What is an idiom applicable when someone is voluntarily participating in an action, and complaining excessively? I thought of using "don't let the door hit you on the way out", but I don't want to tell the person to leave, just want to say something along the lines of "nobody is holding you here"?

  • cry wolf - perhaps
    – dynamite
    Commented Feb 10, 2014 at 10:51

5 Answers 5


If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

Don't persist with a task if the pressure of it is too much for you. The implication being that, if you can't cope, you should leave the work to someone who can.

But sometimes a person, especially one who never seems to be satisfied, deserves a sarcastic epithet.

You're a right ray of sunshine.
You're a bundle of joy, this morning. Aren't you?
Don't tell me. You must be the glass is half full kind of person.

If the person still doesn't get it, just tell him or her straight:

Has anyone ever told you: "You're a miserable so and so"?
Can you stop acting like a crybaby for once?
Could you keep your whinging to yourself?



"Quit your whining."


"Can I help or did you just want to kvetch?"


"What's keeping you here?"/ "What's stopping you from leaving?"/ "Who's making you do this?"/ "Who asked you to do this?"

Not exactly idiomatic expressions, but these are what I'd imagine saying.


Why not ask politely?   For example: 

"I'm sorry, but if you're not doing.... I think it's not helpful for you to stay."


Nattering nabob of negativism

In a speech in San Diego in 1970, then Vice President Spiro Agnew used the phrase "nattering nabobs of negativism" to describe supposed intellectuals who attacked American policy....

the phrase does paint an interesting although unpleasant word picture of a self-important person nagging and criticizing everyone else.

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