5 Reasons Why Constant Complaining Annoys Me


When I feel strong emotions, I wonder why.  Recently, I’ve started analyzing why complainers annoy me so much. I think there are several reasons, but let’s do a bit of level-setting first.

According to a very in-depth Wikipedia article, “Empathy is distinct from sympathy, pity, and emotional contagion. Sympathy or empathic concern is the feeling of compassion or concern for another, the wish to see them better off or happier. Pity is feeling that another is in trouble and in need of help as they cannot fix their problems themselves, often described as “feeling sorry” for someone. Emotional contagion is when a person (especially an infant or a member of a mob) imitatively “catches” the emotions that others are showing without necessarily recognizing this is happening.”

5 reasons why complainers annoy me:

  1. Complaining without taking action to resolve the issue assumes a lack of responsibility and helplessness, which bothers me. I’ve found that people who see themselves as helpless victims find excuses to do horrible things. That state of mind increases anger and reduces personal accountability for their actions.
  2. Emotional manipulators often use complaining as a way to grab attention and emotional connection. It also enables them to take more than give since they have positioned themselves in the ‘needing’ role. A naturally occurring balance is removed from interactions with them.
  3. Constant complaining is toxic to those around you. It sparks a form of emotional contagion. For a person like myself who is empathetic and geared towards helping, complainers are a drain on my energy.
  4. The helplessness that is insinuated in constant complaining causes me to think less of the person, and eventually pity them. I do not like to feel pity for anyone. Not even myself. I empathize, and in my empathy, I seek to understand and help. Pity does not often lead to action because it’s such a distasteful emotion that people instinctively seek to distance themselves from the source.
  5. Finally, I agree with Nietzsche in that “Pity stands opposed to the tonic emotions which heighten our vitality: it has a depressing effect. We are deprived of strength when we feel pity. That loss of strength which suffering as such inflicts on life is still further increased and multiplied by pity. Pity makes suffering contagious.”

What are your thoughts on pity and complaining?



Categories: Health, Interests, Quotes, Self-Awareness

Tags: , , , , , ,

3 replies

  1. I have a number of friends who persistently complain, openly on social media and privately. They are, coincidently, frequently sick, unhappy at work and in their relationships and financially strapped. One could argue chicken/egg, but I watch them create the negative space in which they live. I couldn’t agree more with this post, to the letter. I said in a post the other day that all of the people complaining that the glass if half empty should be thankful they have a glass, and they should get up and fill the damn thing.

    • Well said. What stuns me the most is that it’s often the biggest complainers who seem to turn a deaf ear to the woes of others. There’s a scary lack of self-awareness. And the suggestion to fill their own glass with water (also known as getting off their ass and doing something about it) is often met with a baffled expression that says, “Don’t you understand the rules to this game? Your role is simply to give me your time, sympathy and energy. It’s gauche to expect anything in return.”

      • That is the TRUTH! What amazes me further is that when you do carefully have these conversations with them, they don’t listen and can’t understand why you stop allowing them to create negative space in your head.

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