Seriously, your mom is the only one that cares anymore.
We get it. You had a bad day, long week or month, but so did your sister, neighbor, and the Starbucks barista who gave you your PSL (pumpkin-spiced latte for all of the non-basic b*itches out there) this morning.
Find me someone who has never complained about work. The chances are as rare as finding a unicorn in Narnia. And it’s ok to be annoyed and frustrated with your job—actually, it’s normal.
But what isn’t normal is the constant bitching about it. Especially if you aren’t prepared to do anything about it. Aside from airing your dirty laundry for all to hear, complaining about work is just as infuriating to the person listening as your problems are to you.
Even when talking with a coworker who understands the frustration better than anyone, don’t be that person. The person to start the fire and then watch it spread through the company like the plague. Attitudes are contagious. If you want a more positive environment at work, start with yourself.
Worse than complaining to your coworkers, you’re starting to wear thin with friends. Sure, they are your confidants and will be there to support you, but it’s time to put a cap on it. Literally. Give each other 10 minutes to get it all out, when time is up, so are both of you. Be done complaining and move on to a different and more positive topic. Wine Wednesday dinner is supposed to be fun. Don’t turn it into a bitchfest.
I’m not saying to never complain again; that would be insane. But it’s time for us all to become more aware of how our words and attitudes are affecting our work and not the other way around.
Curbing your complaints won’t happen overnight. But I can tell you what’s helped me: I think of all my conversations as networking events. You wouldn’t bad mouth your current job to a potential new job. If you’re having a bad day, keep it short and simple. Tell them the positives, even if it was what you had for lunch or that short walk around the building.
The more you continue to complain about work, the less people want to hear it. So before you start losing friendships at work (and outside of work) because of it, learn to keep the complaints to a minimum. And if you ever find yourself spewing with complaint after complaint, your mom will always be willing to listen.