Criticism in a relationship can be extremely dangerous even if it seems, to a certain extent, normal. We are not talking about sincere expression of thoughts or about the feedback offered with gentleness, patience and understanding. It is about reproaches expressed directly, without consideration for the way the partner feels.
What is the difference between feedback and criticism in a relationship?
You may be wondering what is the difference between a calm reproach and harmful criticism, which can ruin even the most beautiful relationship. After all, the message is the same, isn’t it?
Well, everything is in the chosen words. There is a huge difference between “it bothers me that…” and “you always do that.” In the first case, the emphasis is on the behavior that bothers you. In the second, the focus is on your partner, himself being the element that bothers you.Read More
Constructive and healthy feedback focuses on behavior, not the person. We can tell our partner how we feel and think without attacking him, as a human being. So, the next time you want to tell your partner what’s bothering you, avoid using phrases like “you always do this” or “you never do this.” Work together to resolve the situation, instead of fighting each other.
Why can criticism in a relationship be fatal?
Let’s do a short exercise! Focus and remember 3 events in which your partner criticized you and you felt bad. Certainly, these memories have remained in your subconscious.
Constant reproaches have the power to affect our self-confidence and move us away from the one who criticizes us. In a relationship, if one of the partners is constantly criticized, he may feel betrayed and totally unsupported.
Over time, the criticized partner may move away emotionally or even physically, having a permanent reluctance and discomfort around the other person.
How not to criticize and communicate effectively in a relationship?
“All right, but I can’t stand the things that bother me indefinitely, I have to tell him what annoys me!”, you might think. You are right, because the unexpressed inconveniences will surely turn into frustration, a feeling that will erupt at some point into a major crisis.
If you want to communicate effectively talk to your partner when you are both calm. Tell him what bothers you, focusing on the behavior not the flaws of the loved one.
“Criticism is, in fact, a hidden need,” says couple psychotherapist Zach Brittle. When you criticize your partner for spending too much time in front of the screen, you are actually expressing the need to receive more attention or to spend more time together.
So, before you harshly criticize the person next to you, take a deep breath and ask yourself what is, in fact, the reason why you are upset or bothered by his behavior. It is a smart move that will help you avoid conflicts and frustrations in the relationship.