A photo of a Black woman shouting and pointing at another woman to represent the topic of the article - Poor Mental Health: A Guide To Dealing With Complaints

Poor Mental Health: A Guide To Dealing With Complaints

One of the biggest factors that negatively affect my mental health is just the share amount of complaints I find myself in, as the quality of goods and services tanks. It got so bad at one point, as I was complaining about my local Mental Health Trust, that I became suicidal and burned out. Therefore, I thought I’d put together a guide to dealing with complaints so you don’t find yourself in a similar situation.



Dealing With Complaints: Why It Pays To Get It Right


Making a complaint, no matter the reason, can be very taxing on your mental wellbeing. When you already have poor mental health or you’re constantly having to make complaints to get your health issues taken seriously, you’re going to feel the effects of making those complaints. It might not even be that bad right away, but it can add up to the point it’ll sneak up on you and the camel’s back is broken. Not only that, but dealing with complaints the right way can affect the outcome of the complaint.




Dealing With Complaints: Coping Strategies


To minimise the negative impact of making a complaint on your mental wellbeing, try the following:


Stay calm

Approach the situation with a calm and composed mindset, which can be easier said than done sometimes. If you’re struggling, take deep breaths and remind yourself that you’re addressing a concern, not arguing in front of a judge.


Be polite

As the saying goes, “You get more flies with honey than with vinegar”. It also doesn’t cost you anything to be polite, and being polite will make them more likely to want to help you.


Choose the right time

Pick a moment when you feel less stressed or emotional to address the complaint. Otherwise, you’ll just make your mood worse. Plus, you won’t deal with the complaint in a healthy way because of already being stressed. That’s because timing can influence your emotional state. Furthermore, it always pays to make sure you have enough time when dealing with complaints because you don’t know how long it’ll take.


Really take time into account. What might seem like it should only take 10 minutes once you start talking to the customer service person, can quickly turn into hours or even days of trying to explain the same thing over and over again. Don’t underestimate the ability of the customer service person to not understand what the problem is or give you the wrong information—dragging it out over hours, or even days. I know this far too well.


Be objective

Stick to the facts and avoid emotional exaggerations. Present your case in a clear, rational manner and keep it as short and sweet as possible to avoid misunderstandings. It can also help to work out exactly what you want to say before you start the complaint.




Focus on the issue

Keep your complaint focused on the specific problem or concern you have, rather than attacking the person handling the complaint personally. I know making complaints can be frustrating, but you’re not going to make anything better by getting personal with the person you’re talking to. Plus, they may end the conversation, forcing you to start the process all over again.


Use “I” statements

It can help to express your feelings using “I” statements to avoid sounding accusatory. For example, “I felt disappointed when…” instead of “You made me feel…”. This won’t work with every complaint, but it can be useful for some of them. This one is likely the kind you’ll use if you’re making a workplace complaint.


Seek solutions

Although it’s tempting to just vent your frustrations, emphasising the need to find a solution that benefits both parties will have better results. After all, you likely need the person you’re complaining to about the issue to take your side.


Practice empathy

When you’re dealing with complaints, it can be easy to forget that the person you’re talking to is just some person working a job. Understand that the person receiving your complaint is also human, as empathy can foster a more constructive dialogue.


Maintain boundaries

While dealing with complaints, remember your own limits and emotional wellbeing. Don’t let the process consume you. Sometimes it’s better for your wellbeing to abandon a complaint rather than banging your head against a wall. It’s ok to walk away. I’ve recently had to do that myself to avoid burning out. I found myself dealing with more complaints than I could handle, so I focused on the ones that needed to be resolved asap and walked away from the other ones.


The picture is split in two, with the top image being of an elderly White woman making a complaint about their order to a Black waiter. The bottom image being of two female friends trying to resolve a disagreement. The two images are separated by the article title - Poor Mental Health: A Guide To Dealing With Complaints


Social support network

Reach out to your loved ones for emotional support during the process of dealing with complaints. These are the best people to rant about such issues, and I’m sure they’ll have their own examples they’d like to rant about as well. This is much more cathartic than ranting at the person handling your complaint.


Manage expectations

Realistically, the process may take patience and persistence. Avoid assuming the worst or getting preoccupied with the outcome. Understand that not all complaints will result in immediate resolution. Be patient and realistic about the outcomes. It also helps to have already accepted that you may be in this for the long haul. This is why acceptance can be so great for our mental wellbeing.


Focus on self-care

If you find you’re dealing with complaints that drag on and on and on and on, remember to engage in activities that help you relax and destress. This will help counteract any negative emotions from the complaint process and help you remain cool and calm as you continue to deal with the complaint.


When I made my complaint about my Mental Health Trust, it took the better part of two years. I even had to get support from an NHS advocacy service to take some of the burden off of me. Thus, having things in place that can help you relax, such as a hobby, can go a long way to maintaining good mental wellbeing.


Release resentment

Don’t hold on to bitterness, because it’ll fester away inside and the only people it’ll affect are you and the people around you. It’ll make no difference to the people you’ve made a complaint to. So look after yourself and let that negative shit go, because you’ll feel better for it. This is why self-care is important when it comes to dealing with complaints.


Reflect and learn

No matter the outcome of the complaint, take time to reflect on the experience. This is where journaling can be useful. Ask yourself: What did you learn from it? How can you handle similar situations better in the future?






Remember, the goal is not only to address the concern but also to protect your mental wellbeing throughout the process. With discipline and focus, you can advocate assertively in making a complaint while safeguarding your wellbeing. Keep it professional and don’t lose sight of the bigger picture.


As always, leave your feedback in the comments section below. Also, please share your experiences in dealing with complaints in the comments section below as well. Don’t forget, if you want to stay up-to-date with my blog, then sign up for my newsletter below. Alternatively, get push notifications for new articles by clicking the red bell icon in the bottom right corner.


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16 thoughts on “Poor Mental Health: A Guide To Dealing With Complaints

  1. The one thing that stands out for me is boundaries. I have struggled with them for most of my life. Boundaries are so very important for our mental. emotional AND physical well being. This is a great blog post. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Thank you for sharing this insightful guide on dealing with complaints and its impact on mental health. It’s a topic that often doesn’t get the attention it deserves, and your personal experiences and advice shed light on this crucial aspect of well-being.

    You’ve provided valuable coping strategies that are not only practical but also mindful of the toll that complaints can take on one’s mental state. Staying calm, being polite, and choosing the right time to address an issue are crucial steps that can make a significant difference in how complaints are handled.

    Your emphasis on objectivity, focusing on the issue rather than attacking individuals, and seeking solutions instead of venting frustrations is essential for constructive communication. The use of “I” statements to express feelings is a powerful tool, promoting understanding and empathy.

    The reminder to maintain boundaries and prioritize self-care during the complaint process is particularly important. It’s crucial to recognize when it’s best to step away and preserve one’s mental well-being, as you wisely did.

    Your advice to seek support from loved ones and manage expectations resonates deeply. Dealing with complaints can indeed be a lengthy process, and having a strong support system and engaging in self-care activities are vital for resilience.

    Finally, your call to release resentment and reflect on the experience is a valuable lesson. Learning from each complaint can lead to personal growth and better handling of similar situations in the future.

    Thank you for addressing this important topic and offering practical guidance to protect mental well-being while dealing with complaints. Your insights are incredibly helpful, and your willingness to share your experiences is commendable. 🌟💪🧠

    • 0ne thing you often see when stuff is online and a disagreement happens is how it can get personal, which is why I wanted to emphasise that point particularly.Thank you for your detailed response to my article

  3. Choosing the right time to spend our mental and emotional energy on a complaint, is crucial. Setting boundaries is also a big one for me. I’ve learned to do it with the people around me. But I also need to know when to stop organising things.

    • Picking the right time is important for a lot of reasons, and not just because of our mental health and emotional energy, although that is very important. I’ve yet to have a conversation with my broadband provider, eBay, etc that has taken several hours to resolve something you’d think should take 10 minutes. Thanks for commenting

  4. Thanks for sharing these helpful tips. I struggle with my mental health anyway – and absolutely find making complaints one of the most stressful and taxing things to do! I mean first of all, it is super frustrating that you pay or sign up to a service that doesn’t deliver as expected. But then to go around in circles and not get anywhere, deal with rude customer service people, and so on, just makes it so tough. I know some of the customer representatives are just people on the other end, serving bigger corporstions, but still doesn’t negate how it makes us feel. I think some of them can be so stressful, so thanks for sharing snd helping people with your advice x

  5. I share a home with my mother, and nearly every day, she expresses complants with my life. There are times when we can go days without speaking, and this has been a recurring pattern for years. Thankfully, I have a carefree attitude, and I firmly believe that ‘this is my life, so I determine how I’ll lead it and find happiness.’ 😊 I’ve also adopted some of your advice here, and it truly aids me in handling these complaints!

    • Although I had intended this list for dealing with complaints you make to companies, it’s interesting to know they can be applied to dealing with personal complaints made against a person. It’s a shame that your mother feels the need to complain about how you live your life, but I’m happy to know that you’re not letting that stop you

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