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4 ways to stop criticizing your partner

Once the rose tinted honeymoon phase of every relationship fades and grows into a deeper partnership you will find that your once flawless partner has somehow suddenly acquired many flaws. The first instinct will be to point these flaws out, loudly and repeatedly to your partner. But constant criticism only tends to drive your partner away. A sensitivity to criticism may lead an individual to be negatively impacted by any criticism, and could lead to anxiety, depression, anger, shame, or extreme defensiveness - even when that criticism is constructive and intended to be helpful.

So here are 4 things you can do to stop criticizing your partner.

1

Don’t criticize, offer feedback.

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.

2

Don’t criticize, offer alternatives.

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.

3

Don’t criticize, offer help.

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.

4

Don’t criticize, look inwards.

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.

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