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What is the Difference Between Legitimate Complaints and Whining

We have been focused on overcoming complaining and turn this negative habit into contentment, or a feeling of satisfaction with our lives. This probably seems like a big task, but I hope that you have begun to see that it can be broken down into ways that are quite manageable. Today, I would like to help you further along these lines by exploring the difference between legitimate complaint and whining. We have established that there are times in which complaining can be necessary. So how can you ensure your issue is voiced in a way that is productive rather than whiny? Here are some tips.

Legitimate Complaint

ALet's review what's involved with a legitimate complaint. First, you have to know what it is that is truly the cause of your discontent. You must determine if your complaint is a productive one, with a solution, or if it is merely venting your frustration. legitimate complaint avoids being overly critical. It also does not concern things that are out of your control. This is something we discussed in yesterday's post. Complaining about something you cannot change is a toxic habit. When you bring up a complaint that is valid and productive, you are demonstrating a great deal about your own character. This is a good habit that is appreciated by others.


Whining, on the other hand, does the exact opposite. It is an opportunity for venting or getting something off your chest, but it does not have a productive end. It can be annoying to others, aggravated even more so by a particular rise in the pitch and tone of your voice. You know what I am talking about. No one likes a whiner. Whining involves issues that are trivial or that cannot be changed. Therefore, doing so really serves no good purpose.

Ending the Habit

Breaking the habit of whining can be difficult. I would like to offer just a few helpful tips here for you to think about and practice on your own. Over the next few days, try to catch yourself when you complain. Later, make a note of the complaint, its cause, how you felt and whether it was resolved. Seeing a pattern and knowing the triggers of your complaints can help you to recognize and lessen them. The second part of this is to move forward with the intention of making only legitimate complaints. You now know how to form these statements in a way that is productive and that does not put others on the defensive.

There is a significant difference between complaining and whining. The two approaches offer vastly opposing results in your life. With practice and attention, you will find it easier to break the whining habit in favor of airing a complaint that gets results.

Times Will Change by Cindy Rae Fancher

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  • Agreed that there’s a significant difference between complaining and whining. The two are definitely distinct. Whining, is indeed pointless. Thanks for the tips.

  • whining does grate on everyone – the one whining as well as those around.. i try to do exactly what you mention – to pause when i hear myself whining.. and that helps..

  • Hi Martha! Using the positive is always a good move! Certainly makes your thoughts more caring.

    Cindy Rae Fancher
  • Hi Paul! GOOD FOR YOU! You are owning the situation which is always better!!!

    Cindy Rae Fancher
  • Hi Kebba, I don’t know that I have the answer, what do think about asking a series of questions that could perhaps make them more aware and let them know you are hearing them and really want to help with the solution if you can. Something like

    1. What do you think can be done about it?
    2. Why do you think we can make a difference in this issue?
    3. Is this something you or I could do?
    4. If not us, who then and how?
    5. Is there anything you can practically do to get the question or info to the person?
    6. Ok then we agree you will…

    Cindy Rae Fancher

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