Seems like everyone has suffered the wrath of a chronic complainer at least once in his life. You know the drill. There’s always that one coworker, friend, or family member who consistently sees the glass half empty. Moreover, they take pleasure in their complaining and have no intention to stop. While you might assume that your complainer companion is only annoying, he could be ruining far more than your lunch or happy hour. In fact, studies have shown that complainers are bad for your health.

Personal Experience

I can believe it. I too have endured more than one chronic complainer. Often it begins with something that frustrates both of us. A demanding client. An announcement of no yearend bonus. Even a particularly long office meeting can trigger a complaining fest. But life goes on, right? Not for the chronic complainer. I soon realized that these people find a way to complain about everything. Their commute is horrible every morning. Their coffee tastes terrible everyday. They get an awful night’s sleep every night. It got to the point where I would make a U-turn out of the restroom if I saw the complainer’s feet sticking out from one of the stalls. Though I may be at their mercy in our adjoining cubicles or conference room, I refuse to submit to their complaining while trying to conduct my own personal business.

Run and Don’t Look Back

Apparently, this is exactly what the experts want people to do – run. Run far away. Which brings us back to the fact that complainers are bad for your health. Research has proven that when people are exposed to chronic complainers, it actually kills brain cells. It can also warp you into behaving the same way. Which is worse? Losing brain matter or becoming the chronic complainer that no one likes? Thankfully, you can employ a few defensive strategies to make sure neither happens to you. As mentioned, the first tactic is to make some space between you and the complainer.

If that’s not an option, confront them. Make them find a solution. Should they simply start complaining about you instead, it’s time to start using the Force, or whatever other visualization method you prefer to block their complaining ways. Experts claim that by imagining a shield or another defense mechanism to protect yourself, you can minimize the harmful effects of a chronic complainer. And if all else fails… duct tape always seems to do the trick quite nicely in the movies.

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