Of all the different types of negative people, complainers can be the most frustrating. One way to derail their pity party is simply by asking how they plan on dealing with the situation.
Picture: Alan Turkus/Flickr
On his LinkedIn blog, Dr Travis Bradberry explains that complainers want to wallow in their problems and they desperately want you to join in with them. Instead of giving them more opportunity to complain, have them face the music:
People often feel pressure to listen to complainers because they don't want to be seen as callous or rude, but there's a fine line between lending a sympathetic ear and getting sucked into their negative emotional spiral. You can avoid this only by setting limits and distancing yourself when necessary. Think of it this way: if the complainer were smoking, would you sit there all afternoon inhaling the second-hand smoke? You'd distance yourself, and you should do the same with complainers. A great way to set limits is to ask complainers how they intend to fix the problem. They will either quiet down or redirect the conversation in a productive direction.
Complainers just like to complain, so if you let them, they will. By asking them what their plan is, they will either find a way to move forward or leave it alone because there's nothing that can be done. You can still be a friend to them without giving in to their negativity.
How Successful People Handle Toxic People [LinkedIn]