Usually, in any group, there are some fussy people. They gripe at just about anything that comes across their path. Sometimes it seems like a sport to them, and perhaps it is.
I believe it is just a bad habit more than anything else. That is actually good news because habits can be changed with the proper coaching and effort.
The first order of business is to have the fussy person discover how much of the zest of life is being missed by complaining all the time.
I like to picture the earth from a position high above where we humans appear like little worms who show up and wiggle around for roughly 80 years or so and then are gone to be replaced by the next generation of wigglers.
It is critical that each person enjoys his or her wiggle. If we can coach a fussy person to see the value in this approach to life, we can be of service.
Fussy People Who Enjoy It
Some subset of fussy people actually derive joy from griping. It is like a game where there is a perverse pleasure in venting about the imperfect aspects of life. The problem is that these people tend to bring other people around them down consistently. They don’t have many friends, because who wants to befriend a porcupine?
One way to help a fussy person is to point out that a prickly mindset may feel like a sport, but it really blocks out the true joy that is available. When coaching a person who is fussy, take the opportunity to gently point out that there is an alternate choice that can be much more rewarding.
I like to get fussy people to talk about alternate views and imagine how they might feel if the more upbeat interpretation of life was the norm. A die-hard fussy person might not appreciate the visioning game or choose to participate, but at least you have planted a seed that the fussy mindset is a choice that is made on a moment-by-moment basis.
Try to catch the fussy person who, on rare occasion, voices things from a positive slant. Point out how refreshing it is to hear that person expressing life in upbeat tones. Make sure to praise the person for trying to manage his or her feelings. In this way you can encourage the fussy person to want to make a change.
Some individuals may have fussy behavior so ingrained that they are unwilling to change. They may need some professional help to begin to see there is a better alternative in life.
By providing some gentle coaching, in some cases, you will be able to shift the mindset of a fussy person and allow him or her to have a more joyful life. That is a true gift.
Here is a 3-minute video that contains more information on how to help fussy people.
Bob Whipple, MBA, CPTD, is a consultant, trainer, speaker, and author in the areas of leadership and trust. He is the author of four books: 1.The Trust Factor: Advanced Leadership for Professionals (2003), 2. Understanding E-Body Language: Building Trust Online (2006), 3. Leading with Trust is Like Sailing Downwind (2009), and 4. Trust in Transition: Navigating Organizational Change (2014). In addition, he has authored over 1000 articles and videos on various topics in leadership and trust. Bob has many years as a senior executive with a Fortune 500 Company and with non-profit organizations.