Do you have a complainer on your team?

Have you ever had someone in your life that won’t change? They want things to turn around in their life, but they refuse to take responsibility for any of those changes. I have one of those people in my life now. She’s driving me crazy!

● She talks about what she wants but waits for it to happen, and it doesn’t.

● She indicates how things could be different, but she blames her current circumstances on others.

● She complains about how things are, yet does nothing to change them. In her mind, it’s someone else’s fault; someone else needs to do something; someone else is responsible for why her life sucks.

Ugh! I want to shake her and say:

● You can change your life!

● You can have a different experience.

● You can do things that will bring about a change to your circumstances.

I’ve tried to help:

I have encouraged her, coached her and given her tons of resources that will help her start turning her life around.

However, she won’t take it:

Instead of utilizing those resources, she sits in her pity party, belly aching and complaining about others, blaming them and waiting for them to change.

You can lead a horse 🐴 to water,

but you can’t make them drink.

So….my mantra has become:

I am not going to give up my happy because you can’t find your happy!

I became responsible for my happiness

I’m taking responsibility for my life and my experiences, even though she chooses not to.

● I’ve set boundaries around my contact with her.

● I have limited my exposure to her news feed.

● I continue to do the inner work to let go of her drama and toxicity.

I also recognize I do the same thing

This experience has been a great reminder to me of where I, too, put myself in that place of complaining and belly aching. What about you? Like me, do you sometimes have your own pity party?

Do you wait as I do?

Women like us are strong, capable and confident, except when we aren’t. If you are like most women and like me, there are places we show up full of courage and determination.

● Then, there are other places where we play small, hide, step back into the shadows, avoid people and wait for things to change.

We wait, blame and finger point…at least I do

Can you think of any areas in your life where you are doing that?

I can! I can see where I wait for someone else to “do it with me” for the money to “do it” for the time to “fit it in” or for the person to get out of my way, so I can “do it.”

Let me give you some examples


I’ve spent the last year looking for places that might interview me for podcasts, but have found few that “fit” me. However, the truth is, when I pause and ponder, I see different perspectives and realize that it is just an excuse.

● The truth is, I’m afraid to put my ideas out there.


Another example is where I’ve wanted to remodel my daughter’s bedroom and turn it into my den. She moved out almost a year ago. But, it wasn’t the right time to do the renovations. We didn’t have time, and of course, she might move back. Then, I didn’t have my husband’s help, and it would cost money.

● These are all stories I’ve made up to put the blame out there because I’m still working through the empty nest feeling.


Here is another way I’ve not taken responsibility: There is a person on my team who isn’t pulling their weight. They only show up for some meetings. But they are always unprepared. What’s more, when you ask them to take on a task, they say they will. But you can bet there is a 90% chance they won’t do it, and someone else will have to pick up the pieces.

And what have I done about it? Nothing! I complain. I hope they will change. I wait. Waiting leaves me feeling like a victim of their incompetence, their insensitivity to others and their lack of commitment. And that sucks!

● I’m struggling to find the courage to address their performance.

When we don’t take responsibility, we become victims

When we become victims, we feel powerless. At times, we try to force things, push people and make them do something, so our lives and situations are better. We try to have power over them. That creates more tension and turmoil.

We need to take our power back…our inner power!

Instead of feeling like a victim, we need to take our power back. We need to become responsible for what’s going on.

I call it response-able.

It means we are able to respond.

Too often, women like us feel like there is nothing we can do about it. We wait, hope and pray things will change. We moan and groan to whoever will listen (my poor hubby!)

But when we take our inner power back, we gain the confidence, courage to become response-able to make changes in our lives, on our teams and in the world.

Take control of your thoughts

Our thoughts create our worlds. I can spend time getting angry and frustrated with that individual in my life that is driving me nuts.


● I can take responsibility for my mood. I can remind myself that I’m not going to give up my happy because you can’t find yours, and move on to other thoughts.

I can feel like there is no place to share my ideas on podcasts that “fit” me.


● I can take responsibility for my thoughts. By believing there are podcasts that fit me, I’ll continue to look for them. And, I could create my own podcast …hmm…there’s an idea! What do you think? Should I create my own podcast?

I can wait for the right time, help etc. to redecorate my daughter’s room.


● I can become response-able for making it happen by creating a budget, a timeline to get it done and recruit the help I need.

I can wait for that person on my team to change.


● I can do the work to gather the courage to have what could be a difficult conversation with that member on my team. I could become response-able by starting with the One Page Journaling exercise.

Where do you need to become response-able?

Instead of feeling powerless, become response-able.

● Take responsibility for the situation.

● Take responsibility for your thoughts, feelings and actions.

Became Response-ABLE!

● DO NOT wait for someone else to change.

● DO NOT hope someone will tell you what to do.

● DO NOT wait for it to be the right time.

● DO change your thoughts and behaviours.

● DO decide what you can do.

● DO create the time for it.

If you need some help with this learn more about becoming response-able here. You will also find a worksheet to help you take back your inner power here.

In case you haven’t figured it out yet you teach your team to take responsibility when you role model it to them :-)

If you want an excellent example of someone being response-able for changing the world, then listen to this interview I did with Stephanie Page.



Supporting women leaders in nonprofit organizations to lead with competence, confidence and composure.

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Kathy Archer

Helping women leaders make it in the nonprofit world. Leadership Development Coach * Best-Selling Author * Wife * Mom * Grandma * Mom to one boxer named Zeus!