Complaining in relationships

L.L. Bean will take back anything you buy, at any time, no matter how long you’ve had it. You could use an L.L. Bean backpack for five years, return it, and get a new one for free.

Starbucks will give you a $10 gift card if you call and complain. Any complaint will do.

For large corporations, a happy consumer is better than an angry consumer. In the long run, it makes sense to compensate consumers for complaining, because they’ll profit from the positive word-of-mouth.

Just be careful how often you take advantage of this free opportunity. Over the long run, you train your brain to expect that, “Complaint = Reward.” Your brain can’t tell the difference between complaining to a large corporation and complaining to your friends.

And your friends, outside of the ones that like you the very best, have no interest in listening to you complain.

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