The Psychology Of Complaining


Edit: as Christians I believe we should not try to judge and oppose others who we think are evil, because of our limited knowledge. Instead we should judge ourselves, wait on God and wait for the final outcome.
As Christian men, we are duty-bound to protect our families and neighbors, and who are we going to protect them from other than evil people?


As Christian men, we are duty-bound to protect our families and neighbors, and who are we going to protect them from other than evil people?

I fully agree. Let's say someone was breaking into my house in the middle of the night. I would be perfectly willing (and justified by the law of the land) to kill that person to defend myself and my family. However, I would ideally not do so with a feeling of self-righteousness or anger, or a feeling that the person somehow "deserved" it and I don't. I would wound or kill the person reluctantly, because of the higher obligation to protect those whom God put under my protection.

The principle of non-violent resistance is throughout the entire Bible. God strikes down our enemies while we do nothing. Even if we do something, it is His power working through us, not our own puny anger that accomplishes anything. We are to wait for God, not take our own revenge.

It's more effective, and better for the health of my soul, to wait for evildoers to destroy themselves or be destroyed by God, rather than taking it upon myself to try to rid the world of evil. The greatest evil that opposes me is myself, honestly. Satan is a defeated enemy, but until the day I die, my flesh is not. All of my anger would be better taken out on myself in mortification to get rid of my own sin, instead of thinking I am qualified to somehow rid the world of evil by my own efforts.
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I hope Jesus was married and give a living example of how to live with an unfaithful, non-working, complaning, shopholic housewife who teaches your children to turn against you to justify herself in the name of love.

The Lord Himself is a living example of how to live with an unfaithful, complaining, evil wife (Israel) and how to eventually redeem her, by His own righteousness, love and self-sacrifice, while she kicked and screamed against Him the whole way. "Crucify Him, Crucify Him..."

We also know that Jesus went through every temptation known to man, in one form or another, yet without any sin. Whether he was married on Earth or not is irrelevant.


Originally posted on


Nothing damages a relationship more than complaining. It is a poison that causes the recipient of the complaint to become frustrated and distant, eliciting further complaints from the complainer. In fact, if you want to wreck a relationship, no matter the type, simply complain.

Complaining stems from internal unhappiness or irritability, not from an external cause like many complainers think. “I am unhappy because my wife loads the dishwasher in the wrong way. If she loads it the right way then I will be happy.” The man complains to his wife about her dishwasher protocol, to which she humbly complies. The husband is happy initially, but in short time, even though the dishwasher is now loaded according to his preference, his unhappiness returns. Why is he still unhappy? It turns out that there are too many of his wife’s long hairs in the bathtub. He complains about that, and even if the wife diligently removes them, it will have only a temporary positive effect on him.

A person complains because they think their unhappiness is a result of their environment or other people, something outside them, when in reality it is from their own unrealistic expectations, disordered passions, demonic influences, or active sins. You can reshape the environment to remove every imaginable complaint the person has, but since the foundational way they see the world is incorrect, there will be no long-term benefit. The complainer will then have to invent fantastical scenarios that can be complained about, attributing motives and impulses that don’t exist.

In one of my relatives, I’ve noticed that her negative mood precedes the complaint. When I see that her body language is tense, I know that a major complaint about me or someone else is coming, and sure enough it does a while later. My relative thinks she is tense because of the external cause, but really the tension came before the awareness of the cause. The mind projects the cause of the unhappiness onto something worldly, but even once that cause is resolved, the unhappiness either remains or burrows into the psyche to erupt later.


Complainers think their complaints are increasing their happiness, but it actually reinforces their unhappiness by making them believe that happiness is due to external situations or events. Saints who were imprisoned and tortured actually thanked their persecutors for delivering them to Lord Jesus Christ through martyrdom. Russian writers thanked their jail sentences, of living in abject squalor, as a way to learn the truth that can be displayed later through their writing. And you complain because another driver on the road cut you off? Because your spouse left clothes on the floor? Because your roommate’s music is too loud? Our lives here will never be peaceful and heavenly. For you to seek heaven in this life is unreasonable, even delusional, and shows a lack of belief in Heaven for those who faithfully serve Christ.

One habit that will make you prone to complaining is maintaining a mental ledger of the deeds or favors you do for other people. I took out the trash and did the dishes today, so I expect my roommate to clean the floors tomorrow, but when he doesn’t clean the floors, I get upset at him for not abiding by my ledger. Keeping track of all the things you did for a person alongside what they did for you is called reciprocity in the secular world but greed in the Christian. Reciprocity is what the atheists do. As Christians we are called to give and be generous, not to maintain an accounting of the works and good deeds we perform.

My roommate doesn’t want to take out the trash? I’ll take it out every single time and not expect him to return the favor. If I’m doing the right thing, my reward will be from God, not from man. A friend doesn’t offer to buy me a meal when I cooked for him a dozen times? I will keep serving him meals as I strive to be a Christian full of the love of God, without expecting anything in return, even a thank you. It’s better if my gift doesn’t receive a thank you for I know my reward will instead come from God. Your “fair share” of work is to do everything you’re able to do, in service to Lord Jesus Christ, even to those who are not paying you back, because it’s through you that the light of our Lord is brought to others.

It’s easy for me to write an article about the toxic nature of complaining and the selfishness of maintaining a deeds ledger, but it’s hard to put into practice. I struggle with the Christian ideal. I find it hard to give to a person who never gives back and I fight to withhold complaints about something trivial that is irritating me, but the closer I get to God, the easier these tasks become. It turns out that those with weak faith are the most prone to complaining, because they believe this world is all there is, and that it must conform to their whims, desires, and tastes. I aim not to fall for this folly. This world is continually passing away, and so complaining about that which will soon not exist will not change my internal state one bit, but worshiping God surely will.

Read Next: The Pain Of Limbo

Thank you for this article, Roosh. This was personally a blessing to me as I gave it to my wife to read, and she understood it fully. I think it will make a difference and improve our marriage. This article was also a welcome reminder to me about the evil of complaining and I appreciated how you used many personal examples instead of overly pointing out the flaws of others.

Thank you again for this very edifying article. I have really been getting a lot out of your recent work.


About complainers, of which I regrettably am too often one, I cannot judge. I don't know another person's traumas. I don't know their generational lineage. I don't know how their DNA works. Only God knows any of that. If I were in their shoes, for all I know, I might complain even louder. I only know that God loves that person and desires their salvation.

The Bible is full of admonitions against grumbling and complaining so we know that we ought not. Yet Job and David in the Psalms both complained mightily. And both were blessed by God. Even Jesus on the Cross, quoting David's complaint in Psalm 22:2, lamented, "My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?" So complaining occurs. And if Jesus did it, we know that it's not always sinful.

I will do my best, through God's grace, to approach liife with confidence In the knowledge that God is sovereign over all things. Therefore, all that happens is either caused by God or allowed by God. Since God loves me and all people, I can relax, knowing that God is working all things out for my good and for the good of all people who love Him. I know that God has placed each person and event into my life for the benefit of my salvation. If something or someone irritates me, I look at it as God revealing to me another area in my life that I must surrender to Him. God wants me to hand over to Him all of my burdens and anxieties. How can I not be grateful to God for loving me like that?

And when I fall short as I often do? I turn that over to Him too (again). I fall upon His mercy. I thank Him for loving me enough to humble Himself by taking the form of man so that He could die for my sins and make possible my salvation.
amen. Such a excellent post! God does work all things out for our good! Thank God that He is sovereign over all things. I for sure would not want
it any other way!!


Thank you for this. It's true that as Christians we shouldn't complain but we should be grateful for everything instead. Complaining comes from pride, we should all strive to serve others with humility. I'm sure as difficult as it is for me to tolerate others, it's far more difficult for others to tolerate me. I'm sorry to God especially that he has put up with so many of my complaints


Thank you, Darius for the article. You just helped me to cure myself of something recently happened into a relation from usual life. Probably some complaints are related to real things, at least in part, but, however, if they continue they will damage any relation, as you said. Sometimes, if we become defensive and try to consolate someone after a complaint, this will appear to that person as an excuse and as a good reason to insult us along with dumping us simultaneously at a point. This could lead to temporary psychological problems for us.

As Christians,however, we have to think that, at least in part, the other are our mirror and we have to take care to not cause them any trouble but , in the same time, we have to take care to not invest too much in people who could hurt us more than we believe is possible.

Chicago Talk Show Host

Read this just now, thanks Roosh. I saw the title of the post, and was immediately drawn in. As I read the post, the bit about complaining about people cutting me off, really resonated with me. As a person living in the city, road rage is pretty common and, some of my friends and I agree that it just seems to be getting worse and worse. I know you've been around Chicago when you toured, and as I read in your book, and the traffic is quite dreadful. People not only cut you off, they'll commonly use the right emergency utility lane to get ahead, use another lane to get onto the 90/94 entrance lane and cut you off there---then flick you off while doing so, people that think it's Fast and the Furious weaving in and out of traffic when it's already bumper to bumper, people cutting you off to just get one car in front of you only to catch up right next to them at the light, and on top of it---everyone is out to impress everyone with their luxury cars and thinks they have the best looking car.

My conclusions? Most luxury car owners, the BMWs, the Audios, the Lexuses, the Mercedes, are the most aggressive, and drive w/the most sense of entitlement.

Now, I've been trying to get better in my mindset. I consider myself a good driver, but I struggle sometimes with the audacity of the clown world road edition sideshow. I try to not let it get to me, but in the mornings when I'm already not exactly a "morning person", or after working at my job and getting right into the rush hour (it's always rush hour around the city, let's not kid ourselves) it can get frustrating. I want to let it go more, and I'm working to do so. I do note that, some of it has to do with my ego! I get in my car and see it as an extension of my "self" and I have to let that go! Your post helped me put things in perspective and I'm going to use it to be more mindful about it. I need to be more grateful that at least I get around ok enough to not get in an accident, or do something stupid because of the ubiquitous road rage out there, and leave it at that.

>in b4 "just leave the city"
--> working on it. I can't escape just yet without having some monies stored up to get out.

Anyway, have a great weekend all.

Suburban Yahoo

Welcome to the rat race, which is suburban life and commuting.

I looked up "rat race" on Google ngram:

rat race.png

Note that the term grew in usage as America moved to the suburbs. What's strange is it disappears rapidly starting about 2002. My guess is society had degraded so much by then that the idea of a "rat race" was no longer noticeable to most people.