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You’re Probably Complaining the Wrong Way

The Atlantic – The psychologist Guy Winch’s method for getting people to do things differently

“…Generally speaking, the psychologist Guy Winch says, people do a lot of venting, but “we are afraid to voice complaints, and for good reason: It often doesn’t go well.” Because of how people typically present complaints, Winch says, they put their loved ones, friends, and co-workers on the defensive—and as a result they often don’t get what they want. Winch has a better way—one that he laid out in his book, The Squeaky Wheel, and to a crowd earlier this week at the Aspen Ideas Festival, which is co-hosted by the Aspen Institute and The Atlantic. Winch recommends a formula called “the complaint sandwich”—a series of three statements calibrated to make people more receptive to changing their ways. The first “slice of bread” in the sandwich is a positive statement that will hopefully make the listener less defensive when the complaint itself arrives….

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