What Is Therapeutic Complaint?

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Welcome to the third and final part on our series revolving around the topic of complaining. We’ve already covered constructive criticism and the most dangerous type of complainer. Today, I’d like to bring to your attention… therapeutic complaints – as I like to call them. These are complaints where you, at your core, really don’t even mean what you’re saying. You’re just kind of trying to make sense of why you’re frustrated.

Therapeutic complaints can be dangerous, however, if you’re doing it with the wrong person.

Can I tell you the best person in the world to use for therapeutic complaints? Well, maybe it’s OUT of this world. The best is God. I mean, God is there for you to hear your complaints and he’s okay with you being frustrated. And He will help you sort these things out.

But sometimes you just actually need to hear your own voice and have somebody else nod and laugh and know that you’re just getting it off your chest. You know, it’s the same as punching a mattress to help let things go. So, harmless.

This particular kind of complaint is never intended to go anywhere.  It’s not supposed to. The function it serves is just to help you feel better.

I hope you have someone who feels like your sister or brother (need not be related). Where, you know, that level of trust is secure. You so get each other that apologizing is superfluous. There’s no reason to say, “You know I don’t mean this, right?” 

That’s the only kind of person you should be doing therapeutic complaint with. It’s safe and they know you’re just venting.

Listen, I’m a boss, right? I mean, I have employees and I actually want them to know they should complain about me to their spouse, family, and friends. Yet, I don’t want the staff complaining about me to fellow co-workers because that could undermine the atmosphere at work and be seen as gossiping. Seems like that wouldn’t be the most constructive use of one’s time at the office, if you ask me.

We all get frustrated at times! We might not even be sure why it is that we are, so therapeutic complaint can help us sort out where our head is and what it is we’re distressed about. As a result of unleashing in this manner, anxiety is relieved.

Just knowing that there’s someone out there who completely understands is everything.

Therapeutic complaints are the kind where you call up your sister and say, “Oh Lord, mom is driving me crazy!” But you couldn’t say that to your dad because he might relay it to your mom. You don’t really truly mean it, anyway, because you love your mom, of course. It’s just nice to have someone with whom you can confide in and get issues off your chest. Ya feel?

Your intentions are never cruel and the person you’re venting to knows that. It’s just to blow off some steam and kind of make sense of it.

Recommendation: Finish any type of therapeutic complaint with a moment of gratitude.

Example… while a girlfriend of mine called to tell me how her husband was driving her bonkers with his oral hygiene (he wouldn’t use floss!), she also noted, “However, I do have to say, he is kicking butt right now in helping me with our business and I just – I don’t even know how I ended up with a guy like this. He’s so awesome and – I don’t even know how he puts up with me!”

Seems like that conversation ended with a ton of gratitude, huh?! Most noteworthy!

And here’s hoping you have someone in your life to engage in therapeutic complaint with!


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