How to Break the Habit of Criticizing, Complaining and Gossiping About Others

As a life coach, I find myself fascinated with the characteristics leaders exhibit in their personal and professional lives.  I continuously study various leadership methods, read numerous books on the subject, and excessively listen to podcast to acquire the skills I need to develop my business and personal brand.  Through my trainings I have become an astute student of leadership, and I am slowly becoming a person of influence.  One major lesson that I have painfully learned over the last two years is that successful leaders with high integrity and high social value never speak negatively about people; they do not gossip and they do not complain.  In contrast, these remarkable high-net-worth people strive to uplift others rather than tear individuals down for their own personal satisfaction.

Honestly, at times, implementing this concept when I am not at my best self is challenging for me, and I have to work hard every day to stop myself from talking critically about others, gossiping and complaining. When we criticize, complain or gossip, it is often a subconscious means to lift our own self-image, and by tearing others down, we are inwardly trying to feel more important.  One of the reasons why the habit of speaking badly about others is so dangerous is because it blinds you to the positive traits of a person.  However, as I continue to improve and become a better person, I have noticed that I have grown into someone with whom people want to be associated.

We do not experience positive results in life when we criticize, complain or gossip; rather, we experience negative consequence.  It doesn’t change our circumstance.  Only by taking action do we make a positive difference.  When we act in a negative manner we create a wall between ourselves and other people.  In the long run, when I bad-mouth you, gossip or complain excessively, I slowly degrade your trust in me. When I betray something you confided to me in order to make myself appear more important, you’re unlikely to tell me something in confidence again.  If I leave you feeling criticized or judged, you may not want me in your life anymore.  And that would be tragic, because intimate connections with kindred spirits are precious, sacred, and not easily replaced.  By focusing on and drawing attention to the problems and discomforts around us, we direct other people towards it too.  Misery loves company.

As a challenge, I propose that we strive to complain, gossip and criticize less, in order to make the world a better place.  I know it is easy to follow the path of least resistance, but when we strive to grow and become our best selves, we help others fulfill their dreams.  We lead by example in order to change the world.