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The Irritable Griper

Updated on November 24, 2012

I'm going to start this article and focus it on something you don't hear that much about. There is certainly not a medical term for it and googling it brings up for very little although I did find a couple of really interesting blogs which had nothing to do with someone who finds fault in something 99% of the time. One of the blogs did offer some really interesting, very fascinating posts though which had more to do with what's in the news than anything else.

A constant complainer is more than someone who posts some satyrical rants and raves a few times a week to boost the ratings on his blog(or someone who just likes to write and bash people, someone like me) but someone who actually suffers from a yet unrecognized medical illness.

What started this whole fascination with griping/complaining was an argument my husband and I had this morning. Before I'd even had my bowl of cereal he was on a tangent about my having to call the power company with his cell phone. What started out as a relatively good morning turned sour within seconds and a good old fashioned hoedown started.

Now when it comes to griping I'm no newbie. My father was a constant complainer. He griped from sun up to sun down every single day. I think he went to bed at night and made a mental list of the things he was going to gripe about the next day. And nothing was sacred. He griped about literally everything from my mother and me to stuff he saw on TV to the politicians. He could make a rally out of it. And after my Mother's stroke(I'll go into the devastating effects of stroke in another article) what was once her taking his griping in stride became her own worst enemy of constant complaining on her part. Saturday was my mother's gripe day(or what I called national gripe day) as she could not only gripe but scream until my head felt as though it were going to explode.

This is very draining. And not only is it draining but it can be extremely toxic. The griper doesn't realize and may not care how his behavior effects others only that it gets him his way or some other release that only griping will bring.

There is no good to complaining. It brings nothing worthwhile to the table and while it is not only toxic it is negativity at it's worst.

If you've ever been around someone who complains all the time you know how hard it can be to deal with. It can be downright impossible to handle and can bring on your own griping. But too much of this emulation even if in response to a complainer can bring you to what one therapist calls Irritable Gripe Syndrome. My dad suffered from this in a big way.

A complainer is someone who is generally negative and nothing you say will change his negative speech and behavior. It is up to you to change yours. But if you live with someone who gripes constantly you may find it increasingly difficult not to fall into the negaholic's footsteps.

The next time you feel a gripe session coming on instead try to find something positive to say. Limit your griping to no more than a few minutes. If your griping is the result of trying to get something done, trust me, continued griping will not produce the effect you are hoping for but may end up backfiring in your face. Not only will the gripee not listen to what you are saying you may give birth to your own personal griper.

After listening to someone complain long enough it gets hard not to have a rant of your own. What started out as the griper dishing it out and the gripee taking it ends up being the gripee indulging in a vigorous rant session that can surpass yours by a mile. With the added bonus of said gripee realizing how much he/she really enjoys this newfound hobby. None of this is positive nor is it going to produce positive results.

It is normal to gripe some. There are times in life that inconveniences and challenges make it impossible not to gripe. But the chronic complainer will invent things to gripe about, they will foster situations that give them a reason to complain, they look forward to it, they blame others, they often can't help/control themselves and most of all anything can bring on a rant. In fact, I believe that ranting gives the ranter a sense of release that makes him enjoy it. Why else would someone complain relentlessly? It only produces a negative response.

If you happen to be the griper, try to find ways to control your negative behavior. If in fact you can't seek professional help. If you are the gripee(the one listening to the rants) tell the griper in a calm voice that you don't appreciate his/her complaining and you would like for him/her to stop. If that doesn't work(and it probably won't) ask the griper what you can do to lessen his/her stress level so that he/she will feel less stressed. You can also try not to do whatever it is that annoys the griper. If it's something within your control. Most gripers complain about many things much of what has absolutely nothing to do with you. But if there are things that aggravate the griper that you can change, change them. If none of this works it's time to tell him/her nicely that it's time to seek help.

You must also realize that gripers like to be catered to however and griping has been a lifelong way of getting people to do what they want. This is why pre teens and teens complain all the time. This is how they get their way and with boundless amounts of energy they often outlast their parents. Old habits die hard and letting go of this behavior can be difficult and challenging because this may be the way the complainer gets what he wants. It can most definitely be an emotional tug of war.

Since most of these behaviors are learned in childhood it sometimes takes a professional to iron out the kinks. And this is the route I suggest if the griper simply can't bring his negative behavior under control. Whatever path you choose be patient.


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