The Terrible Trio—Vampires, Victims, and Whiners (oh my!)

© Rinderart |

© Rinderart |

Part 3:  The Whiner

Ah, whiners.  Instead of telling you what can be done, whiners spend hours vividly outlining what can’t be done and why. Had whiners ruled the world, we’d still be sitting in our caves, huddled around the fire complaining that we can’t find the remote control.

Whining is an attempt to “one-up” others by dismissing all possibilities before anyone has a chance to make a suggestion. Oddly enough, while a whiner’s statement may sound definite, the bluster is actually born of insecurity. Although they have enough mental sharpness to point out problems, they don’t have enough confidence to work at resolving them.  Many people who grow up to be whiners learned early on in life that they could get more attention and by voicing a complaint than by trying to correct a situation.

There isn’t much room for someone like that in a workplace where team members want to rock or in an office where everyone is willing to carry their weight and then some.

Of course, this is not to say that there will never be any whining again, ever. Sometimes it goes with the human condition.  And if we’re honest with ourselves, we have to admit that we’ve ALL have had our moments of whining.

We all have our occasional pity parties or bouts of attention seeking. Despite our knowing how whining can negatively impact others and render us ineffective, there’s a remote chance we might once again choose to uncork that bottle of whine. We’re only human.

Although the ugly truth is that there’s nothing attractive about whining, there are ways to prevent and avoid the condition in ourselves AND in others.  The key is to name it, to make it public, to give ourselves and others permission to laugh it away.

Forge an agreement in your workplace to drive whining away once and for all by flashing the “W” sign—three fingers extended—whenever anyone starts to whine, moan, or groan.  It’s a humorous, non-threatening reminder to stop whining and start creating a solution.

Whenever someone gets the sign, they must agree to stop IMMEDIATELY.  The usual result is a good-natured laugh.  Make sure you distribute the sign evenly around the office—don’t gang up on a single person—and be sure to handle your own occasional dips into Whine Country with good humor and honesty.

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