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Ways to Deal with Constant Complaining

As a caregiver you might often be subject to constant complaining from your loved one. The source of negativity can arise from many different places. Pain, illness, frustration, confusion, anxiety and self-pity are but a few. Regardless, dealing with it can be very difficult. Here are some tips to consider that might help make both your life and your loved one’s a bit easier.

  • Have a doctor evaluate your loved one to find out if the constant complaining stems from depression. Perhaps medication can help improve their mental state.

  • See if it’s possible to redirect your loved one’s negativity by telling jokes or funny stories from the past. Play some favorite games, music or watch a television show to lighten the mood.

  • For every negative comment your loved one makes, see if you can balance it with a positive comment. For example, counter a complaint about not being able to accomplish a certain task with praise for something they are able to do.

  • If your loved one directly criticizes you, ask yourself if the criticism is coming from some frustration or anger, and that you just happen to be the convenient target. Don’t take the criticism personally, but see it as a means for your loved one to vent or cope with whatever is bothering them.

  • Think about how the dynamics of your relationship have changed, and how the roles have reversed and this can be difficult to accept and can lead to resentment. Realize that no matter what you do, there are probably going to be complaints and negativity.

It’s difficult, but it is possible, to train yourself to stop reacting negatively to your loved one’s negativity. For each complaint, see if you can find something to be thankful about in your life and switch your thought to gratitude. You need to remember your own emotional health and be kind to yourself, as well as praise yourself for all that you do.

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