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Most of us know one or two help rejecting complainers. It can be tempting to get frustrated, give up, or get “even,” but when we react out of frustration instead of responding with kindness, we actually reinforce the beliefs that support the behavior.

Complaining is the only type of support-seeking some people know. Complaining engages others because we 1. Empathize, recalling similar struggles of our own, and 2. Get excited about sharing tools and resources that worked for us.

But the help rejecting complainer typically isn’t able to put solutions into action- perhaps because solving the problem would result in having to scramble to find a new problem to access the support they need, or because hope that a situation could change can actually be a really, really painful thing to engage.

Set boundaries, share your reaction in a kind/non-judgemental/authentic way, and encourage professional support if appropriate.

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