The Important Difference Between Criticizing and Voicing a Concern
If criticism has crept into your relationship, whether you’re feeling criticized or you’re the one doing the criticizing.. either way – this week’s Tune Up Tuesday is for you. It’s just a little nugget you can use to tune up your relationship that I share on Tuesday mornings.
Criticism is one of the most common relationship issues. To clarify, there is a difference between criticizing and requesting a change in behavior or voicing a concern. A behavior change request might sound like this – “It bothers me when you check your phone during dinner.” Criticism sounds like this… “You never listen to a word I say. You’re selfish, oblivious, and rude.” See the difference? The first one addresses your partner’s behavior and how it affects you. The second one points to a personality flaw and is insulting.
Another thing to keep in mind -- don’t use words like always or never. Don’t blame. Just address a specific behavior or action and how it’s making you feel. It’s also ok to share a need with this – “hey, babe.. I would feel so much better if you could put your phone down until we’re done with dinner. I’d like to connect and be fully present with each other.” Throwing in a please and thank you every now and then can’t hurt either.
In addition to hosting mornings on B105.7, Sean Copeland is studying to be a relationship therapist.
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