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19 Ridiculously Simple Lessons in Persuasion

Lesson 15 - Complaining

Complaining too much can make you disliked, which lowers your persuasive abilities. Complaining is a vent for anger. Complaining to someone about their behavior is rarely persuasive.

If you're complaining to me about your co-worker, spouse, sibling then you're complaining to the wrong person. Think about the people who are always complaining and not wanting any advice. Aren't these people so fucken annoying? Of course if you're an author then complaining might be your job.

Now that your complaining to me, I'll be tempted to give you advice which you don't want to hear.

The exercise for this lesson is to track the complaints you give and the one's you receive.

How do you feel when someone is complaining?

How do you think they feel when you do it?

To reduce complaints, which I learned from Sam Harris, show the complainer how their situation could be worse. If someone says, "I hate my job." You can counter with, "I know three people that just got laid off. Just remind the complainer on how it could be worse.


One strategy to be more persuasive is to complain and then compliment the advice you're given.
Track who you're complaining about and see if you can come up with a strategy to deal with it.

Read more on the problems with complaining

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