4i Newsletter Masthead 420

How to complain.

fouri 420 How to Complain

My very good friend Rachel Godfrey (aka “Athletic Fox” – she’s a lifestyle/fitness coach) posted this last week:

“If you’re unhappy with your situation but do nothing about it, you don’t have the right to complain.”

It got me thinking about the considerable increase in complaints, (social media is constantly full of people sounding off/whinging/having a go), and if/when it’s appropriate to complain, and how.

I have three rules.

  1. Complain privately. (Praise publicly). In a decade or more of social media posts, blogging, etc. I’m confident you can count the number of complaints I’ve made openly on the fingers of one hand – note fingers do not include thumbs – perhaps four tops.
  2. Set out really clearly and concisely what the complaint is about. Remove all emotion, stick to the facts.
  3. Suggest what a reconciliation looks like. Or better yet, if there’s an acknowledgement of fault, invite them to suggest one.

In addition, I ask: “Is it worth it? Is it likely anything will improve? Will my complaint influence change?”

If not, then I save my energy.

Complaining is draining. Far from being cathartic, it can increase the negative, emotional response, which is rarely helpful.

By contrast, thanking and congratulating people induces positive feelings. It’s a simple way to balance things out.

In a world of whingers, be a cheerleader.

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