An Open Letter To Women Who Constantly Complain But Never Change

Posted on May 6 2013 - 10:46am by Funky Dineva


I just recently had to end a relationship with someone because they complained so much and about everything. Their constant complaining became such an imposition on my life. I would wake up happy, but soon turn frustrated from the burden of trying to get them to see the positive or provide them with  solutions to various comlaints. Just when I thought I was making so headway, they’d return the next day complaining about the same thing and we’d be back at square one. This song and dance drained so much life out of me that my mind, body, and soul went into survival mode and I completely stop answering the phone or text messages. I straight up started ignoring the person in hopes that they would just leave me alone and disappear out of my life. I still get an occasional text message or an email. At times, I want to respond. Then I think about how heavy it was and how daunting of a task it was to be in close proximity of this person, so I refrain.

Last night I stumbled across a letter a woman wrote in Essence Magazine that totally speaks to this situation. The spirit of complaining is a strong viscous one. Rather you are the complainer, or the person who always has to hear the sh!t, you can gain something from reading this. I know the title addresses women, but the message is universal.


Emotional Nudity: An Open Letter To Women Who Constantly Complain But Never Change

Dear Sista Complains A Lot: There is something that I’ve been wanting to say to you and I finally think it’s time. I’m hoping that you can hear me over your constant grumbles of discontent. I’m praying that you can put aside your finger pointing, wailing and yammering for just a few minutes and process what I have to say.

The honest truth is that no matter how much time you spend “venting,” whining or complaining, the only person that can change your situation is you. I’m sorry, but it’s my turn to complain. You need to know that talk without action is just a bunch of noise.

If you are reading this letter and you are not sure if it applies to you, there are a few clear signs that you’re a Constant Complainer: If you call your friends and they don’t answer or call you back. When your sister or best friends constantly says, “Are we back on this subject again?” If your Mama always says, “Baby, just let that go already!” Or, lastly, if your co-workers have stopped inviting you to lunch and wrap things up fast when they see you coming. Those are all sure signs that you are stuck on the “Gripes & Groans” station and you need to change the channel fast.

complaining_01How do I know, well I’ve seen the effects up close and personal. All my life I’ve watched the women around me complain about their lives. They were too afraid or too stubborn to change their circumstances, so they opted to just be angry and complain about them. I watched them as they trudged off to jobs they hated, cussed at kids that hated them and clung to sorry men that didn’t care about them. I watched these women who appeared to be strong cower in the corners of their lives and refuse to step into the light.

As a teenager, I never understood why these women around me would allow their spirits to be so tragically imprisoned. Many of them died wishing for lives that they would never have. I mistakenly thought it was simply the affliction of an older generation. A group of women who did not know they possessed the power to create their own happiness. But that thinking was clearly a mistake.

It appears the disgruntled and disenfranchised spirit is an affliction carried by each generation, and it shows up in exactly the same way. However, I simply refuse to subscribe to delivering mouthfuls of misery about my own existence. Not only does it not help, but it also creates a cycle that has you believing your own bull over time. Did I mention that this behavior also spews negativity all over the other people in your life? Sister, nobody likes or needs that.

Each day I wish for you all to learn how to move from venting to victory over your challenges. If you don’t yet know how to stop the bleeding, that’s okay. But know this: it’s time for you to want to find out. I have some suggestions based on what has worked for others in my life and for me.

Go On a Complaint Diet, Girl!
Limit the number of people and number of times that you vent about a situation, I usually stick with 3. But get it out of your system in the first 72 hours so that you have time to move on. If the situation is long term, move immediately to the next step.

Hatch a Plan
Once you have sat and processed the problem. Come up with a reasonable plan of action to get over it and on with it. Sharing your plan with the same folks you regularly vent to is a great way to let them know you are moving forward, and I’m sure their support will follow.

Execute Said Plan
It does no good to make a plan that you never plant to make good on. If you don’t execute, you will lose both empathy and support from others. People won’t believe in someone who does nothing but complain and never act. If the plan fails or needs to be altered, don’t get discouraged. Simply re-work it and start again, girl.

Celebrate Your Success, Honey!
There is nothing more liberating than looking back at the starting point and seeing how far you have come. Don’t you want to start your journey now?

And, if you are the patient, empathetic friend that feels it’s your duty to listen, I have news for you too: You’re not helping! When you allow someone to go over the same scenario over and over it keeps them stuck at the point of impact. Your job as a friend should be to move them forward, no? Help your sister navigate the storm and head for smoother waters together. Just sitting there and watching your friend sit in her boat and paddle in circles only keeps her stuck and makes you both seasick.

Nakedly Yours,

Jai Stone – The Emotional Nudist

Jai Stone is a socialpreneur, author, syndicated blogger and the founder of the Emotional Nudity Lifestyle Brand. Jai writes about love, life and the pursuit of authentic joy. Follow her on Twitter @JaiStone or visit her blog.

Powerful huh? Thoughts?

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15 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Super Sweety May 7, 2013 at 1:25 pm - Reply

    I needed this in the worse way… not for myself but as confirmation that I am not tripping in the fact that I hate listening to people complain about things that can be fixed or avoided. And what alot of people miss is that if you alter your attitude just a little in a positive direction it will make a drastic difference in how you view all this crap u complain about. I was recently been told by a friend she felt I was not happy for her new found success because i don’t call her as often as I used to and the reason I told her i don’t call was because u complain even with ur new success and it has gotten old!!! I felt bad but I honestly sleep better because she knows why i stopped calling, and i can’t take on the burden of helping the same person see the joy in their llife daily. My toddler knows she has reasons to be happy and not complain. Happines starts with you. I guess everybody mama didn’t teach them that

  2. Tifani May 6, 2013 at 4:28 pm - Reply

    Man this is right on point!!! I work with a complainer and I too had to stop having non-work related covos with her, as she was draining my happy. The worst is I would offer solutions or make suggestions in an effort to help her figure out her problems but she would poo on every one of them, until i finally stop trying to offer anything.

    Janelle, I would like to share this with my mom too as she definitely needs to read it, but alas she wont or she will take it as me attacking her!

  3. VoiceofReason May 6, 2013 at 4:20 pm - Reply

    Amen. Wow, you must have been reading my mind. I’ve worked with a few like that and also have a friend or two like that and when I tell you it alters your mood hearing this bull and it is not even my problem. I listen for a minute, give them my hard, blunt, unvarnished assessment and either they take my advice or keep doing what they are doing, but they can’t come to me about it anymore, because I do not cosign bullshyt! Sorry. If you are expecting sympathy or a shoulder past the first telling, them I am not the one to continue to tell your story because my question is always, “what are YOU going to do?”

    • Shawn E. May 16, 2013 at 3:54 am - Reply

      You are 100% true. I don’t cosign bullish either. I actually had this exact same convo with my best friend a few hours ago. She would complain about her bills but yet she is out buying and spending. She was also complaining about a no good man. I simply let her know that you can change all that, and I’m sick of hearing that it’s everybody’s fault. These complainers live in delusion and don’t want to her the damn truth. Then they get mad at us for not going along with them in a long never-ending cycle. Sorry not interested hunni.

  4. Janelle D. Donald via Facebook May 6, 2013 at 12:52 pm - Reply

    Or is it the forest for the trees.

  5. Nina May 6, 2013 at 12:50 pm - Reply

    How is this waging war on women?!? I cldve sworn I read “this message is UNIVERSAL”…damn how u read an article abt “complaining” then start damn complaining abt the shyt?!? Honey Chile Get Yo LIFE!!! U

  6. Francena McGirt via Facebook May 6, 2013 at 12:39 pm - Reply

    Janelle, I bet you don’t see the year for the days. SMH.

  7. Francena McGirt via Facebook May 6, 2013 at 12:38 pm - Reply

    Funky Dineva, no it didn’t. Review your posts.

  8. Funky Dineva via Facebook May 6, 2013 at 12:24 pm - Reply

    Francena McGirt the entire point of the article went completely over your head. Did you even read it? Di you read the line where i said it was a universal message? Here it is i am trying to share a very powerful message that one woman wrote to all women, but someone had to find a way to send shit left…

  9. Janelle D. Donald via Facebook May 6, 2013 at 11:34 am - Reply

    I would share this wit my mama but she not even gone read it!

  10. Janelle D. Donald via Facebook May 6, 2013 at 11:34 am - Reply

    Complaining is a universal trait as the Doll said before the post gets into the article, but lets not focus on the messenger focus on the message. That’s the problem now eyes always focused on the wrong thing.

  11. Francena McGirt via Facebook May 6, 2013 at 11:24 am - Reply

    Actually scratch that. I don’t care what the deal may be. What I do know is that complaining isn’t a female trait.

  12. Francena McGirt via Facebook May 6, 2013 at 11:23 am - Reply

    I wonder why I see so many black gay men wage open war on women? What is the deal?

    • VoiceofReason May 6, 2013 at 4:26 pm - Reply

      Where in the hell did that come from? I am a black, straight woman and I do not hear men, gay or otherwise complain like some women do. To some, talking is action, which is why some LOVE to do it. To me it is just talking. Women complain about their kids, their no good man, their job, their bills, their weight, their hair … shit that can actually be fixed, but instead they choose to complain about it. Ask any of my friends, I am not the one for that. I don’t burden my friends with my any issues and I don’t want to be burdened either. I am real enough with myself to own the parts I play in a specific situation and if I don’t like what is happening to me, you best believe a change will be made. Talking about it is a waste of time unless you are hatching out your plan.

  13. Tracy M. Fractious via Facebook May 6, 2013 at 11:06 am - Reply

    Wooo lawd!

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