Maintaining a healthy relationship is like any other pursuit in life — it takes commitment and hard work from the people involved. However, we can be almost certain that problems will arise along the way. When two people live together and share intimacy, they are bound to run into hurdles. However, one of the most important things that any person can do in a relationship is making sure they don’t wear the other person down.
We have all been around that one person who constantly complains. You may remember this person from your group of friends, or they may be your parent, a sibling, or someone else. I am talking about the kind of person who always blames the world for their problems and never takes responsibility. This person is quick to complain about the most minuscule things, such as bad weather, a traffic jam, or a slight mishap at the coffee shop.
If you recognize this person and realize how taxing it is to be around them, then it’s essential that you don’t turn into them. Chronic complainers can sabotage a relationship over time without even realizing it. The other person in the relationship can only do so much, and constantly bombarding them with complaints all day will negatively affect their mental well-being.
- How Complaining Destroys Your Relationships
- A Negative Attitude is Detrimental to Relationships
- Constant Complaining Breeds Animosity Between Partners
- Your Partner Is Not Your Therapist
- Am I Supposed to Never Complain?
How Complaining Destroys Your Relationships
A Negative Attitude is Detrimental to Relationships
The evolutionary processes responsible for our survival as a species have also given us tendencies that are not always helpful. One such tendency springs from what scientists call “negativity bias”.
We are wired to obsess over little inconveniences while ignoring the good things that happen to us. A person’s whole day can go well, but a little mishap at the drive-thru or a slight disagreement at the office can stir them up for the rest of the day.
This tendency helped our primitive ancestors stay alert to deadly threats, but as we have evolved from our hunter-gatherer past to a more civilized present, it is in our best interest to not rely on this tendency.
Constant negativity has no place in a healthy relationship. It is no surprise that people don’t like to be around negative people. It chips away at their mental well-being, and sooner or later, they will part ways.
However, this doesn’t mean that you can never communicate your feelings and emotions to your partner. You can and should communicate these feelings, but you need to understand that venting at your partner is different from venting with them.
Constant Complaining Breeds Animosity Between Partners
If a person is prone to only notice and obsesses over inconveniences, their negativity will eventually seep into the relationship. Imagine that your partner is waiting at home for you, excited to spend time with you when you return from work. They have looked forward to it all day. Maybe they have something planned, a night out perhaps?
Now, imagine that you return home and the first thing to come out of your mouth is a complaint. “The traffic was so bad I nearly lost my mind!” This initial interaction will now set the mood for the rest of the night.
Let’s say your partner comforts you and hears you out, but you keep projecting a negative attitude, unwilling to resolve your emotions. This will make them feel as if they are not good enough. Why? Because to them, it would seem like they aren’t the help you need. They will feel helpless and pessimistic.
The real problem arises when you fail to realize your tendency of chronic complaining. After a while, there will be a lack of affection between you two, ultimately ending in a failed relationship.
If any of this resonates with you, then now is the time to correct your attitude. Your partner can only do so much before realizing that they cannot help you.
Your Partner Is Not Your Therapist
An ideal relationship is based on trust, love, care, compassion, and loyalty. There are clear boundaries, and the two people look out for each other’s best interests.
In this sense, a helping hand and a shoulder to cry on is not an unrealistic expectation. However, the difference is that partners in healthy relationships don’t overstep their boundaries. On the contrary, they respect the well-being of their partner and are aware of their influence on the other person.
Love, trust, and compassion are beautiful virtues. They make us humans and are integral to a healthy relationship. What is not healthy is expecting your partner to be a therapist for all of your problems in life.
We know that life is often challenging. It has its many downs, and at times, it can be overwhelming. Moreover, many people have unresolved childhood traumas that they unknowingly bring to their adult life. We don’t choose for those things to happen to us, but we can decide what to do about them.
If a person is prone to habitual criticism, constant complaining, and anger issues, they must realize that they need professional help.
Again, your partner is not your therapist. They are not equipped to deal with deeper issues that need professional help. One of the best things one can do for the relationship in such a case is to seek professional help.
Not only will this be monumentally better for the person’s well-being, but it will also show the partner that their better half is considerate and willing to get help.
Am I Supposed to Never Complain?
No, nobody is claiming that. Of course, you are human, and you will need to complain every now and then. However, it is the pattern of endless negativity and criticism that results in damaged relationships.
Successful marriages or relationships of any kind are built upon good communication. Nobody likes to play the guessing game constantly. People need to communicate and resolve their issues, but the important thing is that they get resolved. That something comes out of it. Continuing on the same path even after talking about it is not conducive to a healthy relationship.
Worse yet, insecure people tend to use their negative attitude as a form of manipulation. If their partner notices their chronic negativity, they will use it as an opportunity to blame them for not understanding enough. In reality, all this does is strain the relationship and drastically alter the behavior between couples.
In other words, it is normal to indulge in constructive complaining to arrive at a solution. However, using your partner’s compassion as an excuse to project your insecurities is destructive.
Is it OK to complain to your boyfriend?
It is OK to complain as long as your complaints are constructive and don’t diverge into endless rants that have no resolution. You need to be considerate and not use your boyfriend to take your day out on them.
If they offer help or a solution to your complaint, you need to take a moment to sincerely consider it. This will show them that you are serious about working on your problems and not just ranting about them. Your boyfriend will feel helpful and be content with this role.
How do I stop complaining about everything?
You only have so much energy throughout the day. Whenever you feel like complaining, ask yourself if the thing you are upset about deserves your energy. Think of your brain as a reservoir that has a certain level of energy. Every time you complain or get upset over something, the energy slowly drains.
Thinking about it this way will make you realize that most things in life are not worthy of your attention. The same example works with time. You only have limited time in a day. Do you want to spend it obsessing over small things?
What happens when you complain too much?
Negativity breeds more negativity. It is an endless cycle that eventually ends up destroying a relationship. Too much of anything is bad, and complaining is no different. Relentless complaining or a barrage of criticism wears the people around you down.
You turn into a bitter person that people don’t want to associate with. Ask yourself, would you want to be with someone who constantly sees the bad side in everything and never appreciates the good?
How does complaining affect others?
Constant complaining that is directed towards another person can make them feel worthless. A critical partner who never arrives at a solution but only likes to rant makes the other person feel helpless. If they can’t help you, why wouldn’t they think this way?
They will believe that they are not good enough and perhaps you are unhappy because of them. All these feelings will ultimately culminate into them distancing themselves.
What complaining does to a relationship?
The kind of complaining that we have talked about so far weakens and ultimately destroys a relationship. It breeds an environment of negativity and helplessness. More importantly, it makes the other person feel unappreciated and worthless.
A healthy relationship can only sustain itself when both partners are happy and content. Otherwise, the relationship is destined to fail.