Do you complain too much! How to complain less!

Complainypants Mustachian Fail

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I’ve been in Lean Process Improvement for my job this past month, which has been so tedious! Ugh, all day meetings are not my jam. My partner has had to deal with complainypants me! Which brings us to the Monthly Mustachian Fail of course! I am (more often than I’d like to admit) a complainypants!

How to complain less. Complainypants!
Keweenaw complains that we don’t feed him enough!

While not every mustachian fail is a real life personal fail (I am in no way aspiring to emulate the mustachian lifestyle fully), reducing your complaining tendencies is a good lifestyle change!

  • Have you ever found yourself complaining all the time?
  • Or do you suffer from comparing yourself to others?
  • Do you love to recite all of your problems and the reasons you can’t achieve what they are doing?
  • Do you envy other bloggers’ Personal Capital net worth updates?

Ugh, I know I struggle through this far too often. Thus, I wrote about gratitude in all stages of your financial independence early retirement (FIRE) journey earlier this week! But, maybe I’m the only complainy one remaining in the FI bunch :).

Complainypants Tendencies – AKA How to Know if You Complain too Much

Well, in digging through the Mr. Money Mustache (MMM) archives I became reacquainted with his article about How to Tell if you are a Complainypants. It’s been YEARS since I dug through the archives, and (unsurprisingly) his writing style has evolved.

How to complain less. Complainypants!
Maybe you complain because you want this fancy car!

The two key ways to tell if you are a complainypants are:

  1. Do you point out other people’s privilege, your unfair problems, and cite them as the reasons for why you haven’t achieved what they have done?
  2. Are you always looking for the flaws and trying to put other people down?

Do either of those sound like you?

Well you may suffer from complainypants syndrome. Not to fear, there is a way to remedy this!

How to Stop Complaining and Start Improving

Guess what!?! Complaining won’t (typically) make your life much better. You’ve got to find the way to take those complaints and get moving towards solutions.

MMM also points out his reaction/solution:

Learn from those who have achieved something admirable.

Things may look easy from the outside, people may have more privilege, but you don’t know their story fully. Even if they write about it on the internet. We all have our demons and struggles, financial perfection (much like general perfection) alludes us all.  How to complain less! Complainypants!

MMM recommends that you learn to:

Think about the reward of puzzle-solving. It’s not the results that make you happy, it’s the using of your own mind and skills to advance your own cause.

What to do when you start complaining:

  1. Recognize and acknowledge the habit
  2. Identify any trends in causation
  3. Eliminate or address those causes. This may involve spending less time with certain people, making your job better/finding a new job, changing your medium of entertainment, etc.
  4. Find stories of people who inspire you and learn from their path
  5. Embrace opportunities to learn new things and try out new skills
  6. Make a change
  7. Define your values and set goals
  8. Give back (don’t forget about our #actsofkindness pledge!)

When all else fails, try not complaining. See how that goes. (Easier said than done, I know!)


My all day work meetings wrapped up yesterday, and I am nice and drained. Even though I won’t have those to complain about, it’ll be easy to find the new source of stress/pain/annoyance in my life. But I’m going to work towards eliminating complaining, okay, scratch that stretch goal. I’m going to work towards complaining less!

What are you complaining about lately? How can you change that?

Or, what have you stopped complaining about?

7 comments on “Complainypants Mustachian Fail”

  1. I find myself referencing that article as well when I get into grumpy complainypants mode. For me, it’s remembering that comparison is the thief of joy and that I have different goals, very frustrating at work when I see someone less competent ahead of me.

    1. Reply

      Keeping your goals in mind helps!

  2. It is SO HARD to not compare yourself to those doing better/had more help/ started earlier and not be a complainypants. I think your focus on gratitude is the best solution (and timely during holiday season).

    1. Reply

      Thanks! Yes, gratitude helps keep it in check!

  3. Reply

    I’ve found myself complaining about my business lately. It is very rewarding, but my desired clients are becoming less inclined to spend. It’s put on a strain on the balance sheet. I should refocus my energy into finding more financially secure desired clients.

  4. Reply

    I always try to focus on gratitude and stop complaining, and even though I still fail sometimes, the important part is always trying. I think the biggest point you made was that any situation you’re complaining about is one you should be taking action on instead. Just think of where all that energy could have gone. 🙂

    1. Reply

      Yes! Take action instead of wasting energy complaining, great advice Kristine!

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