- Set a timer (most cell phones have them) for 2 minutes. - This limits the amount of time for the whining to something you actually have time for.
- Complain for a solid 2 minutes. The catch is that the only word you can us is "blah".
Annoyed? BLAH BLAH blah BLAH blah blah BLAH!
Super ticked off? BLAH BLAHBLAH BLAHBLAHBLAHLAH!!! BLAH!
And go on for 2 minutes. Run out of rant on one subject? Switch to another: blah blah blahblah blah!
If you're listening, then respond as you usually would -- but again, only using the word, "blah": a soft blah blah blahblah.
You'll be amazed at what happens! I don't want to tell you, because I want you to try this for yourself, but there were 2 main reactions in the group of 40 or so people with whom I learned this, and both were good. Try it, post a comment here, or send me an email, and I'll let you know how you compare to the group.
[Big thanks to Suzi Smith, who taught this technique at last weekend's NLP conference.]