What type of complainer are you?

It has been a while since I wrote my last article about “How can brainstorming help your business?” I have been thinking for quite some time about the next business-related topic that could be interesting for you, but today I decided to talk about something different. This is not business-related, it is human-related, although it can have important side-effects on business.

Today’s topic is “complaining”. I think I am a qualified person to talk about it, not because I am a psychologist with a PhD thesis on “Why we complain”, but simply because I am a complainer. When I hear people say “stop complaining, start acting!” I am sceptical. I think that complaining is a very human behaviour and it is a necessary step in each process of change. If we are not happy about our current situation, one of the first reactions is to complain about it. People who don’t complain exist, but I think they are just complaining inside themselves, without making it public. So, it is ok to complain. Don’t feel bad about it.

I said “complaining is a necessary step in each process of change”. Let’s analyse this better. Which phases should we go through in a process of change? This is my personal take on this:process-of-change-simplified

This is not an easy process and it can take a long time. I have been complaining and thinking for three long years before I realized what I could do to change my miserable professional life. Once I identified what I could do, I spent the following 6 months asking myself whether I really wanted to do it, looking for people who could help me, and resources/information to make sure I was able to start this new adventure. Then, I acted and things have been going pretty fast since then. Now, after four years, I feel professionally satisfied.

I think that what I described above is a healthy way to react to unhappiness. Nevertheless, many people remain trapped in the first three phases, in a “vicious circle”.


Why does it happen? I don’t think there is an easy answer to this question, actually I think there might be a number of different, case-specific, answers (here a psychologist would really help… anyone out there?). Nevertheless, based on the people I met in my life, who were trapped into this vicious circle, I have identified two main behaviors that definitely don’t help. These are: 1. Closure to external help; and 2. Procrastination.

“Closure to external help” means that many of us prefer to find their way in isolation, only with help from the closest friends and relatives. We might be attracted by people who lend us a hand and offer possible ways out, but at the end we don’t take that opportunity, finding a lot of excuses for not doing so. Examples? “It costs too much”, “I am not sure whether this would really help me”, and the like. I totally understand you. There are so many people offering their support or services out there (new friends, coaches, events, consultants, workshops…) and we feel unsure, we don’t want to waste our money, we don’t trust these people, who we don’t know. On the other hand, I think that most of these options can bring you something valuable, when you are ready to absorb and process external inputs. You can attend an event and find out that it was not exactly what you were expecting, but you may hear one sentence from a speech that penetrates in your mind and kicks off the process of change. Or else, you may meet one person, who can become an important piece in the puzzle of sorting out what you want to do and how. If you just sit home, feeling unhappy, complaining and thinking, the process of change becomes much more difficult.

“Procrastination” is the second trap. We decide we want to do something (e.g. participate to a meeting that we find interesting, write an email to a person that we met last week, etc.), but we tend to wait, thinking that there is time to do that and that now you have more urgent things to do. Then what happens? You forget about the registration deadline of the meeting that you found so appealing; you are invited to your cousin’s birthday on the day of the event and, since your agenda is free, you accept; you realize that too much time has passed since you met that person and now it is too late to write that email, etc. I was a procrastinator myself and I lost so many opportunities that I worked to change that behavior.

Being trapped into the vicious circle has bad consequences both for us (because we continue feeling unhappy), and for the people around us: do you think it is nice to live close to someone, who complains all the time and does very little to change the situation?

If I had been opener to external inputs and less of a procrastinator, I am sure my process of change would have been faster and I would have avoided a lot of professional (and, as a consequence, personal) unhappiness. Even more importantly, my husband and children would have dealt with an irritable and frustrated wife and mom for a shorter time…


So, what kind of complainer are you? One, who prefers to remain inside the vicious circle or one, who decides to start a process of change?

If you are a woman living in Switzerland and your complaining has to do with your professional situation, here are some of the opportunities for you to kick off your process of change:

  • Do you complain because you don’t have a job, or you have a job you don’t like? REGISTER NOW to the business ideas brainstorming event (Zurich, 29.10.2016) and find – or refine – a cool business idea, which is right for you!
  • Do you complain because your business is not performing that well? REGISTER NOW to the brainstorming for small business owners (Zurich, 12.11.2016) and get answers and solutions from a group of women, small business owners like you.
  • Do you complain because you are not able to get things done? SEND ME AN EMAIL NOW to find out about Mastermind Groups, groups of committed women, who are there to support each other and keep each other accountable (upcoming info meeting in Bern on 22.09.2016)
  • Do you complain because you don’t like any of the initiatives above and would like me to do something different? SEND ME AN EMAIL NOW: you and I are part of a community, whose mission is to help women create their dream jobs, so please share your thoughts with me.

Don’t wait… don’t be trapped in your vicious circle… do it NOW!

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