Dealing with someone who is always complaining is incredibly frustrating and draining.
Not only that, but if you’re around this person a lot they’re going to drag you down and start to make you think more negatively over time.
And we can’t have that!
It’s time to turn the tables, here are some tips and examples of what to say and how to tell someone to stop complaining!
How to Tell Someone to Stop Complaining – 10 Polite Ways to Phrase It!
I’m assuming that you want to be polite and considerate of their feelings when you’re someone to stop complaining, otherwise, you’d just come out and say, “stop complaining!”
Here are 10 ways you can tell or ask someone to stop complaining that are a lot more productive than simply telling them to shut up:
- “I understand that you’re going through a tough time, but could we focus on solutions instead of dwelling on the problem?”
- “I know it’s hard, but can we try to think of the positive aspects in this situation?”
- “Can we take a break from talking about what’s going wrong and shift the conversation to something more positive?”
- “I know it may feel good to vent, but can we try to reframe this in a more constructive way?”
- “I understand that you’re upset, but constantly complaining about it isn’t going to solve the issue. Can we brainstorm solutions instead?”
- “Can we take some time to think about gratitude and what is going well in our lives?”
- “I know it’s hard, but can we try to find the silver lining in this situation?”
- “Do you think it would be helpful to talk to someone about this issue, instead of constantly rehashing it?”
- “Can we try to find a way to turn this negative situation into a learning experience or opportunity for growth?”
- “I know it’s tough, but your train of thought is contagious. If you think positive and always try to see the best in a situation, you’ll be more likely to have positive things happen, I promise!”
5 Ways to Help Someone Stop Complaining so Much
Telling someone to stop complaining is only half – if that – of the battle.
If you want them to truly stop complaining, and more importantly break the habit of complaining all the time, there are some things you can do to help.
Here are 5 tips, or even steps really, you can follow to try and help them think a different way about the problems in their lives:
1. Start by Hearing Them Out
If you care about them, and I’m sure you do, you should always let them vent and get it all out, but then shift the conversation towards solutions rather than dwelling on the problem.
Often, when someone is complaining they just want to be heard and have someone else give them their perspective on how they’re feeling.
So, never shut them down, but also be very careful about what you say when you do get a chance.
2. Be Understanding and Show Them Empathy
It’s also important that you validate their feelings and show them that you understand where they’re coming from.
But also remind them that dwelling on the problem doesn’t solve it and that they have the power to change their situation.
Encourage them to reframe their thoughts in a more positive light.
Remember, you can’t always change the circumstances, but you can change how you react to them.
This is a key lesson for anyone who complains constantly.
3. Diplomatically Show Them How To Look at Things Differently
I use the word diplomatically as a way of saying that you need to tread carefully so as not to offend them.
One way to do this is by asking them questions that will make them think about the situation from a different perspective.
For example, ask them how they would feel if the tables were turned and someone else was complaining about them.
Another helpful question to ask is, “What can you learn from this experience?”
This will help them reframe the situation as a learning opportunity rather than just a negative event.
It’s all about changing their mindset.
I’ve done this a load of times and when you see someone have that “ah-ha” moment, it’s an awesome feeling.
4. Help Them Find a Solution to Their Problem
If someone is complaining about something, they have a problem.
One option, albeit a short-term one, is to help them find a solution to their problem so they don’t need to complain about it any longer.
For example, if they are complaining about their job, help them search for a new one.
If they are complaining about their financial situation, work with them to create a budget and come up with ways to save money.
This may not solve the underlying issue, but it will give them some immediate relief, and sometimes we all just need a little help from friends.
5. Tactfully Redirect Their Complaining to More Positive Conversations
If the above steps haven’t worked, or if they just can’t seem to break their habit of constantly complaining, try redirecting the conversation to something more positive.
Find something that they are passionate about or grateful for and focus on those things instead.
You can also try to steer the conversation towards things you both have in common, such as shared hobbies or interests.
The bottom line is that complaining constantly can be a tough habit to break, but with understanding, empathy, and a little guidance, it’s definitely possible!
How Do You Tell Someone You Don’t Want to Hear Them Complain?
I appreciate that some of you reading this just don’t want to hear or deal with someone complaining all the time, right?
If this is you, I have some tips to help you communicate to this person that you understand they have things to complain about, but you’re not the person to tell.
The best policy is always to be upfront and honest, so I would just say something like: “I know you have things going on that are difficult for you, but I’m not the best person to talk about it with.”
Or, “You’re one of my best friends and I can tell you’re annoyed by this, but honestly, hearing your constant complaining is really draining for me.”
You can also suggest other outlets or people they can talk to, whether it’s a therapist or another friend who is better equipped to listen.
Above all, make sure they know that you care about them and their struggles, but also communicate your own boundaries.
At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that you have a right to your boundaries and can politely let them know if their complaining is too much for you. Good luck!
Image credits – depositphotos.com/stock-photo-college-students
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.