Most of us have worked with a human rain cloud at some point — someone who just couldn’t stop complaining about everything in the office.
Workplace whiners are no fun to be around.
People who are confronted with complainers typically want to walk away, but that’s often “difficult in today’s team-based workplace, where many people work closely in groups,” Sue Shellenbarger writes in the Wall Street Journal.
So, do everyone a favor. Even if you’re having a bad day, avoid subjecting your coworkers to your constant negative attitude. Instead of complaining, take matters into your own hands and make a change.
With that in mind, here are four complaints you should probably avoid bringing up with your colleagues:
‘It’s not my fault’
People who dodge responsibility are the absolute worst.
If you start trying to avoid the blame when you mess up, your coworkers are bound to notice and resent you for it.
“It doesn’t matter who’s right or wrong — all that matters is that the job gets done,” Matt Bodnar, a member of Forbes’ “30 Under 30,” host of The Science of Success podcast, and partner at early stage investment firm Fresh Hospitality, tells Business Insider.
In addition to angering your colleagues, Bodnar adds that this sort of mentality will just stifle your professional development.
“One of the most important lessons shared by everyone from Navy SEALs, to ancient Stoics, to modern day research psychologists is resoundingly clear — the more responsibility you take for your work, the more you achieve,” he says.
‘Why did that person get promoted ahead of me, even though I’ve been here longer?’
It’s disappointing when others are promoted above you and you feel left behind. Still, this sort of question won’t help your situation. In fact, it will just make you look bitter and extremely unprofessional — and your coworkers likely don’t want to hear it.
“No one’s career growth is linear; assuming that you should or must follow a straight path to the top can make you appear arrogant and presumptuous,” Lila Ibrahim, COO at ed tech company Coursera, tells Business Insider.
Instead of sitting around griping about your lack of advancement, she recommends taking responsibility for your own progression.
“If you do bring up the possibility of a promotion, do so in the context of feedback — instead of asking why you haven’t been promoted, ask what you need to do to get to the next level,” she says.
‘You’re the only person I can really learn from here’
“This statement may be intended as a compliment, but it’s more likely to raise alarm bells — you’re portraying a closed-minded attitude toward your career and your team,” Ibrahim says.
That’s a lot of pressure to put on one of your coworkers, and you have no way of knowing whether they really feel the same way about you.
Instead of expressing a negative sentiment about your workplace, Ibrahim recommends thanking your mentor with a statement more along the lines of: “I learn so much when I work with you, and I really appreciate your guidance.”
What’s more, it’s typically better to not just rely on a single mentor’s guidance.
“Ask multiple teammates for feedback on a regular basis, and pay attention to others’ strengths — you’ll likely learn something you can apply in your own work,” Ibrahim says.