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YARNLADY's avatar

What do you say when someone complains about something so petty it's not worth complaining about, but it bothers them.

Asked by YARNLADY (44822points) February 3rd, 2011

You care about this person, but the complaint is petty. Do you say so?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

21 Answers

WasCy's avatar

Your life must be pretty damn groovy if that’s all you have to bitch about.

When my kids were little and their cousins of the same age would visit, I tried an experiment a few times with disastrous results. I used to tell them if they cried over some silly little thing, “Surely you can cry louder than that!” And son of a gun if they couldn’t, every damn time. At least it kept me from being bothered by the non-emergency little things.

bkcunningham's avatar

@WasCy that is a rude thing to say to @YARNLADY . I mean, she’s complaining about something that bothers her. Have a heart man.

WasCy's avatar

I was giving her words. I wasn’t bitching at @YARNLADY. You think I have a death wish?

Odysseus's avatar

I love the Irony of this question :)

Nullo's avatar

Sympathize. If it goes on, start offering solutions until they stop.

JLeslie's avatar

I am learning that I guess it is best to just listen and empathize. I am not very good at it. I always thought gaining perspective on why it is not very important should help the person not be so bothered, but it seems many people don’t want perspective. GQ.

YARNLADY's avatar

@JLeslie Great Answer, @JLeslie I have a really hard time with complaints that seem so petty.

JLeslie's avatar

@YARNLADY I guess people who become very emotional about little things are unable to be more objective. I think to them, when we tell them it is petty, they feel we don’t care, or are being dismissive. I think the extreme is with some people they are actually damaged, feel things very deeply, and are very easily hurt and traumatized.

YARNLADY's avatar

@JLeslie Thank you for that insight.

zenvelo's avatar

ask them, “what bothers you so much about that? why do you think you have such strong feelings about it?’

IHateMusic's avatar

I usually assume they are making conversation.

rooeytoo's avatar

I think one person’s petty is another person’s big deal material. If you care about someone you simply put up with their eccentricities or madnesses.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@rooeytoo said it well. We often don’t know that magnitude in their own mind of the “petty” complaint, or the (perhaps) subtle major implications behind it.

Cruiser's avatar

I will always call them out on comments like that. It depends on who it is though. People real close to me get the full “quit cher bitchin” and a slap on the back of the head.

Other people like co-workers I will gently say “it sounds like you are having a good day if that is all that is bothering you”.

bobbinhood's avatar

I will ask them if it really matters or if it’s worth getting that upset about. I don’t ask in a condecending way, so people feel free to enlighten me if they legitimately think it’s that significant. Sometimes I’m surprised at what’s behind their response. Other times, the question simply gives them pause to consider whether their reactions are overkill. Either way, we both win.

Seelix's avatar

I offer potential solutions to the problem. Most often, it seems that the complainant just wants to vent and isn’t really looking for help. In that case, if it’s someone you care about, just listen anyway. You’re probably just a sounding board in cases like this.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Many times I will just tease them about it.:)

BBSDTfamily's avatar

@YARNLADY In this situation, it seems the only thing you can do is point out to them that they really don’t have it that bad but in a non-confrontational way

ucme's avatar

I go for the classic trilogy on this, point stare & giggle. Good for me.

Schroedes13's avatar

I personally say “Aww Muffin” or “You lead such a hard life”, both in sarcastic tones.

AshlynM's avatar

It depends on how much and how long they’ve been complaining to you about petty things.
If it’s just an occasional complaint, out of the blue type thing, then I’d say nothing.

If it’s been going on for months, even years, then it’s definitely time to speak up.

Just compare their complaint with how hard other people have it. Such as people having to work two jobs to make ends meet daily. Just say something snarky like that and see how they handle it. If your comment bothers them that much, most likely they’ll stop complaining.

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