How to put the Princess in her place
We all know people who can whinge for their country and act like a princess. If they’re not grumbling that the weather is too hot, or the office too stuffy, they’re complaining that the air con is chilly and is spreading germs round the building. They complain they’re put upon, that they never get a break, that their colleagues and partners treat them like dirt and that their children take them for granted.
The good news is we don’t have to listen. In fact, by acknowledging their woes, we’re reinforcing their beliefs and helping them get even more embedded in their victim mentality. So by not listening, we’re helping them.
“If you’re on the end of a victim’s moaning, it can be very depressing,” says Tricia. “Next time your friend starts feeling sorry for themselves, tell them you know they’re having a bad time, and that you’re prepared to listen to them for five minutes.
“Don’t over-sympathise! Move the subject round to what they’re going to do about the issue. Get them to think in terms of problem solving and move them towards a solution. Ask what is the first thing they’re going to do about their unpaid rent, leaky washing machine or disobedient toddler.
“If they won’t move away from the moaning, point out that it seems they’re happy to be where they are at the moment, and then change the subject to something more positive.”