Image of a person with eyes closed and thinking blog post Akshata Shanbhag

Coping Strategies for Dealing with Chronic Complainers


Encountering various individuals throughout our lives is inevitable. However, there are some who constantly complain, not only about their own lives but also about others. Regardless of your efforts to help them, they remain unhappy, dissatisfied, and critical. Pleasing such individuals is challenging because they possess a preset mindset to mock you regardless of your actions. So, what can you do with such people? While you cannot change them, you can change how you feel and react to their behaviour.

I have begun to incorporate this approach into my life, and it’s truly making a difference. Regardless of our efforts, pleasing such individuals is often impossible. Instead, redirecting that energy towards something beneficial for oneself, personal growth, and mental well-being proves more fruitful. Ultimately, what matters most is finding peace within oneself. Importantly, avoid expecting anything in return, as expectations often lead to disappointment. Remember, you are important.

Here are some strategies to cope with such people:

  • Set Boundaries: Establish clear boundaries to protect your mental well-being. Limit your exposure to their negativity and refrain from engaging in futile arguments or trying to change their perspective.


  • Practice Empathy: While it may be difficult, try to understand where their negativity stems from. They might be dealing with their own insecurities, frustrations, or past traumas. This doesn’t excuse their behaviour, but it can help you empathise and detach emotionally.


  • Focus on Solutions, Not Complaints: When interacting with them, try to steer the conversation towards constructive solutions rather than dwelling on complaints. Offer support if they are open to it, but don’t force your help if they’re not receptive.


  • Maintain Positivity: Surround yourself with positive influences and activities that uplift your mood. Cultivate gratitude and focus on the good things in your life, rather than dwelling on negativity.


  • Practice Self-Care: Take care of yourself physically, emotionally, and mentally. Engage in activities that bring you joy and relaxation, whether it’s exercise, hobbies, spending time with loved ones, or practising mindfulness.


  • Seek Support: If the negativity starts to affect your mental health, don’t hesitate to seek support from friends, family, or a therapist. Talking to someone who understands can provide valuable perspective and validation.


Remember that you are not responsible for their happiness or satisfaction. Redirecting your energy towards your own growth and well-being is not selfish; it’s necessary for your own mental health and happiness. By prioritising self-care and setting boundaries, you can maintain your peace of mind even in the face of negativity.


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