Venting can feel cathartic, but research found it has a serious negative impact on those who listen to the person complaining. This can be especially harmful in the workplace because listening to negative words has been found to reduce cognitive function and the will to get things done.
You can use positivity to rid yourself of petty complaints and drive both your own productivity and your colleagues’, says author Caroline L. Arnold. Here’s how.
• Don’t drive the complain train. If you think everyone else complains as much as you do, try holding back on the complaining to see if your theory holds true when you’re not the one initiating the gripe session.
• Only complain on your own time. Do whatever you can to keep from contaminating your workspace with your negative emotions.
• Strike one favorite topic of complaint from your repertoire. Make a promise to yourself to never complain again about something you always complain about. Just pick one thing—bad weather, bad traffic, bad cafeteria food—and never let it darken your conversations again.
• Avoid complaining about your teammates to others. Their reputation is your reputation, just as their accomplishments are yours. Don’t be the person who lets people disrespect your team because you’re disrespecting them. If you’ve got a problem with someone, address it with him personally.
• Turn your complaints into solutions. You might find it easier to stop complaining about an issue if you think of it as a problem to be solved.
— Adapted from “How Positivity Drives Productivity,” Caroline L. Arnold, The Huffington Post.