How can You avoid the Complainer Bunny’s Forage Area – Three Tips
Gandhiji said that no body can hurt you without your permission.
Along those same lines, I believe that no body can Complain to You without Your permission.
In this article I would like to share with you three tips that I use, to keep the Complainer Bunny from foraging into my time-space.
(1) Sorry to hear that, is there anything I can do to help:
Often times, Complainer Bunnies are not there for you to solve their problem or to listen to solution options.
And that’s the paradox – then why on earth are they complaining to you and wasting your time
Let’s not waste our time trying to figure that out.
One exit strategy that has worked for me is to interrupt them at the first possible pause, to politely ask something in the lines of “Sorry to hear that; is there anything I can do to help?
Most often the Bunny’s answer is going to be “Well, hm….”.
After a couple of attempts, the Bunny realizes that you are not giving them what they want and they just forage elsewhere.
This strategy works fairly well for Level 1 / novice Bunnies.
Not all Bunnies are Level 1; some are Level 2 and some even Level 3 graduates.
With Level 2 and Level 3, the “how can I help you” may only get you into more of a circular loop.
So, my Level 2 strategy is: just be “non-responsive”.
When I say “non-responsive” I literally mean it – 100-plus-percentage non-participation.
It may sound awkward or even rude. But, it often works!
Also, you run the risk that the Bunny may bad-mouth you to other “listening-ears”. But it’s your choice – what do you care about more?
(3) The Escape Words:
This is actually my last and least-preferred strategy.
But sometimes you just have to use it; if you do not want to have your time foraged by the Level 3 Bunnies.
When the Bunny enters your space, you just find an excuse and leave the space!
I know, the last two tips sound mean and awkward.
But then again, it is your time and your life – you decide what you do with it. Don’t let others run your time or your life.
Please share the tips you may have on this topic, so that we can learn from each other.