Summary of How Happy People Complain

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Is complaining helpful or harmful? While it is sometimes equated with whining, venting frustrations can have positive effects when done correctly. New York Magazine’s Kristin Wong uses expert research to explain why certain “venting” approaches get better results and have a more positive effect on mental health and productivity. Wong also offers four practical suggestions for complaining well. getAbstract recommends this article to everyone looking to learn more positive ways to deal with grievances. 

About the Author

Kristin Wong is a freelance writer and journalist specializing in travel, personal finance, the economy, and human behavior. She has written for Lifehacker, New York Magazine, Mental Floss and NBC News. 



Research published in the European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology found that, while complaining may feel like a relief in the present, it often decreases individuals’ overall contentment over time. But other studies found complaints can sometimes prove beneficial – when the “venting” occurs in a strategic, mindful manner.

Try four ways of ensuring your complaints generate positive, rather than negative, effects:

  1. Make a “complaint sandwich” – When the goal of your complaint is to correct...

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