How to Criticize a Partner without Offending Them


Partners in Bed


Relationships are perhaps one of the most difficult things in the life of every person. They are about being next to a person every day, and that is why different situations may arise. To be true, it’s hard for a person to endure life on their own, let alone putting up with other people! Marriage can drain a person to the limit, and then all those terrible character traits that sitcoms like to ridicule get manifested in them.

Let’s face it: all couples swear and quarrel. But, unfortunately, they can go further when a constructive dialogue slowly develops into offensive criticism. They can begin to criticize, looking for the smallest flaws in each other and destroying their partner.

Note: now we are not talking about constructive criticism, which aims to help the partner cope with the significant problem and get better. There is a huge gap between critical appraisal and simple criticism. When a person critically evaluates a partner, they raise a problem and want to help their loved one solve it. When you simply attack your partner and begin to criticize them, you destroy them as a person. Constructive advice is what a healthy relationship needs. Offensive criticism is what slowly destroys any relationship.

Criticism as a form of addiction

Psychologists have found that the daily criticism that parents use towards children has an awfully powerful negative impact on the child’s psyche, including the development of mental disorders in the child. And, of course, the same can be said about criticism in marriage. Criticism forces people to break up, and they later do not know how to get over a divorce.

American psychologist Neil Lavender believes that criticism is a form of chronic human dependence. It can be safely compared with heroin or alcohol addiction. Why? Because a person who is accustomed to criticizing everything and everyone just cannot stop – they are looking, like an addict, for new and new motives to be unhappy. And they manage to find them every time. Moreover, they feel much better when they criticize someone; they feel the satisfaction of this process!

Many people dispute about something with their friends, relatives, or lovers using forbidden methods in the form of non-constructive criticism. It is also called “reproaches” which have a destructive force for any relationship. Therefore, using the method of criticism, you must be very careful.

It is not fair to use manipulative behavior and implement reproaches that condemn the weaknesses of your partner into your talk. For example, a man is afraid of flying on an airplane, and the partner reminds them of this with the reproach that; due to this fear, they were unable to fly to an exotic country.

Reproaches are often used by a weaker partner who tries to compensate for their ineptitude and low self-esteem. Many men have jealousy because of their lack of confidence in their abilities which they use as a tool for humiliation and criticism.

Basic rules of the criticizing art

It should be noted that there is a need for constructive criticism to maintain a healthy relationship. Therefore, it is necessary to use simple rules about how to give constructive criticism concerning your partner:

1) No generalizing by using the phrases “well, again,” “you cannot do this without it,” “you always do this,” etc. You need to live for the moment thinking only about today and not drag all the negative events out of the past.

2) You need to learn to accept someone else’s point of view, even if it is not close to your heart. After all, we are all different, and your partner may have their attitude towards many things.

3) One must always remember that perfect relationships do not exist. Therefore, you need to overcome your perfectionism and be happy about everything that life gives.

Where lies the origin?

Loving a person who constantly criticizes everyone is very difficult. But if you look at the past of such a person, it becomes clear where the problem originates. As a rule, the criticizing spouse had a difficult childhood – their parents also liked to criticize them.

As a result of such upbringing, an incredible distortion of reality occurs in a person. Imagine: a wonderful situation has just happened in your life that is 99% positive. But there is 1% of negativity in it. What do you think the critic will pay attention to? That’s right, this 1%. A critic can watch a magnificent film, a true masterpiece in its genre, but such a person will pay attention only to some detail that pisses them off – as they do with people. So, criticizing without thinking in advance is what can ruin harmony in relationships because it means focusing only on bad things.

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