Placeholder Image

字幕表 動画を再生する

  • >>Male Presenter: Hi everyone. My name is Toma Shaun. I'm a User-Experience Researcher

  • and I'm very happy to introduce you to Guy Winch, a psychologist, who's gonna talk about

  • complaint psychology. If you really want his book, "The Squeaky Wheel," and you didn't

  • get it, please let the Authors at Google team know and we'll purchase books for you. Go

  • ahead.

  • >>Guy Winch: All right. Thank you. Am I on? Yes. Excellent. Alright.

  • So, welcome everyone and thanks for having me, Toma. Today, I'm going to tell you how

  • our complaining psychology affects our lives and our relationships.

  • Now, I know the topic of complaints is not one that elicits positive connotations for

  • most people, but I really hope to change that. Case in point, I want to tell you about the

  • day my book came out. Like most writers, I dreamed for years about the day I will be

  • able to see a book I wrote on the shelves of a bookstore.

  • So the day my book was published, I ran down to my local bookstore with my favorite pen

  • in hand, because my agent said, "Oh, they're going to ask you to sign books." So, I had

  • my pen. I ran up to the customer service desk where the customer service manager was standing

  • and said, "I’m Guy Winch and my book just came out."

  • And she said, "Winch. Oh. Let me see." And she looked it up and she goes, "Oh. Here it

  • is. The Squeaky Wheel. Complaining? Ooh, I hate people who complain. Ugh." And she turned

  • away.

  • [laughter]

  • I realized I won't be needing my pen. But I took comfort in the fact that if she hates

  • people who complain that much, she must really love her job as a customer service manager.

  • [laughter]

  • But I also understood how she felt. We complain more today than ever before in history. We

  • complain about everything from the weightiest global issues to the smallest details of our

  • daily lives.

  • We complain about the actions of our favorite television characters with the same immediacy

  • and passion as we do about the actions of our spouse or our friends. And yet, even our

  • best complainers, our kvetching prodigies, even the cream of our moaning crop rarely

  • get the results they want.

  • Today, we are all squeaky wheels, but we don't get the grease. We face daily frustrations

  • and irritations and we don't have a clue about how to address them effectively. Now, I can

  • see your faces and know what some of you are thinking but let me ask you this.

  • The last time your partner or your roommate or your colleague did something that really

  • annoyed you, did you say something to them about it? If you did, did you get the result

  • you wanted? The last time a sales person was rude to you in a store, did you speak to the

  • manager?

  • The last time the dish you ordered in a restaurant was not cooked properly, did you send it back?

  • Complaints are a much bigger factor in our life than we realize and not just because

  • we have so many of them, but mostly because of what happens to us psychologically when

  • we do.

  • The thing is the urge to complain triggers a powerful and negative psychological mindset

  • that impacts our feelings and our behaviors and dramatically affects our lives and our

  • relationships for the worse.

  • And we don't even realize that is happening. Now, when a psychologist tells you that the

  • mere urge to complain triggers powerful, hidden, destructive forces inside your mind, I understand

  • that can sound like pure theory.

  • [laughter]

  • So, the first topic I'll cover today is what the research tells us about complaining psychology.

  • I'll explain what this mindset does to us and what our complaining psychology is costing

  • us in various aspects of our lives.

  • Then, I'll tell you what you can do about it. I'll give you the recipe for preparing

  • a Complaint Sandwich and I'll tell you how to eat one as well. Google recently opened

  • a new call center. So, we'll talk about the challenges those folks might be facing and

  • we'll end with an inspiring story about extra-large brassieres and their occupants.

  • Hopefully by the end of today, I'll have changed your minds about complaints so you can see

  • them for the opportunities they truly are. But let's begin with the research. And here

  • we see the first gap between what we perceive we do and what we actually do.

  • Most people think they would speak up if they were on the losing end of a bad deal. If something

  • you purchased arrived in the wrong size, if it was broken, if it didn't do what it was

  • supposed to do, most of us think we would complain. And yet, study after study demonstrates

  • that when we are dissatisfied with certain purchases, 95% of us fail to complain to the

  • company in question, ninety-five percent. Only 5% of us speak up to the company. And

  • when we ask people why they haven't spoken up in these situations, this is what they

  • say. Here's how we justify why we don't complain. We believe complaining to the company will

  • require too much time and effort.

  • We believe the process of complaining will be too annoying and aggravating. We believe

  • that even if we did complain, we won't get a satisfying result. Now, these might seem

  • like compelling arguments except for one thing.

  • Those very same people will then relay the tale of consumer woe to an average of 16 friends

  • and acquaintances and getting re-aggravated every time they do it, expending incredible

  • time and effort in doing it and resolving nothing. So, do you see the paradox? We voice

  • our complaints to everyone except the people who can actually resolve them.

  • This same contradiction operates in every sphere of our lives. When we feel hurt or

  • annoyed or disappointed by something our partners or our friends or our family members did or

  • said, we usually don't voice complaints to them for all the same reasons.

  • We believe it will require hours of talking and discussion. We believe doing so will be

  • too aggravating because it will lead to an argument. And we believe that even if we tried

  • complaining to these people, it won't resolve the matter to our satisfaction. In other words,

  • we use the very same reasons to justify why we don't complain in our personal lives as

  • we do in our lives as consumers.

  • And here's the other similarity. Instead of complaining directly to our family members

  • or to our friends or our colleagues when we're upset with them, we complain about them to

  • our other family members, our other friends, and our other colleagues. I mean, let's be

  • honest.

  • Locker room acquaintances are more likely to hear what your spouse did to annoy you

  • than your actual spouse. Now sadly, all this effort in complaining to everyone doesn't

  • work. And what it does do is convince us that well, complaining doesn't work so why try?

  • And then the next time we're upset with something, we're even less likely to voice it to the

  • people who can fix it for us. This is a textbook example of a self-defeating prophecy and we

  • all do it. But perhaps the best illustration of how broken our complaining psychology truly

  • is, is the global phenomenon known as Complaints Choirs.

  • This is the Chicago Choir. But all over the world people are gathering in town squares

  • and concert halls to sing their complaints to originally composed music, at times accompanied

  • by symphony orchestras. I wish I was kidding. I'm not. You can look them up on YouTube.

  • There are many of them with hundreds of thousands of page views. Now, here is, for example,

  • is St. Petersburg Complaints Choir in Russia. Here is the Tokyo Complaints Choir. Here is

  • the Cairo Complaints Choir, albeit before the uprising. I'm not sure they're singing

  • currently.

  • There are many, many others. Now, since this phenomenon was a Finnish invention, here's

  • the Helsinki Complaints Choir. The Helsinki Complaints Choir has two main complaints.

  • Their first complaint is that their trams, their public transportation systems smell

  • like urine.

  • And their second complaint is they don't get laid enough. Well, maybe they shouldn't take

  • the trams to their dates. Do you know what I'm saying?

  • [laughter]

  • Here's why this phenomenon is so tragic. Think of how many hours go into preparing the concepts

  • and the lyrics and the composing and the matching outfits. If the Helsinki Choir stood outside

  • their City Hall and sang to their politicians, "If you don't clean up our trams, we won't

  • vote for you," someone would clean their trams.

  • But they don't do that. None of the choirs do. They have this amazing platform and none

  • of the choirs use it to actually try and fix the things they're singing about. None of

  • them. So, they sing in Times Square and their concert halls and it's all very funny, but

  • nothing changes.

  • By the way, I recently mentioned the Helsinki Choir in a keynote address I gave a few weeks

  • ago because I thought if I mention one of the American choirs, there's the Chicago and

  • Philadelphia and Memphis and others I didn't wanna offend anyone in the audience.

  • So, I did Helsinki and the minute I finished my talk, a woman marches up to me and she

  • goes, "I'm from Helsinki."

  • [laughter]

  • So that's awkward. And then she says to me, "Helsinki is a great city. It's where they

  • made Angry Birds."

  • [laughter]

  • And I'm thinking, Angry Birds? That's the best she had? I mean, Helsinki is lovely.

  • It's got far more going for it than Angry Birds. But the thing about Angry Birds is

  • Angry Birds don't call each other up and go, "Can you believe what those pigs did? They

  • stole my eggs. I'm just fuming about it." They don't. Angry Birds take action.

  • [laughter]

  • They launch themselves at those pigs. Angry Birds in Helsinki get stuff done. Angry people?

  • Not so much. It's true. You don't see choir members launching themselves into the air.

  • You don't see the choir members smashing into the trams.

  • [laughter]

  • By the way, I should point out no actual choir members were hurt during the preparation of

  • these slides.

  • [laughter] The thing is the mindset we bring to complaining

  • situations is broken. We have a fundamental apprehension about complaining. We have a

  • deep-seated belief that we will not be heard.

  • We feel helpless and powerless about being able to get results and so we don't even try

  • to complain effectively. But because we have so many complaints, how we deal or rather,

  • not deal with them could have a real impact on our lives and the evidence for that is

  • all around us.

  • In terms of results, most of us have a shelf in our closet, or our garage, where we put

  • all the purchases that arrived in the wrong size or that were missing a crucial piece

  • that we were going to return, but we never quite got around to making the call. I call

  • it "the shelf of complaining shame," frankly.

  • But some people have clothing and programs and electronics and hundreds and thousands

  • of dollarsworth of products on that shelf. Most people have pet peeves, for example,

  • about their partners; things their loved ones do that drive them absolutely crazy.

  • Sexual behaviors that can be distracting or relationship habits that can be really hurtful

  • or personal habits that can be slightly revolting. Now, we don't know how to complain about this

  • stuff and the more important stuff. And the things is that those kinds of things can really

  • erode our feelings over time and hasten and bring about the end of our relationships.

  • In our communities, most of our neighbors are upset about the same things we are. They

  • also think there should be a traffic light on that corner. They also find it annoying

  • to arrive for a doctor's appointment on time and then spend over an hour in the waiting

  • room anyway.

  • They also get annoyed when the local grocery store doesn't take expired products off their

  • shelves. But no one speaks up about those things. And have you ever spoken up about

  • such things? We don't feel we can do anything about these situations, about these small

  • and not so small irritations when they happen.

  • But walking around feeling defeated and upset and powerless on a regular basis affects our

  • mood. And it affects our self-esteem. And it can even affect our mental health. But

  • if we knew how to complain effectively, if we had the tools, if we mastered the techniques

  • that could get us results, if we had confidence in our complaining ability, we could turn

  • all those problems around.

  • And doing so would improve our quality of lives in so many different ways. For example,

  • currently only 1% of our complaints reach company executives, reach the actual decision-makers

  • who can change things. So, that's why things don't change.

  • And if we complained more effectively and they knew about it, they would improve products.

  • They would improve services. They would improve their procedures. All things we would gain

  • from. Our relationships would become stronger and more satisfying and longer lasting.

  • We know from research that couples that are able to discuss a complaint productively have

  • much higher marital satisfaction and much longer marital longevity than couples who

  • do not. It's a really huge thing in relationships. Our communities would function more smoothly

  • and do better for us.

  • For example, I'm sure some of you know this, but when women spoke out about having to wait

  • twice as long for bathrooms than men in sporting arenas and concert halls, places like New

  • York City passed the Potty Parity Bill. Have you heard of it? Well, great. Some of you

  • have, most of them men for some reason.

  • [laughter]

  • But now, the new Mets Stadium and Yankee Stadium and new construction has twice as many stalls

  • for women than it does for men. Those things really affect our lives when we do them. Getting

  • results when we have complaints would make us feel empowered, assertive, and effective.

  • And all the books and the magazines that say "feel empowered," well, they're getting something

  • very wrong because personal empowerment is not about a feeling. It's about having actual

  • influence in your relationships, in your life. If you don't, but you just "feel" empowered,

  • you won't "feel" empowered for long, I assure you.

  • But voicing meaningful dissatisfactions when you have them, getting the people around you

  • to change what they're doing, or your community to change what you're doing, that's the definition

  • of personal empowerment. In other words, we have to stop managing our complaints in ways

  • that are emotionally harmful to us and use them as psychological tools that could make

  • us stronger.

  • It's like Popeye and spinach, really. I'm sure you all know Popeye the Sailor. He was

  • even a Google Doodle in December of 2009. Are you familiar with it? OK. So for those

  • who aren't up on their Depression cartoons, Popeye is a pipe-smoking sailor who gets strong

  • by eating spinach, mostly from a can.

  • So, that's disgusting. But really, the spinach. So, well complaints are like spinach. They

  • could make us all stronger if we use them correctly, but we don't. It's as if Popeye,

  • instead of eating the spinach, just stuffed it into his pipe, smoked it, and got emphysema

  • and then thought, "Oh, complaints are bad."

  • No. How we use them is bad. So let's discuss how to use complaints correctly: how to eat

  • the spinach rather than smoke it; how to complain effectively; how to get results and improve

  • our quality of life. Now, to be able to complain effectively, we have to master a fundamental

  • problem.

  • We have to get our complaint through the other person's defense mechanisms. Pause. Think

  • back to the last time you got home at night and your significant other turned to you and

  • said, "We have to talk." I'm assuming there went your mood for the evening because you

  • immediately felt defensive like you were going to be attacked.

  • That's how we feel about complaints like we're going to be attacked. And so, what it does

  • is it triggers the fight or flight responses when we even sniff a complaint coming our

  • way. We either want to raise the drawbridge, flood the moat, and release the crocodiles.

  • Or, we want to escape the situation as rapidly as possible. For our complaint to be effective,

  • we have to voice it in a way that's the least likely to trigger the other person's defenses,

  • or at least trigger them on their lowest possible setting. The problem is that our urge to complain

  • is at its all-time strongest when we are at our most annoyed.

  • But the angrier we sound, the more defensive the other person gets and the less able they

  • will be to take in our complaint. And there is our complaining predicament. Our defensiveness

  • and their anger means we'll get an ineffective result and someone ends up sleeping on the

  • couch.

  • Now, to illustrate these dynamics and the solutions to them, I'm gonna give you three

  • common examples of complaints I hear all the time, both in my office from patients and

  • from friends. I chose common ones that you should be able to relate to. I'm gonna read

  • you three scenarios and I want you to imagine yourself in these scenarios.

  • Here's scenario number one. You're waiting for your significant other at the movie theater.

  • You've been dying to see the new movie everyone is talking about, but you've already missed

  • the first ten minutes of the film because your honey, as