• 28 июля 2010 г.
  • 1346 Слова
Addiction to Complaining

Editor's Note: Why do some people always seem to find things to complain about. Constant complaining seems to be about things, people, circumstances that are affecting the complainer. But complaints are more the result of the state of the person doing the complaining than they are of the outside world.

Complaining can actually become addictive, filling a personalneed that they don't even know exists. If people think of you as a constant complainer or if you generally just feel like the world is a source of aggravation to you, Dr. Paul may offer some insight.

Addiction to Complaining

by: Margaret Paul, Ph.D.

Complaining is a way of life for some people. It was certainly a way of life for my mother. I don’t remember a day going by without hercomplaining, endlessly. I don’t think I ever heard a word of gratitude out of my mother’s mouth.

No matter how good things were, she would manage to find something wrong. No matter how perfect I was – and God knows I tried to be perfect! – she always found something wrong with me, as well as with my father.

Over the years of counseling others, I’ve noticed that some people start every sessionwith a complaint. They can’t seem to help it. Like my mother, they are addicted to complaining.

Why do people complain? What is it they want or hope for when they complain?

People who complain are generally people who have not done the emotional and spiritual work of developing a loving, compassionate inner adult self. They are operating as a wounded child in need of love, attention andcompassion. Because they have not learned to give themselves the attention and compassion they need, they seek to get these needs met by others.

Complaining is a way they have learned to attempt to get this. They use complaining as a form of control, hoping to guilt others into giving them the attention, caring and compassion they seek.

Complaining is a “pull” on other people. Energetically,complainers are pulling on others for caring and understanding because they have emotionally abandoned themselves.

They are like demanding little children. The problem is that most people dislike being pulled on and demanded of. Most people don’t want emotional responsibility for another person and will withdraw in the face of another’s complaints.

This is what my father did. He withdrew, shutdown, was emotionally unavailable to my mother as a way to protect himself from being controlled by her complaints. Of course, he didn’t just do this in response to my mother.

He had learned to withdraw as a child in response to his own mother’s complaints and criticism. He entered the marriage ready to withdraw in the face of my mother’s pull, while she entered the marriage ready to make myfather emotionally responsible for her. A perfect match!

My father’s withdrawal, of course, only served to exacerbate my mother’s complaining, and she constantly complained about my father’s lack of caring about her.

Likewise, my mother’s complaining served to exacerbate my father’s already withdrawn way of being. This vicious circle started early and continued unabated for the 60 years oftheir marriage, until my mother died.

While my parents loved each other, their ability to express their love got buried beneath the dysfunctional system they created. Unfortunately, this is all too common in relationships. One person pulling – with complaints, anger, judgment, and other forms of control - and the other withdrawing, is the most common relationship system I work with.

A personaddicted to complaining will not be able to stop complaining until he or she does the inner work of developing an adult part of themselves capable of giving themselves the love, caring, understanding and compassion they need.

As long as they believe that it is another’s responsibility to be the adult for them and fill them with love, they will not take on this responsibility for themselves.
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