How to manage a smile when colleagues, clients (or anyone else) have a ‘victim’ or permanently whingeing mentality?

Keeping a smile when all around you is driving you up the wall is a skill! It is also a frame of mind…  You can also take several actions to improve this situation.

Firstly, if it is possible not to have contact with these type of people then avoid them like the plague! There is nothing more draining than having someone permanently banging on about being a ‘victim’ and the whole world being against them… Not only do they sound like a broken record but it drains your energy too as it it so tiring to listen to…

If it is your boss, then change jobs! Seriously, even if it isn’t your fault in any way, just accept that life isn’t always perfect and sometimes we have to roll with it – don’t throw good energy after bad by trying to ‘defend your rights’. It doesn’t mean you have to leave the company, but a discreet word with the HR Director or similar and you could maybe move to a different department.

If it is a colleague you can also have a discreet word with the HR Dept, particularly if other colleagues are suffering from the fallout too…

If there are no ‘movable’ options available then you have to change to Plan B and try to talk to them about it. If they are approachable this might work, you could tactfully ask them if they are suffering from depression, have they considered going to a psychologist as they seem to be misinterpreting many things that happen in daily life. Or, even very simply ask them if they realise that they are always negative and give the impression of thinking the whole world is against them which is very emotionally draining for everyone around them.

If this isn’t possible then onto Plan C. Work on your own reactions, feelings and mental resilience to rise above it.

Some options are:

– Literally distance yourself from the problem person – avoid spending time with or near them unless absolutely essential.

– If you do have to be with them, just don’t listen, go into daydream mode. Let all their moaning and groaning wash over you without it going into your ears.

– Never ask the ‘whinging complainer’ how they are or what they have been doing – you know you will regret it the moment the words leave your lips!

– If they insist on talking directly to you say – Sorry but I am busy on this task and I have to concentrate so I can’t talk or listen right now.

– Never ever react to what they say – like children, victims get bored when they don’t have a reaction…

– Find a real pleasure trigger for yourself. Something that always, unfailingly makes you feel good whenever you think about it – maybe sailing in the Caribbean, hiking a mountain, going to the spa, listening to music, laughing with your friends… whatever experience or memory you have that makes a smile unbiddenly break out on your face – think that thought when you have to be in contact with the victim. It will make you feel better and much less stressed!


Good luck! 😊

Anna Letitia Cook
Anna Letitia Cook

Anna Letitia Cook - author, speaker, radio presenter - is passionate about mentoring women in finding clarity and fulfilment in their life choices. She created and became CEO of her first company in the entertainment industry at age 32. Midlife approaching, hungry for a dynamic change, she refocused her experience, founding WomenUP Ltd to help women shape their own future. Creator of the 'SCOPE' and '4Fs' processes for career, fulfilment and holistic success. Author of ‘Unstoppable Goddess: Every Women’s Guide to Freedom, Fulfilment and Success’. UN Women's 2016-2017 Global Champion for Change @ Empower Women. ...On the personal front: Mum, Granny, ‘flattie’ owner, horse lover, ballet fanatic, hiker! Into castle renovations, sculpture, farming, yoga. Drinks tea...