Do the chronic whiners (a/k/a pouters) in your life totally exhaust you with even the mere thought of them? They do me. Instantly exhausting to be around. De-energizing no matter how much we try to deep breathe or otherwise ignore them.

These folks are only happy if they are UN-happy about something – ANY thing – no time for useless positive attitudes.

Now I am not talking about the need for all of us to have valued confidantes with whom we can let off steam every now and then. These folks patiently and quietly listen if that’s what we need as we absorb and face a shock, deep hurt or another stumbling block in our lives. And, if we need to brainstorm a solution or two, we can discuss ideas and possible solutions in confidence with these angels on earth. Bless them!

Those with reasonably-balanced positive personalities know that chronically negative attitudes only create more pain ultimately. Like all humans, positive folks are not without flaws and they make their fair share of mistakes throughout their lives. They do, however, understand that life ain’t always fair or smooth-flowing. Crap really does happen – often totally out of the blue. They know, too, the uselessness and negativity generated by:

chronic, poor-me pouting that is totally non-productive
recognizing “stuff” happens and there’s no value in resisting what is
so let’s just deal with the mess, find a solution and move on.

Back to the chronic whiners and pouters of the world…usually the glass half empty types as some may describe them. So – What do they do exactly?

For starters, they go to great lengths to gain sympathy from others on what can seem like a daily basis. They want everyone to feel sorry for them regarding their latest, “OMG” crisis. And, they are the absolute pros at escalating even the slightest little bump in the road into an all alert crisis mode. Their story telling skills are above average based solely on their abilities to quickly “paint” and smoothly exaggerate the smallest of details. These naysayers are so busy escalating the descriptions of their latest “tragedies” that they may begin believing their very own grossly exaggerated yarns. They exert their dangdest efforts to convince you that they are the poor victims of whatever situation they are blowing up to be their current, horrific crisis of the moment.

All About MeBottom line: Chronic Whiners and pouters are manipulators. Energy-zappers. They are all about themselves. Each must drink daily from the largest of an “It’s All About Me” mug*:

And, worse, it seems as if they are literally always in crises — one right after another. They exhaust everyone around them. Heck, they exhaust themselves! The chronically negative literally seem not to be satisfied unless ¬¬grumbling over something or someone.

Now, I am not trained in psychology, but based on my life experiences in the workplace and personally, chronic pouters and whiners are obviously and generally quite self-centered (duh!). The best interest of others seems to be the furthest thing from their minds.

This alone, exposes their family members, friends and co-workers to their toxicity. Even more disgusting? The ones who use their whiny, pouty tricks to manipulate others unfairly, untruthfully in many cases and definitely with a “What’s in It For Me?” focus. Sadly, those “others” are usually trusting, kind men and women who for whatever reason just cannot see that they are being repeatedly manipulated, disrespected and simple put — used. They see only the manipulator’s good qualities (and even the whiners and pouters of the world usually have good qualities). Or, maybe they are not really in the dark at all and for whatever their reasons, they opt to stay silent. They find another way to endure the non-ending annoyance of it all.

I for one believe that for our mental health and the quality of our lives that we all need to recognize who the chronic pouters and whiners are in our lives. As uncomfortable as it may be, we must see them for what they really are. It’s not what we may want to see and many of us may prefer to believe that maybe – just maybe – they really will change for the better one day. Or, maybe not. Either way, we cannot control the complaining ad nauseam personality of another person, but fortunately, we do have control over how we allow others to treat us.

Certainly, there are those situations with family members and co-workers where we do not have the control to remove their presence in our lives. There are protective ways, however, that we can improve and strengthen our actions and reactions to their toxicity. If a few tips in doing so interests you, please read my former post “Mental Health & Toxic People

When we can control our exposure to chronically “poor me” types, it can still be awkward at best and a downright tough choice in some cases. We must, however dig deep if necessary to dig up the courage and determination to distance ourselves from these energy-sucking real life “germs.” Life’s too short not to do so. It’s so much healthier to re-direct the energies to the wonderful and positive people in our lives and away from the pouters.

Just as importantly, let’s check and fine-tune ourselves daily to ensure our own attitudes are where they need to be. Even the best of positive attitudes can be knocked off course occasionally, but we must always remember stand ready to re-adjust as needed. A quick self-audit is to ask ourselves what kind of “trail” we want to leave behind us after we leave others:

a lousy after-feeling — “Thank heavens they are gone!”
be remembered as an upbeat, positive moment in the midst of their busy day?

I for one, opt for the latter.

*[The mug in the picture is sold by Café … .and no, I am not given any incentives to push their “stuff.” They only know me as an occasional customer who appreciates their existence! I really like this mug, however, and own several to use in my self-accountability and motivational workshops.]

Image of Things That Get My Goat

About the author 

Nancy Byerly Jones

Nancy Byerly Jones and her husband reside on their mountainside ranch (“Little Hee Haw Farm”) with an energetic “family” of horses, donkeys (large and miniature), dogs and cats. Their favorite pastime is sharing the joy and fun of their animals and ranch life with their family, friends and clients.

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