How to Deal With Coworkers Who Complain About Everything

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Dealing With Coworkers Who Complain About Everything

We all have at least one coworker who is a chronic complainer and never has anything positive to say. This can be emotionally draining, and all too often, lead to an uncomfortable, unproductive, and hostile work environment.

Many employees don’t know that the right way to air grievances about annoying colleagues is to file a formal complaint to Human Resources. Employee complaints are critical to the drafting of HR reports, which highlight staffing-related matters to upper management and help create a better workplace.

In this article, we’ll show you how to deal with coworkers who complain non-stop the right way. We’ll also introduce an option for you to file reports anonymously with DoNotPay!

How to Differentiate Between Constructive and Destructive Complaints

Complaints can be constructive and yield positive outcomes if presented appropriately. If you are an employee, learn how to make constructive complaints and avoid destructive criticisms. If you are a manager, consider training sessions for your employees to create a better work environment! Here are some ways to distinguish constructive and destructive complaints:

Constructive ComplaintsDestructive Complaints
Raised at appropriate times Complains about any slight discomfort
Filed to the appropriate authorities Complains to everyone
Proposes long-lasting solutionsBlames others
Focuses on root problems Addresses and obsesses over the symptoms

5 Ways to Graciously Handle a Constantly Complaining Coworker

Here are five ways to address an office complainer with compassion ― without adding hostility to the workplace.

  1. Ask for Solutions – Ask questions such as “How would you change this?” or “What would you have done differently?” These questions could turn destructive complaints into constructive ones.
  2. Call it Out – Get straight to it and point out that you don’t want to hear complaints at the office. Beware though, you should only call it out when you have a close relationship.
  3. Keep Interactions Brief – Keep conversations with your complaining coworker as short as possible. You can tactfully exit the conversation by validating their complaints with “I would feel the same way” and then noting that you have a meeting to attend.
  4. Redirect the Conversation – Remind them about the appropriate channels to air grievances, such as writing a complaint letter or filing a report with Human Resources. You may also change the subject to something else. It can be about your personal life, travel plans, or the new ice cream shop down the road.
  5. Involve the Manager – If none of the tactics above work and the complaining coworker is undermining your productivity, consider escalating it to your boss. You have to be careful with this approach as it could make you look like the complainer.

Complain the Right Way With DoNotPay!

DoNotPay’s new Anonymous HR Complaints product lets you file a complaint without revealing your identity. All you have to do is:

  1. Log in to and choose the Anonymous HR Complaints product.
  2. Enter the employer's name.
  3. Explain the issues you are having and what action needs to be taken.
  4. DoNotPay will automatically mail the report anonymously on your behalf!

DoNotPay Is Always by Your Side

In addition to filing formal complaint letters, DoNotPay can help with day-to-day issues all done by our trusty robot lawyer! Take a look at what else we can offer:

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