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Quit Your Whining: How Negativity Ruins Work

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How many of you either sit next to or deal with a complainer at work? Studies show that you’re not crazy for thinking they totally ruin your productivity.

Every workplace has that one person whose life seems to constantly be falling apart. It seems like not a single positive thing happens to them and they just have to let you know about it. Every single day. You may find yourself having a difficult time concentrating on your work when this individual is around. Maybe you’re the source of the complaints. Whatever the case, you’re not alone. The fine folks over at Huffington Post released an article detailing this exact issue.

whining and worker productivity

© Flickr user karpidis

They show that research into the topic done by Thomas Straube of the University of Muenster and a second completed by Go Okada from Hiroshima University can back up your claim that this person is ruining your work life. Negative words actually impair your ability to form memory associations. Robert Sapolsky, who hails from Stanford Univeristy, researched how stress can affect a part of the brain called the hippocampus. That’s the part of your brain that you use to solve problems and motivates you to take the initiative to complete tasks. Literally: whiny people can actually cause your brain to shrink.

Here at The Methodology Blog, we’ve already mentioned how unruly coworkers can literally drain employee productivity dry. So how can you avoid becoming a complainer and deal with the whiners around you? Huffington Post provided a pretty awesome list. Here are some of our favorites:

Resolve not to be the first to complain about an issue at work.

Lead by example. Don’t jump onto the negative bandwagon. Try to find the positive in every situation. You’ll become the beacon of light at work.

Resolve never to complain about your team to others.

Each department is a unit, but you’re all part of a whole machine. Whining about your own team members not only makes you look bad, but will cast a shadow of doubt on your whole team, including you.

Resolve to limit your grousing to the lunch hour or (better) after work.

Everyone needs to vent, especially about work. Instead of venting about work while you’re actually supposed to be working, try to save it for when you’re out of the building.

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Alyssa Shea

Alyssa Shea

Alyssa Shea transplanted from Illinois to South Carolina. She loves to write, read, and spend time with her dog and her family. Alyssa is very active on social media. She has been part of the AccelaWork team since 2013.
Alyssa Shea

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