The Important Difference Between Criticizing and Voicing a Concern

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The Important Difference Between Criticizing and Voicing a Concern

Tune Up Tuesday

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.

Phorto Credit: Getty Images

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