Who doesn’t value his or her dignity? At least every one does except our unfortunate brothers and sisters who are mentally derailed or retarded. I guess you value your dignity so do your partner.
Criticism is not a bad thing in itself but when it becomes “a national anthem” you sing every day to the hearing of your party, something must definitely be wrong somewhere, which ought to be corrected in order to pave way to free flow of communication.
I know people who have penchant for criticism no matter how hard their partners try to please them. Genuine criticism that seeks to correct a partner so as to make the relationship better is to be applauded but the negative as aspect of criticism is the subject matter for discussion.
A look at criticism reveals the following 1. To express your disapproval of someone or something or to talk about their faults 2. To express judgments about the good or bad qualities of something.
So let head straight to look at the evils of criticism in a relationship and why it’s necessary on our part to eliminate it in the course of our day to day interactions with our partners.
1. CRITICISM WEAKENS THE CONFIDENCE IN YOUR PARTNER
When we were in high school, the boys the teachers criticized the most are the ones most stubborn in the class because they assumed the teachers at the time saw nothing good in them, so they used what they have in them to disturb the class every now and then.
No individual does what is right all the time without any fault. We all need that warm and lovely advice from our partners when we didn’t get all things right at one point or the other. There’s a wise saying that “there’s no institution without counsel” Meaning no one is above advice. It’s against this background that we’ve so many advisors such as
- Financial advisors
- Presidential advisors
- Legal advisors
- Business advisors
- Company advisors
- Investment advisors
- Marriage advisors
- Insurance advisors etc.
The above advisors are set up to guide businesses and individual to do the right thing in the ambit of their respective laws. So is relationship. Your partner is not above counsel but the way and manner you go about it is the main issue. If you’ve made it your goal to constantly criticize him or her, you are indirectly telling him or her they are good for nothing and for that matter he or she can’t do anything right. When you go into a relationship with this mindset, you either make your partner to draw back from taking any initiative on their own or may take you for granted (would not take you seriously again). What good is it to do your very best only to be criticized by your partner. We all need constructive criticism so that we can give out our best but don’t make it a national anthem in your relationship.
2. CRITICISM BRINGS DISHARMOY IN THE RELATIONSHIP
Lovers are supposed to be friends and not enemies. But what do we see in most relationships especially as the relationship advance in age, criticism becomes the order of the day probably because love is gradually “dying out” and we no longer care about the feelings of our partners.
Criticism is a dangerous road to travel especially in committed or marriage relationship. How do you feel if your partner doesn’t appreciate whatever you do to him or her? Can you get closer to the person who always lambast you and never appreciate anything good you have done and continue to for him or her?
Constant criticism is a pointer that something is going wrong and partners must take steps to correct it. There are ways to go by criticism without offending your partner. Anna shares some points worth sharing and implementing its alternative in our relationships. Reframe the statement to meet your peculiar needs
1. Remove the focus from the individual
The moment your criticism becomes personal, the event becomes hostile. Stop this scenario from playing out by removing your focus on the individual (even if your focus is actually on the individual). This is best illustrated with examples. Let’s say you’re working on a team project, and one of your members isn’t delivering his updates on time. Instead of saying, “you’re not good at delivering your updates on time,” reposition the criticism to something like, “I would work more efficiently if I had your updates on time.” This becomes less of an attack on the individual, and more of an unbiased view of the situation as a whole.
2. Be specific
One of the most important qualities of effective feedback is specificity. The first part of this “specifying” process is all about identifying what it is you actually want to criticize. For example, if you feel like your work environment is hostile, walking into your boss’s office and claiming “this office is terrible” isn’t going to help anything. Precisely indicate what factors and items rest at the root of your issues. For example, “there’s a lack of efficient communication between supervisors and subordinates” is much more specific, and identifies a key area that needs work. Productive discussion can then take place.
3. Get it out
Most of us are used to playing social games where we dance around our true meaning with ambiguity and indirect references. Forget those social minutiae when delivering your criticism–they aren’t going to help you. You may think you’re softening the blow, so to speak, but what you’re really doing is injecting ambiguity to obscure your meaning. Passive-aggressive comments like “some of us prefer to get to work on time” or ambiguous comments like “I think maybe you could stand to plan your morning a little better” bear little meaning, and may even be irritating. Just come out and say it: “your punctuality needs improvement.”
4. Frame your criticism with compliments
Let your recipient know that you aren’t just trying to put them down; frame the negative elements of your critical feedback with compliments. This is a bit of a psychological trick, preventing the recipient from suffering a blow to her ego, but more importantly, it shows that you’re paying attention to the total picture, not just one element. For example, you might say, “Great work on that project! Your writing was crystal clear. I think it could use a little more research to back up your facts, but overall, it’s on point.”
5. Offer suggestions
Criticism without a suggestion is like being a navigator, telling someone they’re headed in the wrong direction, and refusing to tell them which direction is the right one. Don’t do this to your recipients. Give them at least a few options for potential development, or they might not take any effort to improve on their own. For example, you could say, “your scope documents sometimes come over as ambiguous. Could you start using a consistent format? Would it help if I came up with a list of questions for you to ask the client?” Offering your own help is always a good thing too.
6. Recognize your own subjectivity
Human beings are incapable of being objective, no matter how much we try to convince ourselves otherwise. Indicating your own subjectivity, and your own proneness to human error, will make you appear more humble, and therefore more sincere in your delivery. It doesn’t take much to imply this–a simple aside is more than enough. For example, you might say, “I’m not an expert on the subject, but I believe your plan is missing a few key details.” Don’t deprecate yourself, but admit a degree of uncertainty unless you’re absolutely sure of yourself.
7. Practice what you preach
This is a general best practice that will improve your reputation, but it’s important to acknowledge in the context of giving criticism. If you align yourself to the belief that criticism is necessary and everyone needs it, you need to be able to take it as much as you dish it out. Demonstrate your full commitment to criticism by accepting criticism of your own work. Learning to take criticism is an art in itself, but as long as you make yourself open to it, you’ll set a better standard for your entire team.
It’s a sad fact that most people still take criticism as an insult or as a “bad thing” in general. But if you frame it correctly, even the staunchest opponent will find themselves able to recognize that you’re doing this for their best interests. This doesn’t always make it easy to give or easy to take, but it does produce the best possible scenario for what is, ultimately, a necessary exchange. (https://www.inc.com/anna-johansson/7-ways-to-voice-criticism-without-being-negative.html)
3. CONSTANT CRITICISM STAGNATES INTIMACY
When you are always bashing your partner through constant criticism, you would be gradually destroying the intimacy that holds and binds the relationship together. When this attitude continues in the relationship sex will be destroyed and there will not be any livewire to support the marriage or relationship. This will put you far apart from each other even though you may leaving under the same rough. It’s not surprising to see couples sleep on the same bed without any sexual intimacy for years.
Since intimacy has to do with the way people feel towards each other we have to deal with the way we criticize our partners so as not to destroy the intimacy we have with them. Whatever the case may be your partner would offend you in one way or the other but learn to master the urge not to speak any negative words as you normally do.
Successful relationships are not without problems but the individuals in such relationships learn to handle conflicts maturely without reaching the breaking point because people learn how to control their tongues. If you know how to control your tongue I can assure you that your marriage relationship would go as far as you want.
4. CONSTANT CRITICISM SHOWS PRIDE
There’s nothing wrong if you take pride in who you are and what you do. The kind of pride I am talking about is the constant demonstration to your partner that you are better off in every way than your partner. How do people do this? When they constantly criticize their partners for not doing what they think is right. Examples: any purchase by their partners is considered inferior, any alternative option given is deemed outmoded etc. Such people will never be satisfied with anything to say the least.
Even if you don’t like what your partner has done you should be respectful and find a better way to go about it without sounding prideful through your utterances. Great people don’t run others down in order to make themselves better. They rather support everyone to be better off.
Do everything you can to complement the weaknesses of your partner without making it a big issue as some people do in their relationships. You don’t highlight your partner’s mistakes to justify your criticism. Don’t be arrogant to humble yourself to know your own weaknesses. You may also have a weakness your partner is dealing with so don’t make it looks like you are very perfect and have no flaw.
Avoid this attitude for the sake of your partner and the love you have for each other.
5. CONSTANT CRITICISM DEMONSTRATES IMMATURITY
I witnessed a marriage that lasted for six months and ended on divorce because the lady can’t stop criticizing everything about the husband. The lady is young and happens to come from an affluent home and for that matter she extends her parent’s home experience to her marriage.
You have to grow in your relationship and see conflicts as a normal part of your marriage or relationship. You don’t extend the experience in your old relationship or the experience you had with your parent to your new home. You have to acquire experience through your daily experiences with your partner in the relationship.
If your own partner couldn’t be a good example for you when it comes to dealing with your partner, read and learn about how people manage to deal with criticism in their relationships and come out strongly in the long round. You have no idea how people are praying and envying your relationship with your partner. It’s too costly to disappoint them. You can do better by staying clear from criticism.
Criticism is another frequently abuse element in our relationships and we must learn to either avoid it or use it constructively to enhance our relationships. I want to see you happy with your partner doing forward so if it’s possible don’t criticize him or her. You are in the relationship to complement him or her and not to announce your partner’s weaknesses to the world. The world has its own challenges, don’t add yours to it.
HAPPY NEW AND PROSPEROUS RELATIONSHIP