How to Quit Complaining

Complaining implies inactivity, negativity, and pessimism. In order to move from a culture of complaint to a culture of action, you need to stop being a victim and start solving your own probelms.
How to Quit Complaining
Alicia Escaño Hidalgo

Written and verified by the psychologist Alicia Escaño Hidalgo.

Last update: 21 December, 2022

Some people repeatedly complain, whether or not they have a valid reason. For instance, they might moan about how difficult their life is and how unlucky they are. Without a doubt, quitting complaining and taking action is the first step toward escaping this permanent state of inertness and victimhood.

If these people stopped complaining so much about what doesn’t work in the way they want it to and paid more attention to everything they do have and can do to enjoy and be happy, they wouldn’t be so bitter.

It’s a sad fact that we live in an era in which we possess more things and have more facilities but in which we’re unhappier. For this reason, complainers have probably become accustomed to increasingly needing more and making a bit of a  drama when their invented needs aren’t fulfilled. In fact, they repeatedly complain without reaching any solution. However, complaining serves no purpose other than to submerge them in feelings of bitterness.

“People won’t have time for you if you are always angry or complaining.” 

-Stephen Hawking-

stop complaining

Characteristics of people who won’t quit complaining

1. They’re negative

Complaining people are never happy with anything. For example, they might want something and complain about not having it, but when they get it, they complain again.

They might live in perfectly positive circumstances or have achieved great personal or professional achievements, but they’ll always say “Yes, but…”. This attitude ultimately leads to them never enjoying anything and embittering themselves and the rest of the world around them with their toxicity.

2. They don’t look for solutions

They find it much easier to rant and moan about what hasn’t turned out as they would’ve liked than to seek solutions to alter what can be changed. However, searching for solutions to their problems would mean not becoming a victim and fighting for what they want, which entails an effort that they’re not willing to make.

3. They’re gossipy and critical

Complainers are usually critical of others as well as their own circumstances. This is the product of their own shortcomings and unhappiness.

As a rule, the problem is neither in the criticized person nor in what’s happening to them, but it’s inside themselves. Because they don’t know how to appreciate or value the good things in others and of life in general. In fact, their attention is fully focused on what they consider to be negative, and they’re unable to see the positive side of anything.

4. They don’t accept that there are things that can’t be changed

stop complaining

Acceptance doesn’t exist in complainers’ lives. They can’t tolerate the fact that things don’t go their way and they tell themselves that it’s unbearable, intolerable, or disastrous that the world works the way it does.

As a result, their problems worsen and they’re unable to find any solutions. This causes them significant anxiety and suffering. Their complaining will only end when they get tired or fed up with complaining and they realize that, apart from feeling really irritated, they get nothing out of it.

How to quit complaining

If you fear you may well be one of these complainers, the first thing you must do is accept the fact. Then you can implement the following tips:

  • Stop judging everything. You’re not entitled to judge anything or anyone, therefore, the smartest and most sensible thing to do is to keep your mouth shut from time to time and adapt to the situation. Also, before judging, look in the mirror. You’re not perfect either.
  • Promote acceptance in your life. Acceptance helps you achieve inner peace and mental health. If you realize that there are various situations, people, or events over which you have no power and control, you’ll learn to stop having expectations and you’ll start to accept everything as it is.
  • Stop your negative thoughts. Words are the products of your thoughts and of what you say to yourself. If you know how to combat negative and irrational ideas, you won’t criticize, continually complain, or become a victim.

Focus on the positive: Everything has its good side. However, it seems that you’re taking this for granted and you’re unable to focus your attention on all the good that you have around you.

The key is to confront your ideas with reality and realize that you’re often the one who anticipates, generalizes, and overestimates things.

Change requires small steps and effort: to quit complaining isn’t easy

If you make a conscious effort and start listing everything positive in your life, you’ll realize that there are so many more pleasant and good things than you expected. Turn around what you don’t like and you’ll discover what’s really valuable.

Practice these tips daily and you’ll see how your life begins to change. Remember that change always starts in yourself, not from outside. Asking for the complaints book from the world won’t do you any good. Change and start loving life just as it is.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Bolen, J. S. (2012). Las brujas no se quejan: Un manual de sabiduría concentrada. Editorial Kairós.
  • Singer, C. (2008) El arte de quejarse. Grupo Nebrija de Estudios Psicoanalíticos Varios Autores Preguntas de la Clínica II, 121.
  • Watzlawick, P. (2013). El arte de amargarse la vida. Herder Editorial.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.