This month, we’ve been looking at different personality types.
Last Thursday, we talked about how to deal with the person who never talks (we call them, “Turtle Rock”).
Today, we are talking about a completely different type of personality…this person who talks a LOT but in a different way.
Turtle Rock may say volumes by their silence, but the whiner type says a lot with their tone…usually a muffled, high pitched and possibly nasal tone (though, of course, there are more baritone types like Snuffleupagus, and Eeore).
The whiner will generally begin by complaining. Actually, it’s almost always some voicing of discontent.
They are persistently negative and displeased. Sometime they even sound helpless. Hopeless, and pitiful.
After time, they begin to sound almost like a mosquito. It is very hard to ignore, or tune out, the whining of a mosquito. It demands your attention, through it’s piercing tone.
It begins as a slow buzzing and progresses to a full pitched…Whine!
Here’s how to stop it.
First, you need to know that the whiner is not a happy person.
Their mood is set on the “it’s never going to get better” wavelength. I mean, they just live there.
And it’s not completely their fault (don’t worry, I am not about to enable them here).
What I mean is, they have probably either heard negative messages or lived in a negative situation for so long, that it is hard for them to think that things will ever better.
Did you know that neurologists ran brain scans of persistently negative people and they found that they all had a large gray mass in their brains, a cloud if you will. And the more negative the individual became, the larger that mass would grow. That dark cloud will literally feed on negativity to the point where, left unchecked, the patient would have a knee-jerk, pessimistic reaction to each situation.
Life and or training really did have a lot to do with their perspective.
Try not to judge them or minimize their discomfort, even if you think they are just plain picky (and many of them are).
Neurology really does have something to do with their attitude.
There are some things you can do to help them through:
First, change their track! Negative people are on a loop of self defeating thought processes. Their brain is literally conditioned to see life in the negative lane. Knock them off that track of thinking and into a positive lane!
The next time someone begins complaining about you personally (I’m talking about a chronic complainer, not someone calling you out on a clear screw-up of yours), respond to them by saying, “Did I do anything right?” You’d be amazed at how stunned they will become by this question. It literally forces their brain off of the negative track and requires them to think of a positive.
Plus, it sort of wakes them up to how negative they are being.
If someone is complaining about the weather, the boss, the economy, ask them something like “What’s the best thing that happened to you this week?”
Only the worst complainers will say “nothing”.
Stay solution minded. If someone is always pointing out what is wrong, ask them if they think it is just a dead end. Ask them if they think there is no hope for the problem. Then candidly ask them if they would be open to a solution or if they don’t think anything can possibly, miraculously in a hundred years ever be done about it.
You don’t need to be sarcastic (though polite, selective teasing may work with some); but…DO get them to stop and brainstorm if there is every going to be any possible solution to the situation or if it’s hopeless. I mean, you need to dialogue with them, not write them off as… hopeless (which, when you think about it, would kind of make you like…. them? Hmmmmmmm……).