People & Human Resources

The perils of workplace complaining

Eve Ash /

We live in a very dissatisfied society. Despite the general living standards and levels of luxury being higher than ever we are seeing increased levels of stress, anxiety and depression. There is a huge emphasis on what the next step is, on what we want to move towards and about doing things on a bigger and better scale.

But what about stopping and appreciating what you currently have?

Complaining is a common office pastime and also one that reduces morale. We all get frustrated and irritated from time to time, but some people have built a long-standing habit of spending too much of their time complaining instead of appreciating. So many people complain about their workload but many unemployed would happily trade places. Projects at work are an opportunity to strut our stuff and achieve something.

This dissatisfaction drive is making a lot of people miserable. And managers are expected to lead by example, lead with a positive mood and create a positive culture.

Incredibly, it has been reported that one Melbourne-based learning institution has staff that will campaign against imposed measures for a positive working environment – the reason provided was that a university should have staff members that think critically. There are various shades of negativity, being jaded, being critical, naivety and positivity. Positivity is one of several approaches to a given situation. It needs to be based on fact – it is not mutually exclusive to thinking critically on a project.

Gratitude and positivity are habits that can really offset the impact of stress and overload with work. They are attitudes and have associated skills that can and should be built up over time. There is a great social media campaign at the moment called Grateful in April in which people broadcast something they are grateful for, every day for a month. This is a great challenge for anyone that feels they are stuck in a rut, or have tendencies towards being negative.

The alternative is to pursue a mindset of negativity and of constantly wanting what you don’t have. It obviously doesn’t sound too appealing, yet so many people live this way.

Luckily, we all have the choice.

Take some time today to think about the things you are grateful for – it can be incredibly motivating! Having a job, some great friends and family support are reasons to feel confident and happy with life.

Eve Ash has produced a wide range of resources and written books like Rewrite Your Life! to help people develop skills to ensure a positive productive future.

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Eve Ash

Eve Ash is a psychologist, author, filmmaker, public speaker and entrepreneur. She runs Seven Dimensions, a company specialising in training resources for the workplace.

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