How Complaining Steals Your Happiness

How Complaining Steals Your Happiness

No one likes to think of themselves as a complainer, right? I know I didn’t think of myself in this way and yet…

I noticed a few months back that I was feeling very grumpy and I was complaining more than usual. This in itself was fine, up to a point and initially felt good! And then I realized I was sliding into a repetitive rut and that complaining was stealing my enjoyment and ease in life.


How did I become aware of this? Well, my mood mostly, and then I started to tune in to my inner self-talk. Always the best way to gauge where I really am. Negative and defeatest self-talk never leads to success if left unadressed and it feels lousy, to say the least. So I addressed it! Firmly and lovingly – with awareness and humour… and shifted to ways to feel grateful instead. Almost immediately, my mood and self-talk became kinder and felt much better.

To be honest, even optimistic and strong people can be vulnerable to complaining. As humans, our emotional make-up is extremely complex and layered. It’s not about getting it all right and never complaining and more about being aware and knowing thyself well. From my experience, there are always signals that begin to show up as indicators of the direction I’m travelling. This is what Carl Jung, the Swiss Psychiatrist coined as ‘shadow work’ required to make the unconscious conscious.


The instances that helped me realize what was actually going on, was when I seemed to come across lots of posts on social media, people complaining! What the heck?! Yup, this is how it can show up and if I wasn’t aware and clear on where I want my emotional and mental compass to be, then I could get sucked in.


I can clearly remember my sense of affrontment when many years ago my therapist made me aware of the part of me that was the complainer. What, me a complainer!! No WAY…  Yes, indeed WAY! When I was able to see and acknowledge that a part of me felt comfortable complaining, I was able to make an empowered and conscious choice about this behaviour and pattern. I’m always grateful for clarity about myself!


Now, complaining is quite a common although disavowed habit, that can negatively impact our emotional well-being, relationships, and even physical health. As a complainer, we don’t always realize that what we are doing is ‘complaining’ and the impact this is having, until we become aware or have someone else point it out to us. This is NOT about judging yourself or others… it’s about awareness, perception and empowerment.

Complaining can also be a psychological defensive mechanism that occurs when we feel powerless to change something and creates a feeling of ambivalence. Beneath this mindset and behavioural pattern lies a wealth of wisdom about yourself, if your willing to dig and be honest with yourself.


To help make the unconscious more conscious, here are some ways that complaining can have a limiting impact longer-term:


1. Mental Health:

Complaining can lead to lowered mood and symptoms of anxiety, depression, and a negative outlook on life. This makes it harder to cope with stress and life’s challenges.


2. Personal Growth:

Continual complaining can hinder personal growth, causing feelings of irritability, frustration, and misplaced anger. This can show up as physical symptoms such as headaches, stomach pains, and a loss of appetite – ways that our body is letting us know that something needs to be addressed, not medicated, as is often the case. Don’t avoid seeking medical attention however to bring peace of mind.


3. Personal Relationships:

Most people don’t like hanging out with someone who is constantly complaining. Complaining behaviour can result in isolation and frustration in others, leading to feelings of loneliness and social isolation.


4. Lack Mentality:

Complaining robs people of enjoyment and is a sign of a sense of lack mentality.  There’s often a belief of unworthiness that can lead to financial worries and psychological distress.


5. Negative Behaviors and Habits:

Complaining can reinforce negative thinking patterns further and prevent individuals from taking action to address their concerns. No one likes to think of themselves as a complainer and this shuts us off from our awareness to when we do complain, making change seem impossible.


I’ve mentioned above how I shifted my mood and want to include some alternatives that can help break free from the cycle of complaining:


1. Gratitude Attitude:

Shift your focus from negative to positive aspects of life by practicing gratitude. Find anything that you can feel grateful for… and there’s always  at least one thing, in the Present moment! (Read my blog 4 Breakthrough Steps to Gratitude for deeper insights)


2. Healthy Expression:

All emotions are messengers and we honour them, yes even the ‘bad’ one when we acknowledge them. We learn to manage our emotions by venting  negative emotions and honouring how we truly feel. Talking about how you feel in a safe and present way is healthy and not complaining.


3. Understand that there is a Cost:

Be willing to recognize the link between complaining and the negative impact on mental, emotional, and physical health. If you need a mentor to help you see the bigger picture, take action. I certainly wouldn’t have the abilities I do today on my own, without the mentoring I received.


4. Focus on What You Can Control:

Stop complaining about things you can’t change and take action to address concerns within your control. Complaining steals your power, that’s all!


5. Set Your Intention:

Challenge yourself to go without complaining for a set period of time. Start small, e.g. one hour at a time. Initially, simply begin to notice where you complain and how you feel in the moment.


If you notice yourself complaining, stop and breathe. No judgement. Take back your power by identifying the triggers that lead to complaining and reflect on your emotions, identify the source, notice patterns, ask for feedback, and be present to your words, thoughs, behaviours. By understanding the impact of complaining and taking conscious action to break the habit, you can improve your emotional well-being and overall quality of life.

Will you stop complaining 100%. Maybe… However, if and when you do find yourself complaining – cause you’re Human right – then you will have the knowledge and skills to manage this behaviour efficiently, in a way that empowers you and sets you free from feeling like a victim.


Don’t let complaining steal your happiness!



Trilby Johnson is a Breakthrough Metaphysical Intuitive Mentor offering realistic, practical principles to assist highly-sensitive, intuitive and conscious individuals to heal, thrive and live their desired BIG lives.

Contact Trilby for a Breakthrough Assessment if you are ready for breakthrough beyond limitation into wisdom!

©Trilby Johnson. All Rights Reserved. Copyright Prohibited. Please share any part of this article with reference to this original blog.Disclaimer: Any information shared here is not a substitute or replacement of any medical, psychological, legal or financial advice.