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The Eeyore in Your Life

Helpless Complainer (or Help-Rejecting Complainer)

Is there some one you know who always has a cloud over them? It can be tempting to get frustrated, give up, or get “even,” but when we react out of frustration instead of responding with kindness, we actually reinforce the beliefs that support the behavior. Complaining is the only type of support-seeking some people know.

Complaining traps others because the receiver of the complaint

1. Empathizes, recalling similar struggles of our own, and

2. Gets excited about trying to help or fix the problem.

But the help rejecting complainer doesn't want your help because....

  1. Solving the problem would result in them having to find a new problem to continue to get your attention

  2. Because embracing a solution or action or even believing that a situation could change threatens their sense of identity as a victim.

They might think...

  • What's left if there is nothing to complain about?

  • Who will notice me if I am fine?

  • Why do I want to accept any control over the problem? Then I can't blame other people anymore.

So what works?

  1. Set boundaries. Limit the time you give them to air their grievances. This may even result in minimizing time you spend with them.

  2. Don't add fuel to their fire. Share your reaction to their grievances in a kind, non-judgemental, authentic, but emotionally flat way.

  3. Encourage they seek professional help, if appropriate.

  4. Take care of you.

More thoughts


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