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Fr Jim Cogley

Everyone complains some of the time and there are some who do it all of the time. These could be classed as serial complainers. All complainers feel perfectly justified and think that its healthy to ‘vent’ one’s anger and annoyance. Yet psychological research shows that venting anger in the form of complaining just makes people angrier. Still, it is also true that airing a grievance is known to reduce anger. These two are almost the same thing, but there is one essential difference and that is who we are talking to. If you have a problem with Peter and you tell it to me, that is complaining, and doesn’t help matters. However if you air your grievance with Peter then the feelings of annoyance will dissipate. This means that if the person who is ‘venting’ really wants to feel better, it needs to be with the person who can do something about the complaint.


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