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Being a foreigner based in France, I felt compelled to read this BBC piece on 'complaint culture' in France from one of my news feeds and felt this one aspect amusing and applicable for entrepreneurs and founders:

The French attitude towards complaining is uncomfortable for many Anglophones, many of whom argue that negativity breeds negativity. But according to some experts, the French attitude [complaining just for the fun of it] may in fact be better for your health. A 2013 study in Biological Psychiatry found that attempts to regulate negative emotions could be linked with increased risk of cardiovascular disease, while 2011 study from the University of Texas at Austin found that bottling up negative emotions can make people more aggressive.

It isn't a secret that entrepreneurs, founders, and people pursuing/doing their own things are regularly faced with adversity and as a result negativity. Yet I imagine when we interface with others (family, friends, partners, team members, customers, etc.), more often that not, we find ourselves trying to put on a positive face (or at least I do). Perhaps we should start a complaining circle at RC to allow ourselves a slightly more public place to vent/let some steam out externally? 🤣


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    haha, this is hilarious. Whenever my wife asks me how my day is going, I have a standard answer: "Surviving". It has become an internal joke now. But ya, I agree, like you even I put on a positive face with others, including those within my startup.

    An "RC venting well" sounds quite interesting 😅.

    I find the research interesting and can imagine why it is good to be letting out the negativity. But I wonder the effect of such negativity on the ones who have to listen to it 🤔

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      But I wonder the effect of such negativity on the ones who have to listen to it

      Yea, in my own experience, I've definitely seen that my own attitude and mood highly impacts those working with me, and so I do hesitate to be more frank with negative information as it can be demotivating. I can imagine hyper aggressive people countering by saying, 'Well, maybe such colleagues aren't the right fit then.' But I can also imagine there are better methods and strategies for communicating information, the good and bad, in a way that makes everyone feel like they're in it together (though I myself have yet to perfect anything like this 😬).

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        Ya, true. I somehow feel that if one is always negative (angry, disappointed, etc.), it numbs the people around to a point where they try to insulate themselves from the person.

        So for a leader, I feel it is necessary to use these emotions sparingly. If you are angry, people should know that things are really wrong to evoke such an emotion from you. If you are disappointed, they do their best to improve the situation. If it happens all the time, they might just turn around and feel that this happens way too often to care about.

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      So interesting. I completely agree that it's good to express feelings and not bottle things up. However, I also think it's important that we don't just assume that either expressing our emotions or maintaining a positive should be solutions to a culture that values endless work at cramped cubicles rather than human life. Maybe I'm overthinking what the study was trying to examine though.

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        I have read about places where you can actually vent out anger by breaking things and it's known as smash rooms. By providing a safe place to let loose of some stress, I think these places will gain popularity amongst workers. And studies show that it is also good for mental health. Anyways, I wouldn't be trying out anything like this :)