Problematising, moralising, preaching and moaning.
These four things seem very similar at first glance. They are critical and offer few solutions. But they are not the same. At least three of them say more about their source than they have to do with genuine reflections. When someone moralises or preaches they are usually doing so from a position where there is an established body of accepted knowledge and opinion. They take an objective or external source and then apply it to the actions, or non-actions, of an individual. It is very important to see the distinction between moralising, which is often petit and malicious, and being moral, in which humility plays a large role. (The true mark of altruism is anonymity.)
When someone moans they are voicing their dissatisfaction about the world, but there is nothing but contempt and disillusionment in their words. There is no genuine critical analysis, there is no effort to discover the empirical basis of the problem. There is only negativity and anger.
Problematising is unique because it takes a situation and demystifies it. It breaks it down into motives and distances the situation from its common sense (not always good sense) view and asks questions which might not otherwise be asked: Who is involved in the situation?; Why has it become a problem here and now?; Whom does the situation benefit?; Whom does it harm? Next time you are involved in conversations which are critical of something step back and ask these questions. It is only then that new viewpoints, consciousness, reflection, hope, and action will emerge.