Do You Love to Complain?

You won’t Believe what Happened to Me Today…

Are you the victim of bad drivers, rude salespeople, annoying co-workers, or bosses that never give you credit for anything?

How many times does it take you to get a problem resolved with a bill, purchase, etc?

My wife and I have a standing joke that we always have to ask at least 2 different people at a company or agency what to do about a problem, since we’re not likely to get the right answer the first time.

Sometimes it seems like the whole world is conspiring to give you grief.

No wonder that you feel like complaining to anyone who will listen!

It’s so easy to slip into negativity, even when that accomplishes nothing.
And negativity is one of the most powerful ways to sabotage your own personal growth.

The No Complaining Rule
Jon Gordon recently released The No Complaining Rule, a book that tells how negativity destroys personal and corporate health.

Jon’s earlier books are about personal energy.
In those books he teaches you how to raise your energy level.

Why is that important?
It’s critical that you have enough energy to achieve the dreams that are important to you, while keeping up with our increasingly complex world.

His new book is written as a business story.
Have you ever read a book in that style?

Some people love them, while other people who read them are just waiting for the author to get to the point.

Stories are often a great way to pass ideas.
Our brains love stories, and the contents of the story often make a deep impression on us.

Have you ever wanted to make a change to your behavior or attitudes?
Stories are a particularly powerful way to sneak challenging ideas into our heads, and start the process of change.

Complaints into Solutions
Jon’s book is self-described as “A story about positive ways to turn complaints into solutions, innovations, and success.”

When someone discovers, or has important insight into a problem, they might write about it without providing any action plan.

That’s ok.
The writer wants to raise awareness about a problem that has no clear solution yet.

But in a way, it’s like making a valid complaint.
The company should hear the complaint, but unless that company tries to address the issue and find a solution, the only consequence of the complaint may be the negativity that it spreads.

Jon’s book points out some of the key dangers of negativity. For example:

  • Negativity costs between 250-300 Billion/year in lost productivity
  • 90% of doctor visits are stress related, and #1 cause of office stress is coworkers and their complaining
  • Negativity affects the morale, performance, and productivity of teams
  • One person can’t make a team, but one can destroy it. Just one negative person can create a miserable environment for everyone else

And negativity isn’t only a problem in the workplace.
Negative emotions are associated with:

  • Health problems, and shorter life span
  • More pain
  • Less Energy
  • Fewer friends
  • Less success

Jon’s book doesn’t just complain about the hazards of negativity. He offers solutions including: the no complaining rule, three no-complaining tools, 5 things to do instead of complaining, and corporate and personal action plans.

You might be thinking:
This is ridiculous. If I eliminate complaints, I’ll never consider the risks or downside to my plans.

And you’re sort of right.
This book is not about completely eliminating complaints.

It’s about using complaints in a balanced way, tied to solutions.
Jon’s book is about eliminating mindless complaining, breaking out of a negative mindset where complaining is done for its own sake.

As an example, here’s Jon’s No complaining rule:
“Employees are not allowed to mindlessly complain to their coworkers. If they have a problem or complaint about their job, their company, their customer, or anything else, they are encouraged to bring the issue to their manager or someone who is in a position to address the complaint. However, the employees must share one or two possible solutions to their complaint as well.”

What’s Missing?
Is there anything missing from this book?

Jon doesn’t give you an important warning.
This rule won’t work for every company.

Why not?
True, these are simple and incredibly powerful ideas.

But, the ideas in this book offer a fundamental change in the mindset of a corporation and its employees.

The No complaining rule must be implemented at every level of the organization to succeed.

A company’s leadership must commit itself to this change personally, to set an example for everyone else.

Fundamental personal or corporate change is hard, and some people, leaders or not, are not willing to face it.

Still, there are many companies that will be able to implement this new mindset in the organization, and benefit tremendously.

Is your company one of these?

(Take a look at The No Complaining Rule at, or Jon’s website for more information.)

6 comments to Do You Love to Complain?

  • Great article, so true, we need to be very alert to this, with lots of self control and love in the heart. Thanks for sharing your wise thinking.

  • Hey Joel,

    Another spot on post. I was reading (and posting on) a conservation blog where people are complaining about their lack of power to change things. I think your post fits that group as well.

    The book may be written for the business environment, but it sure sounds like it applies to all organizations.

  • I never expected to read so many negative points regarding complaints.
    A real eye-opener for me. This post makes me wary of future complaints, and gives me ideas to counsel those who like to complain. Thanks.

  • Thanks for all you do in helping me fulfill my dreams.,

  • It’s a very good site !! Very nice work, admin :) Good luck !,

  • Good article. I once explained to a friend that I no longer could just listen for hours to her complaining about co-workers but I would be more than happy to listen if it was for the purpose of coming up with solutions to be able to make her time spent at work better and deal with her co-workers in a way that had a positive effect on her. She stopped calling me lol. So some really do just want to complain and don’t want a solution… the a real question is also how to remove from a company that which no longer meets its needs or serves the goals of the company.

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