How to stop complaining and find the path to positive change

Is there something in your life that’s been driving you crazy for a while? Some situation at work that you find yourself venting to your spouse about every night at dinner? Or maybe a recurring conflict with your partner or your kids that never seems to be adequately resolved? Do you find yourself ruminating over a problematic situation every time you have a moment alone in the car? 

In this episode, Dr. Bethy Campbell and I are sharing a 4-step process that can help you exit that complaint loop and actually move toward positive change. Bethy is a clinical psychologist, a marriage and family therapist .

The technique that we’re talking about today is taken from her book on Helping Skills, a book that would be a great resource if you are in a situation where you’re frequently called upon to provide guidance and emotional support.

But this absolutely an approach that can (and should) apply to your own knotty situations.

Key Takeaways

  1. Complaining has its place. When done constructively, it can help us acknowledge and process pent-up feelings, and encourage self-awareness and self-compassion.
  2. Repetitive, non-constructive complaining–in addition to wearing out our friends and loved ones patience–increases our stress and hinders problem-solving.
  3. Reorienting the language we use to talk about the problem can help us see more possibilities for resolution or change.
  4. If you don’t have a trusted partner to help you reflect, journaling or recording voice memos can help you spot and reframe unhelpful language.

Mentioned in this episode

Converting good intentions into action (Change Academy episode #129)

Helping Skills Training for Non Professional Counselors (Enter the promo code ADC24 for 30% off)

Dr. Bethy Campbell’s mailing list