Complaining about your job can actually make your job seem worse. Researchers have concluded that “sportsmanship”, which is when someone willingly tolerates irritating behaviors, various inconveniences and other workplace annoyances without complaining, can make your job seem better. Essentially, complaining about events cements them in your memory and causes you to relive aggravating experiences over and over. When you tolerate, ignore or otherwise don’t give time and brainpower to relive irritating events, your brain forgets about the details. Ultimately, the point is not to accept all workplace problems, but to find better ways to process negative events.
- When you complain about an event at work, you are reinforcing that negative memory and the emotions that go with it.
- You should practice good sportsmanship, which researchers define as tolerating the inconveniences and annoyances of workplace life.
- People who practiced bad sportsmanship had a worse mood and didn’t appreciate their accomplishments as much the next day.
“Articulating a problem is the first step in solving it. But they suggest employees choose more thoughtful, productive methods like expressive writing, which has been shown to help people process negative experiences.”