2 ways of how to deal with wallowing whiners
Whiners are very costly time and energy sinks. They neither help you or themselves carrying on about how the rest of the world has come together to mess with them. Oh my. You know exactly whom I am talking about, because you know at least one. When they are headed your way you wished you could get a hold of Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak, but to no avail. You are stuck. Or are you?
There are two basic ways of how to deal with them. One is avoidance and the other confrontation. The former is much more effective, whereas the latter sometimes must be employed in order to protect yourself or others from harm.
- Listen, acknowledge, and move on. It is really that simple and usually does not take long to be effective.
- Give yourself a mental break. When at work there are situations when you cannot avoid a whiner. While they talk just picture a box of Kleenex and how you hand them one letting them dry their tears and blow their noses. It’s a great image helping your mental health.
- Ask for a more formal meeting. It works pretty efficiently: “Listen, this sounds like it is really important to you and I want to hear more of it, but I have a really important meeting (fill in here what suits your situation best) to go to. Should we sit down for a meeting later?” The vast majority of folks will say that it was not so important and that they will catch up with you at a later time. If not, well, than this must be really important after all.
- Confront them only when they violate your core values. Stick by what you believe and what you stand for. Just make sure that they know where you are coming from and that you are not agreeing with their point of view. Then get away from them – fast. You will not convince them of anything, that’s like bringing sand to the beach.
- Try explaining why they do not have it so bad. Who knows? Sometimes you can convince a whiner that life typically does not discriminate – it does provide a nasty left hook no matter who is at the receiving end of it.
No one erects statues for critics, and as far as I know, there are none around honoring whiners either. Looking at the bad does not help and it is a constant negative mental load and I venture saying also causes physical strain on your body. So why do it?
Make an active choice surrounding yourself with positive people and things that give you energy. You need this energy to do the things you are meant to do – wasting it on whiners should not be one of them.