Often times, when we are critical we are seeking a change in our partner’s behavior that could be for the better. If change is needed and your criticism is valid, try to couch it as constructive feedback using positives or neutral tones instead of negatives.
The funny thing about criticism is that it tends to have the reverse effect with your partner digging their heels in. So if you really want your partner to change, refrain from criticism and offer alternatives instead. This is one way to induce change without indicting their behavior.
If your partner is particularly self-destructive, criticism will only alienate your partner more. Certain behavioral patterns like alcoholism or drug abuse could be a cry for help so offer your unconditional assistance instead.
Not all changes are positive. Sometimes criticism of your partner could be more about what’s really troubling you in your life. So before criticizing them, pause and reflect about why this troubles you so much.
Finally, one must add that one should be just as open to critique from your partner too, and receive it in the right spirit.