to come back to you again to moan. You win either way.
Taking action to improve on undesirable situations can be a daunting task, especially if you are looking at making fundamental changes to your life. Friends, colleagues, and family are often not best placed to help, as they may be too close and therefore not able to give the neutral support that you need. Instead, you can try coaching as a way to making positive changes – big or small. As a starting point, contact me, without obligation, so we can discuss how coaching can help you move on.[Go Back]