Complainers Damage Neurons in the Brain
Entrepreneur Trevor Blake offers tips to save yourself
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 25, 2012 4:56 PM CDT
Another way to protect your brain from complainers.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – That pain you feel listening to complainers? It's real enough to peel away neurons from your brain and render it pretty much useless, reports Inc. "The brain works more like a muscle than we thought," says Trevor Blake, an entrepreneur who wrote Three Simple Steps: A Map to Success in Business and Life. "So if you're pinned in a corner for too long listening to someone being negative, you're more likely to behave that way as well." But he offers tips for coping:

  • Get Away. Complainers are like chain-smokers who emit dangerous second-hand smoke, so simply move away from them.
  • Ask for a Fix. If you're cornered, suggest that the complainer find a solution. But most will just walk off because they "don't want a solution; they just want you to join in the indignity of the whole thing," says Blake.
  • Protect Yourself. When they just won't stop, delve into your bag of mental self-defense tricks. Imagining a protective, giant bell jar or invisibility cloak might work—or, like Blake, you could see yourself on a far-away island. "I could smile at them and nod in all the right places and meanwhile take myself for a walk on my private beach."
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Showing 3 of 27 comments
Imhotep
Aug 27, 2012 7:48 AM CDT
Great advice. Complaining is addictive. Stop complaining and leave everything as it is. What's the point of complaining. You might be able to change something that's all screwed up. Be complacent. Be happy. Smell the Flowers. Kiss your neighbor. Prance around the neighborhood, Throw your guns in the garbage, Life is a chair of bowlees. Everything is beautiful.
fractal
Aug 27, 2012 2:27 AM CDT
Perhaps complainers are the canaries in the mines, so to speak---the early warning system. I have heard it said that when a business gets a complaint, there are 30 other people who have had the same experience, but didn't complain. And the funny thing is, it is the really adamant complainer, the one that isn't afraid to make a stink, that ends up changing things for the better. They get people talking, and the issue moves up the chain of command.
DougMasters
Aug 26, 2012 8:16 AM CDT
..... I know some complainers. Offering a solution just makes them angry.