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Help-Rejecting Complaining

 

Explanations > Behaviors > Coping > Help-Rejecting Complaining

Description | Example | Discussion | So what?

  

Description

A person becomes upset or otherwise elicits supporting actions from other people. When helpful suggestions or other comfort is offered, however, they reject this and return to their complaint.

Example

A person complains to their partner about problems at work. When the partner suggests ways of resolving the problems the solutions are rejected out of hand and the person continues to complain.

Discussion

If a person who is distressed accepts help, then they also accept the notion that the help will lead to their distress being alleviated. However, if they find the distressful state somehow comforting, or believe that they cannot be helped, then accepting any support puts them into a tricky situation.

Asking for a solution to a problem may also be less about the problem and more about gaining attention. Resolving the problem means losing attention, and so is avoided.

This situation can become a double-bind for the other person, who is required to offer solutions, but who soon finds that no solution will be accepted.

So what?

If others complain to you and do not consider any solutions you offer, then there is little value in continuing to offer solutions. Also consider if you must stay with them at this time.

If you want to help them, sometimes it is enough just to quietly accept them whilst repelling their demands for solution. A way of doing this is to ask them for more detail about the issue, ideally in a way that will lead them towards resolving the issue themselves.

See also

Games, Socratic questioning

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