― Dennis Prager
A study conducted by the Department of Biological and Clinical Psychology at Friedrich Schiller University in Germany revealed that being in the presence of negative people or people who are complaining constantly caused the subjects’ brains to have the same emotional reactions that they experienced when they were under stress. If complaining evokes similar response in the brain as stress, it’s certainly not good for your health.
Sometimes, we use complaints as a conversation starter. Conversations that start with a complaint often have a domino effect. Complaining can be contagious. It may cause the listener to include his/her complaints in the conversation as well. Though this may make you feel better, as you may think that you are not the only one facing problems, you are not really looking for solutions. When you are always focusing on the negative, it can become extremely difficult to think about the positive. Those who complain are less likely to enjoy life, whereas people who focus on the positive aspects of life are more likely to have a better social life.
Incessantly ranting about things that may or may not be under your control will just cause negative emotions to surface. There’s no denying the fact that physical health and emotional health cannot be separated. Dissatisfaction can cause us to lose our focus, which in turn can affect our productivity. The negativity then begins to manifest in different spheres of their life. Rather than focusing on ways to fix what’s bothering them, complainers are likely to spend time venting their frustration.
While people who are disgruntled and unhappy may join you when you play the victim, there would be others who would start avoiding you because of your negativity. At times, the other person may write you off as a perpetual complainer. Thus, complaining could affect your chance at forming a bond with others. Though venting out your feelings may momentarily improve your state of mind, it could sometimes have an adverse effect on the state of mind of the listener. In a recent study, neuroscientists measured brain activity of people listening to others who were complaining. This particular study stated that the exposure to negativity that arises due to listening to someone complain, can affect the brain’s capacity to solve problems. Though there isn’t conclusive evidence regarding the effect of complaining on one’s problem-solving skills, we do know that being negative does affect your emotional health.