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Title: Addiction to Complaining Author: Margaret Paul, Ph.D. E-mail: mailto:email@example.com Copyright: © 2005 by Margaret Paul URL: http://www.innerbonding.com Word Count: 723 Category: Self Improvement
Addiction to Complaining By Margaret Paul, Ph.D.
Complaining is a way of life for some people. It was certainly a way of life for my mother. I donít remember a day going by without her complaining, endlessly. I donít think I ever heard a word of gratitude out of my motherís mouth. No matter how good things were, she would manage to find something wrong. No matter how perfect I was Ė and God knows I tried to be perfect! Ė she always found something wrong with me, as well as with my father.
Over years of counseling others, Iíve noticed that some people start every session with a complaint. They canít seem to help it. Like my mother, they are addicted to complaining.
Why do people complain? What is it they want or hope for when they complain?
People who complain are generally people who have not done emotional and spiritual work of developing a loving, compassionate inner adult self. They are operating as a wounded child in need of love, attention and compassion. Because they have not learned to give themselves attention and compassion they need, they seek to get these needs met by others. Complaining is a way they have learned to attempt to get this. They use complaining as a form of control, hoping to guilt others into giving them attention, caring and compassion they seek.
Complaining is a ďpullĒ on other people. Energetically, complainers are pulling on others for caring and understanding because they have emotionally abandoned themselves. They are like demanding little children. The problem is that most people dislike being pulled on and demanded of. Most people donít want emotional responsibility for another person and will withdraw in face of anotherís complaints.
This is what my father did. He withdrew, shut down, was emotionally unavailable to my mother as a way to protect himself from being controlled by her complaints. Of course, he didnít just do this in response to my mother. He had learned to withdraw as a child in response to his own motherís complaints and criticism. He entered marriage ready to withdraw in face of my motherís pull, while she entered marriage ready to make my father emotionally responsible for her. A perfect match!