angry young woman with megaphone shouting at stressed scared man blown away by wave of alphabet letter
angry young woman with megaphone shouting at stressed scared man blown away by wave of alphabet letters

How to Make Your Relationship a Criticism Free Zone

In addition to hosting mornings on B105.7, I work as a therapist in the afternoon.  Accepting new clients now.

On Tuesday mornings I share nuggets I’ve learned in a segment called Tune Up Tuesday.  It’s something you might use to “tune up” your relationship.  Today, it’s one of 4 tell-tale signs that your relationship may be doomed: If you’re constantly criticizing each other.  Criticism is commonly known as one of the 4 horsemen of a relationship apocalypse.

Sure, it’s one thing to tell your partner that something is bothering you, but constantly bringing up every little annoying idiosyncrasy  will not bode well for your relationship.  I challenge couples I work with to make their relationship a criticism free zone.  You can do this in several ways.  For starters, re-frame criticism as an unmet need.  That’s what’s behind every criticism.  If you’re able to identify the need and share that lovingly with your partner, it often goes better than.. “hey stop doing such and such” or “it really bothers me when you (blank).”

Another way — contain your desire to criticize.  If something happens that sparks criticism in you, contain it for a day.. maybe a week.. and if after that containment period it’s still bothering you, bring it up.. in a loving, gentle way.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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