One of the most destructive behavioral patterns in relationships, is excessive criticism.
The concept of criticism is prevalent in our reality. We can find ourselves disapproving, in one way or another, of a movie we saw, meal we had in a restaurant, article we read, etc.
However, when this type of behavior is exhibited with the intention to reprimand, blame, give orders or gain control over others, it can result in a downward spiral, potentially ruining your relationship.
Invariably, criticism isn’t an effective way to achieve the results we hope for. (“Fixing” others). To the contrary, it can be very destructive and fuel the fire of negativity. When we criticize, we are focusing on finding what’s wrong, instead of what is good and right with something or someone.
In an intimate relationship, when troubles arise, if both partners desire and are willing to make the necessary changes in order to overcome their issues, chances are they will succeed.
For starters, in favor of conflict resolution, they can decide amongst themselves a certain time period to completely stop criticizing one another, even if they are right and the argument is valid.
At most, if they feel compelled to show their dissatisfaction or disapproval, they can write a note and leave it on the kitchen table.
Why is this strategy so effective? It can prevent a difficult situation from escalating while moving toward a resolution.
When writing, we have an opportunity to brainstorm beforehand and carefully choose every word. If we are not satisfied, we can erase and rewrite. Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen when we speak, as we cannot take back our words…
Words can be written with the intention of conveying the message correctly and empathetically, without being overly emotional. The benefit is that the recipient has time to think about things and cannot respond abruptly.
If he/she wishes to comment back they can formulate a non offensive note.
This simple and nonverbal communication method, can be the start of building a long lasting, loving and rewarding relationship.
Estee Levinson, Relationship Communication Strategist – Creating harmonious communication, one relationship at a time.