We all have our stories:
The story of our life.
The story of our success.
The story of our love.
The story of our pain....
I hear the story of people’s injuries - a lot.
Of course with my patients and students this is to be expected.
But even in social situations - over dinner or cocktails at the bar - I often get an earful as soon as people find out what I do. Until quite recently I would engage and try to help. But more often than not this would end in frustration! Why?
What I failed to realize at the time is that I was trying to give them solutions to a problem they didn’t WANT to solve…
Some people don’t want a solution, they just want to tell their story.
These are “chronic complainers”. Chronic complainers aren’t bad people, they are stuck in an energetic feedback loop (classic operant conditioning). Here’s how it works:
1. They tell their story (the behavior).
2. You give them attention / validation (feedback).
3. That attention FEELS good (positive reinforcement).
4. Subconsciously they have learned that complaining gets them a reaction they like, so they do it over and over again. “The loop”
It becomes a habit that is very difficult to break.
Chronic complainers usually have no idea how often they complain nor how negative they sound. Remember, to them this is a POSITIVE EXPERIENCE.
They will stubbornly resist your advice, no matter how good it is, because having the problem is serving them.
The best way to deal with a chronic complainer is to validate (“that must be difficult”), then re-direct.
If it’s someone you love, re-direct with positive attention on another subject.
If it’s a stranger at the bar, re-direct yourself out of the conversation! It may feel mean or cruel at first, but you must protect yourself and your energy!
Now instead of engaging, I acknowledge their situation, then give them my card and say “I’m happy to help, call and set up an appointment tomorrow!” I hope this was helpful y’all!!
Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts!
Always with love- co
#protectyourenergy #oldstory #stranger #yournight #corinneidzali