Stop Complaining At Work

“When something happens, the only thing in your power is your attitude toward it; you can either accept it or resent it…What really frightens and dismays us is not external events themselves, but the way in which we think about them.  It is not things that disturb us, but our interpretation of their significance.” ~ Epictetus

We have all done it. Sat in the break-room whining about the latest round of productivity or accountability goals passed down from those on high. Or maybe you are in management and you wish those under you could just see the big picture and stop worrying about their individual fiefdoms. No one demographic holds the patent on complaining.

Letting off some steam now and then is OK and can even be healthy – in moderation. But when your job feels like one big gripe session it may be time to make some changes.

Of course we’d love to be able to eliminate those things about our jobs that drive us crazy, but often that isn’t a possibility. So we must deal with what is in our control – our response to things.

This doesn’t mean we should put up with legitimately poor, or abusive, working conditions. Rather, we should stop and recognize those things that we can change, and those things we should just accept and get on with our day.

Believe me, I realize this is easier said than done, so here are a few concrete tips to help.

Take a leave of absence– No, you can’t go on sabbatical, but you can remove yourself from a poisonous situation. If the break-room turns into the “gripe-room” just step out of it.

Have a gratitude attitude– The next time you feel the urge to whine, remember all the things you should be grateful for. No matter how bad your job may be there are over 10,000,000 without one.

Be a problem solver- If there is a bad situation at your job, do what you can to fix things. Focus on what can be done.

So take a deep breath and remember that the calmer we become, the greater our influence and success will be. After all, the best way to take out your frustrations over the annoying aspects of your job is to succeed in spite of them.

9 thoughts on “Stop Complaining At Work

  1. Sound advice which is always good to remind myself of. I don’t know Epictetus’ philosophical view but if that’s his quote he was a very wise man which means I need to go check him out. Thanx for the reminder about attitude at work and how we have a chic to step away from the whining room and breath deeply 🙂

  2. Hey Steve, ironically timely article – yet powerfully simple.
    Three genuine areas to focus on for future clarity.
    Thank you.
    Jon

  3. When I have been feeling “toxic” at work, I have found that the only effective way to deal with it is to face the cause square on. I have asked my boss to sit with me for what I call “a sanity check”, where I had written down the things that were bothering me. This open communication, when presented openly and without emotion, builds trust both ways.

  4. Thanks I am going through a position phase out and I have been asked to train those that will be taking on my responsibilities and tasks your advice helps as I now have a positive attitude abd can move on.

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