Post # 1
I have this colleague who complains all day every day. I have a sore neck, I didn’t sleep last night, I have the flu (he missed a day of work, for this ‘flu’ that was actually a head cold that lasted 4 days!), I have a sore back, I’m bored (I say ‘well you can do XYZ for me if you like’ he’ll say no, I’ll say ‘well don’t complain to me about being bored when I am swamped with work and not enough time to do it’), I’m sick, I have a migraine, I have something in my eye, I’m allergic to something, please take a photo of my rash….the list goes on and on. It drives me insane. I don’t think we’ve had a single day where he hasn’t complained about something! I think the problem is that his wife panders to his every request/complaint/ailment, so he expects the same from everyone else. I am sure he’s a hypochondriac.
My best friend has a lot of health problems- trigenimal neuralgia, vertigo, diabetes, did her ACL, had to have a major leg operation where they cut out some of her femur and has had complications from that (I bumped into her randomly at the radiology dept and I asked what she was doing, she said ‘dr thinks I might have a DVT’, she hadn’t even told her boyfriend because she didn’t want to worry him!) – but she never complains. I will ask her how she’s going, she’ll tell me and I’ll be shocked, and she has the ‘shit happens, what can you do?’ approach. She has never been the type to seek pity. She’s an absolute trooper!
Do you know a career complainer? How do you deal with them?
Post # 3
@Deejayelle: I rephrase what they are saying- that way they hear what they sound like and clearly it means that you listened.
Complainer “My neck is SO sore”
Me ” your neck is sore”
Complainer – “yeah I mustve slept on it wrong”
me- “yeah you mustve slept on it wrong or something”
complainer “yeah I may need to get a new pillow”
Me- “you def need to get a new pillow”
Complainer- “yeah Im gunna get a new pillow”
— me- just nod and say OK
— I keep it monotone, I dont use inflections (to sound like questions). I just restate it. Eventually theres nothing more they can say. You clearly are hearing them out- but not giving sympathy, or asking questions– and the conversation will ALWAYS die out or they will turn the conversation to something else. Try to switch up how you rephrase it so it doesnt sound like you are repeating them.
Post # 4
I have a frenemy/colleague that’s like this. Holy fuck he’s the biggest hypochondriac ever. No lie, he’s convinced he has a new terminal illness every week. Or he’s upset that someone commented something negative on his Facebook post, even though he chooses to have 4800 friends and to make literally 12 posts a day.
At this point in my relationship with this person, I’m just blunt. The trick for me is to refuse to validate it. It’s pretty hard to have a one sided conversation.
Him: “What are the symptoms for colon cancer? I’ve been having really bad stomach pains lately.”
Me: “Why are you talking to me about your personal health concerns? Make a doctors appointment.”
Him: “I can’t believe so-and-so said that about my Facebook post… I’m so hurt.”
Me: “Then deactivate Facebook. Nobody forces you to be on there.”
Post # 5
@SparkleBee11: That’s the *best* approach I’ve ever heard for people like that. Genius!