THOU SHALL NOT LISTEN TO THOSE WHO COMPLAIN
You have a brain use it! It is what I will say to my younger by a few years-self if I can turn back time.
Joining a new company, you get to know your new colleagues. In a few weeks time, you get to know the culture and the political undercurrent of the new company. Then next phase, you form a semblance of friendship with a fraction. Of course, there is always a few fractions in a company. Don’t lie to yourself saying that your company does not have politics. This friendship would seem genuine and in fact it is in many cases. Lunch time is a time when colleagues-turned-friends get together and start discussing on office scenarios. Frankly, in many people ‘s lives, this is one of the highlights of work!
Hearing “secrets” and complains about this and that person once, sounds like new found knowledge. Hearing it twice . . . you began to dislike that person (even though that person has not ever sabotage you). But of course you sympathize with your colleague-friend who is one of the victims. Hearing it a third time, well you might find it strange. Hearing it the fourth time, you find yourself disheartened, feeling discouraged and seemingly affected by all the unfairness . . . which is NOT happening to YOU but to the complainer.
Soon . . . you feel discouraged at work, you feel the work policies and political situation is unfair, although none of this is happening to you but to the “complainer”. Next thing you know you are looking for a new job.
But if you stop and look back. Have you ever noticed that, those who constantly complains about the other “terrible” colleagues or bosses, or how the unfairness of workplace is, are those who in actual fact continues to work in the same company for many years after you have left, “said” company. Perhaps also having even climbing the ladder. But when you catch up, they still complain on the same old things. Strange isn’t it?
Being friends with someone who however good that person’s heart is, but is someone who constantly complains is not good for your career and work-related-emotions. A complainer is never a happy person, even though they have much to be thankful for. There will always be this other “evil colleague” out there to get this said complainer (from the complainers perspective).
Here are a few tips to avoid those who constantly complain about others at work or the workplace:
1. Listen once and walk away if there is twice
Being a caring trustworthy colleague is a good trait. Listening to colleagues who are genuinely facing troubles with the other colleagues at work. Hashing out ideas and advice to help them is alright.
But if the same old complain is being repeated constantly and the advice is not taken. You find yourself disliking every other person the complainer is talking about. Well it is time to just walk away. Don’t let the complains of the complainer demotivate you at your workplace. Especially when you are doing well in your job.
Because if you don’t walk away, you yourself will start seeing faults in your current company and feel unhappy. Causing you to walk away from an opportunity perhaps in that company, should you have stayed.
2. If you want to keep the friendship with a complainer – change topic!
Well, if you so value this friendship with the “complainer colleague”. Then every time the complainer starts to repeat how unfairly she/he is being treated at work or being stabbed by this and that person. Change the topic! Distract them by asking them about their travels, about their pet dog or cat, talk about positive things. To avoid them on complaining.
3. Be direct and tell them off . . . in a nice manner objectively.
Use a more direct approach, when the complainer starts to broach the same story of how this other colleague back-stab him or her . . . for only the tenth thousand times of your six months career in the job. Tell them that you value the friendship and empathize with them. But that also you do not enjoy hearing these complaints over and over again. Suggest a solution moving forward.
If the complainer, cannot accept your respectful but direct approach. Then perhaps it is time to abandon this so called friendship with the complainer and focus more on the job. Perhaps then, you will be rewarded with your fruits of labor and gratitude. Rather than throwing in your lot with the complainer. Who after complaining still stays at the job which they oh-so-hate.
Cannot stand a complainer at your current workplace? The next time your complainer buddy complains again. Perhaps try out the 3 steps above. Making YOUR “Working environment” a better place.