We’ve heard it all before, haven’t we? You know that colleague that never stops complaining but somehow keeps their job? Yes, we are going there today.

And yes, I am complaining about the complainer but there’s more to the point.

CNN is talking about it. The Cornerstone for Teachers talks about it.

The Huffington Post is even talking about it, but not as much as you!

Start now by saying the following: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I can change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. 

The only thing you have control over a toxic complainer is your reaction to them and nothing else.

There is a need to physically distance from them first. Try not to sit near them if possible, so it does not distract you from working.

Your job is to do your job and get it done. If the complainer is interfering with that you need to set boundaries. This may be hard especially if the person is your boss.

The idea is to set some time aside for you to connect, but outside of that time focus on what you need to do. If the complainer complains, it is okay not to respond.

It’s okay to set boundaries and not take the bait. The complainer is looking for an emotional reaction out of you, and when he gets that he wins.

In order for you to best do your job, it is best not to gossip and not to return the emotional turmoil.

Instead of reacting, it is good to ask questions this way you are not on the hook for gossiping too.

Redirect the conversation to something more relevant to doing your job better.

You do not have a job to listen to a colleague complain.

Complaining back to them is not an option either.

Once you set the meeting boundaries, you may have to set messaging boundaries too.

I had a colleague that would complain after we left work. I would either not respond right away, and then when I did I’d either say that I was cooking dinner or I would say let’s talk about it tomorrow.

Listening to a colleague complain is not an effective use of your time.

You can ask them if they still enjoy their job. You can ask them what they can do to solve that problem. You can ask them what they can control and what they can’t.  You can ask them to redirect their issues with another colleague to that specific colleague.

There are ways to combat the complaining by recording the instances to yourself via email, let an HR manager know, and let your direct boss know that it is having a negative effect on your performance.

What strategies have you found helpful when dealing with a constant complainer?

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