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The Squeaky Wheel [Kindle Edition]

Guy Winch Ph.D.
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Although life was physically more difficult in the days of the horse and carriage, we complained much less back then, and when we did, our complaints were more likely to get results. Today we complain about everything--yet do so with remarkable ineffectiveness. Most of us grumble, vent, and kvetch, neither expecting nor getting meaningful resolutions. Wasting prodigious amounts of time and energy on unproductive complaints can take an emotional and psychological toll on our moods and well-being. We desperately need to relearn the art of complaining effectively.Psychotherapist Guy Winch offers practical and psychologically grounded advice on how to determine what to complain about and what to let slide. He demonstrates how to convey our complaints in ways that encourage cooperation and increase the likelihood of getting resolutions to our dissatisfactions. The principles he spells out apply whether we're dealing with a rude store clerk, a bureaucrat, a coworker, our teenager, or a spouse or partner who's driving us crazy.Complaining constructively can be extremely empowering and it can significantly strengthen our personal, familial, and work relationships. Applying our new-found complaining skills to customer service representatives, corporate leaders, and elected officials increases the odds that our comments will be taken seriously. If we all complained more effectively, squeaky wheels could change our own lives as well as the world for the better.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Psychotherapist and amateur stand-up comic Winch tackles a pervasive problem with modern society: whining. We have become a "nation of squeakers," he claims, contending that "ineffective complaining can damage self-esteem, lead to depression and anxiety, and hinder our careers." In eight sections, ranging from "The Ineffective Squeaker Doesn't Get the Grease" to "Squeaking as Social Activism," Winch reviews the past, present, and future of complaining, noting its evolution from rare occurrence to modern habit; we constantly vent about our emotions. He illustrates the psychological functions and social benefits of complaining, and supports observations with research effectively woven together with examples from his personal life, private practice, and the world beyond in a way that makes his suggestions easy to implement. Not only does Winch provide the recipe for "a complaint sandwich," (a novel, step-by-step process for complaining, using the parts of a sandwich that correspond to the components of a complaint), but he also focus on effectively interacting with loved ones, customer service reps, and our communities. His conversational tone is infused with humor, making his first book a thoroughly enjoyable read.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


“Excellent for all disgruntled souls out there.”—Library Journal

“Kicking and screaming not doing the trick? Try a complaint sandwich!”—Elle

The Squeaky Wheel is wonderful, loaded with psychological insights and practical tips to help us deal with life’s annoyances. It’s also laugh-out-loud fun to read!”—Rita Emmett, author of The Procrastinator’s Handbook

“Competent complainers are made, not born. With Dr. Guy Winch as a ‘complaining coach,’ readers can master this elusive but essential skill, so central to self-assertion and finding one's adult voice.”—Jeanne Safer, Ph.D., author of The Normal One

“Americans spend an amazing amount of their time complaining – yet are usually no good at it. The Squeaky Wheel will show you how to complain in a constructive manner. You won’t demand your money back!”—Gregg Easterbrook, author, Sonic Boom

The Squeaky Wheel is a great read! Smart, funny and full of practical advice. I loved learning ‘complaining skills.’”—Esther Perel, author of Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence

“Guy Winch has brought a new twist to complaints that I’ve never seen in thirty years in the field. He clearly outlines—using entertaining stories—new methods and benefits for both consumers and those dealing with complaints. This is the most stimulating contribution to the field in a decade.”—John Goodman, vice chairman, TARP Worldwide

“The Squeaky Wheel offers the best ways to complain without, well, complaining.”—Women’s Day
“Not only does Winch provide the recipe for "a complaint sandwich," (a novel, step-by-step process for complaining, using the parts of a sandwich that correspond to the components of a complaint), but he also focus on effectively interacting with loved ones, customer service reps, and our communities. His conversational tone is infused with humor, making his first book a thoroughly enjoyable read.”—Publishers Weekly


Product Details

  • File Size: 382 KB
  • Print Length: 305 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0802717985
  • Publisher: Walker Books; Reprint edition (January 4, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004CYEE66
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #133,359 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Book Saved Me $400! February 7, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Here's what happened to me after I had read this book: I do Ironman triathlons and marathons. Last year while training, I found out that I had a stress fracture on my pelvic bone. Ouch. I needed an MRI to verify that it was indeed a stress fracture. The first MRI came out blurry and I needed to take a second. After assuring me that I would not be charged for another MRI, I took the second test and was told that, yes, I had a pelvic stress fracture. Skip ahead a few months when the bill arrives. I was charged for 2 MRIs $1200 each!! Furious, I picked up the phone to call the lab that did the billing. (Not good to call and complain about something in a rage. Did I not just learn that?!) The billing department informed me that it had already gone through to my insurance company and that their hands were tied-nothing else they could do. Not only that, the double billing pushed me over my deductible, so I was benefiting from it. (OK, smoke coming from my ears.) At that point, I just decided to take a deep breath and do exactly as Dr. Winch had told me to do. I very CALMLY thanked the billing rep for her help up to this point and explained to her that I was not satisfied with her response. I had been told that I would not be billed twice and that it was through no fault of anyone that I hit my deductible. Silence on the phone. I then asked her if I could speak to her manager. She would not put him on the phone. I explained to her, very calmly, that I would not be hanging up the phone until this matter is resolved. Silence. I explained to her that the letter from my insurance company told me that after their deductions I would owe the lab $800 and I am more than happy to pay that amount as I did receive a service from them and would absolutely be paying $800 and not one penny more. Silence. Read more ›
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars loved it! January 5, 2011
By Sam B.
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I'm not really one for book reviews but my wife got me this book to read on a business trip. my flight was delayed so I finsihed it quick. boy, I learned more from reading the squeaky wheel than from any other self-help book I've read in years. I even used the complaint sandwich with my wife when I got home, and it worked! We talked and didn't argue. priceless stuff right there! I don't know how winch did it, but he has interesting ideas, great advice AND his writing is laugh out loud funny. my wife is half way through and is loving it. but what really got me to write this review is I just used his advice to dispute a cell-phone bill and got them to take $50 off!!l! The book paid for itself! lol! winch should have called it 'the money wheel'.

Sam B
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for anyone who struggles with depression! January 15, 2011
By Lill
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The Squeaky Wheel will make you think about your life in far broader terms than complaining alone. It is the most empowering book I've read in a very long time. Anyone struggling with depression would benefit tremendously from this book. It will give them great insight and great advice and even more important, it will motivate them and give them hope. As the author says, taking the small step of complaining effectively about one thing can give us the motivation to take another and then another. We all have complaints and using them as psychological tools is as brilliant as it is simple. What a great read!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chronic complainer no more January 19, 2011
By Alan
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I got the book because I tend to complain a lot and thought it might be interesting for me to read about the psychological aspects of complaining. I did not expect the book to have such a big impact on me but it did! This book will make me think about so much more than just complaining. It already made a difference in my relationship and my mood and most of all in my general outlook on life. Therapy didn't do that for me but this book did and it was much cheaper than therapy!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Makes you think March 16, 2011
By bonsai
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If you are an ineffective frustrated complainer, this book will definitely be helpful to you. He offers clear concrete advise on how to deal with landlords, salespeople, customer service call centers and even you're teenage child.
It helps you realize how to navigate some sticky situations.
Not sure what I was expecting, but I felt a little disappointed. Not so much because of the quality of the information, but because it was more like meatloaf than a sirloin buger....a little too much filler. But worth the read.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun, funny, informative, and useful! January 19, 2011
This book is indeed a treat! I am not usually one for self-help
books, but this truly does not read like one. Dr. Winch is a
refreshing blend of humor, wisdom, and really helpful suggestions. In
a world that is increasingly overwhelming and full of potentially
"there's nothing I can do about it" moments, he reminds us that
everyone is human and there are ways to get past even the most rigid
and frustrating barriers. Every phone call I've made to customer
service since reading this book has been positive- one of the many
concrete ways in which his book has helped. A great reminder and
how-to for being a more effective complainer... I highly recommend
reading it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Practical Approach to Making a Complaint April 29, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I love books where the concepts can be easily applied to the real world. Guy Winch's book makes it so easy for all of us to view complaining in a new way and his "complaint sandwich" just makes sense. Since reading the book, I now understand the best way to complain to get something I want. It might not work every time, but I now have a strategy other than getting upset and becoming aggravated. I like the way Guy provides so many examples that hit home. The book promises to empower readers and to help build relationships,...and that's exactly what it does.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone should read this
People who complain about everything are boring, yes, but this book brings out the benefits -and the necessity- of skillful and judicious complaints. I'll probably re-read it! Read more
Published 5 months ago by straykatstudio
3.0 out of 5 stars not great
was looking for more hands on dealing with the situation. would not purchase if had to do it over again.
Published 8 months ago by Brenda Hooker
1.0 out of 5 stars I don't recommend it
I must say, at the beginning this book had me going. I couldn't put it down!--and I'm not a reader! But when I read more & more, the book had bad language and blasphemy just from... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Allc1865
5.0 out of 5 stars Squeak Effectively!
This book will help you complain like a champion instead of like a wimp or a bully! And when you learn to complain more effectively, you lift your self-esteem, improve your... Read more
Published on March 26, 2012 by LPC Express
5.0 out of 5 stars An unbiased review...
I have just finished Guy Winch's book and I felt that he not only wrote in an articulate fashion but with one heck of a lot of common sense. Fascinating! Read more
Published on March 8, 2012 by Ronald Winch
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!
As a practicing therapist I found this book to be insightful not for only my own life elucidation, but also for many of my patients. Read more
Published on March 6, 2012 by Christopher Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars The Squeaky Wheel
When I received this book, I couldnt wait to read it. I started reading it and could not put it down, it is an amazing book, I really liked the way he wrote it as if he was... Read more
Published on February 7, 2012 by Mary
5.0 out of 5 stars Uniquely helpful, and a great read as well
I have the feeling that most readers will find something helpful in this book, because we humans love and hate to complain - I didn't realize that we had so much to learn about how... Read more
Published on August 11, 2011 by Steven
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT!!!!!!
An excellent book about a subject matter that's close to all our hearts. & I can happily report that there's one thing I won't be complaining about after reading this book: "The... Read more
Published on January 30, 2011 by Jonathan F
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Tips!
I realy learned a lot from this book, plus it was very easy to read and the advice is easy to follow. Great Job.
Published on January 25, 2011 by Julia
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More About the Author

Dr. Guy Winch is a licensed psychologist, author, and speaker. He received a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from New York University in 1991. His books, Emotional First Aid and The Squeaky Wheel, have been translated into 13 languages. He writes the popular Squeaky Wheel Blog on, is a regular contributor to Huffington, and he has also dabbled in stand-up comedy. His website is


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