Sometimes you have a bad day, a lousy experience or are simply in a terrible mood. Your blog is your platform to broadcast to the world, and it’s tempting to let your fingers of fury pound out a post that vents your unhappiness with whatever is troubling you.
While there’s nothing wrong with crafting a blog update that includes some complaining, there are some ways that work and others you might regret. Here’s some advice from the blogosphere on how to grumble without being too cranky:
Make it relatable
Your blog should never alienate your readers, especially when you’re in complaining mode. Be sure your grousing doesn’t turn off your fans.
“Car trouble? We’ve all been there and everyone knows how much that sucks. Stressed about your upcoming appearance on “Good Morning America”? Ummm…wow, your life is so hard,” says Rachel from Hollaback Health. “If you absolutely must complain about something like this, then you need to frame it in a way your readers can relate to — describe it as a work problem or talk about not feeling like you have enough time to do everything you want to do.”
You’re not too busy, even if you are
We’ve all complained about our lack of time to accomplish things, but if you found time to blog about it, then maybe you’re not THAT busy.
“You are probably very busy, but complaining about just how busy you are is, at best, unoriginal, and at worst, an insidious sort of humblebrag. In the middle, it is just plain boring,” says Rachel Sugar in Deadspin.”The problem with lamenting your oppressive schedule is that it (almost) always sounds like you are really reminding the person listening to you of your own social or professional importance. Probably, this is not your intention; unfortunately, in this case, at least, your intention does not matter. Don’t do it.”
Try to be objective
When that negative experience is still fresh, it’s hard to see things from any perspective other than your own. But swapping shoes with the other people involved might make your post a little less complain-y and a little more productive.
“Because we perceive life from our subjective point of view, we tend, out of habit, and out of a lack of self-awareness, to take life personally; a moody glance looks to us like our significant other is falling out of love when they actually didn’t sleep well last night; a conversation with someone whose tone towards us we don’t appreciate is them actually having problems at home, and their inner turmoil is bubbling up to the surface,” says Christopher Tan on Pick the Brain. “Don’t take things so personally. See things clearly, not as you think you see them. Look long and look “deep”. Penetrate past the superficial veil of life to see the potential meaning inherent in each moment.”
Just the facts, ma’am
Sometimes you’ve had a terrible consumer experience and you want to take to the Internet and broadcast your unhappiness with a company. This might net you a response, a refund or the satisfaction of knowing you’ve warned others before they suffered the same fate. But the most effective complaints dial back the emotion and stick to the truth.
“More facts, the better. Companies can’t dispute the truth. Leave out any exaggerations as that will be what they defend against,” says Joe Manna. “Keep it to the point and passionate.”
What’s your motivation?
Is your a post a plea for resolution and change? Are you just letting off steam? Or have you venture into “whine and cheese” territory. Keep your unhappiness in the right category before you hit that submit button.
“Complaining and whining can be distinguished by the nature of the dissatisfaction and by our motivation for expressing it,” says Guy Winch of The Squeaky Wheel. “Complaining involves voicing fair and legitimate dissatisfactions with the goal of attaining a resolution or remedy. When we voice legitimate dissatisfactions but do so without the goal of attaining a resolution we are merely venting. And when the dissatisfactions we voice are trivial or inconsequential and not worthy of special attention, we are whining.”
Don’t complain about your job… seriously, don’t do it
That bad day in the office could escalate into something really terrible if you start spouting off about your coworkers, bosses or customers. Your post could make tomorrow a whole lot worse.
“Complaining about a coworker could create a strained work relationship going forward,” says Kristi Hines of Sqwiggle. Complaining about a manager could lead to receiving the worst projects and tasks. Complaining about the CEO could mean a minimal to no raise this year. And complaining about your job in general could assure that you won’t get that promotion you’ve been hoping for.”
Any tips you use when complaining about things on your blog? Let us know in the comments below!