We’ve all been there. One moment you’re sitting together, cuddling and feeling as loved up as you could possibly be. The next moment, you’re screaming at your partner because they mentioned a flaw of yours in a passing comment.
It’s not the first time it’s ever happened, and believe me, it won’t be the last.
However, there’s a right way and wrong way to take that feedback and criticism. The WRONG way is to scream, shout and even physically attack your spouse; that’s definitely not the right way to go about it.
If your first instinct is to lash out, either verbally or physically, you need to take a second to calm yourself before anything else happens. Something as simple as counting to three in your head is a good way to calm yourself down and take control of your emotions.
The RIGHT Way To Handle It
First, realize that your partner loves you. In fact, they may not even realize that you’re even upset about something they’ve said; this is why you get so many of those situations where a partner is always wondering why their partner is so angry with them all the time.
They don’t have a clue why. Sometimes it’s not because they’re just ignorant and not paying attention; it’s just that the things they often say, they don’t even consider that it would come across as hurtful or mean.
That’s the first step.
The next step is to put down that defensive wall, and realize you’re both on the same side
Think critically about what they have said, and see if there’s any truth in it.
If there is, think about what made your partner say it in this instance. This is about self-reflection, and analyzing yourself. Remember, it’s meant to be constructive, an opportunity to work and improve yourself.
Sure, sometimes you might think you’re perfect, but that’s often not the case – in fact, no one’s perfect!
The third step is to respond. Go deeper and ask your partner to explain what they mean
Treat them with respect when asking them to explain; remember to not get defensive. Stay relaxed and enjoy the chance to really share your opinions with each other.
The final step is to move forward; is that by working on it and improving that particular flaw? Or if what your partner has said isn’t true, is the next step to discuss perhaps they should be nicer about certain things and think about what they say before they say it?
It’s up to you. It depends entirely on how you think about what your partner has said (logically of course, not emotionally), and how they actually said it.
You can reach a point where simply being open and honest with each other becomes the norm, not the rare occurrence.
Simply be more open with your thoughts and feelings, especially when it comes to criticism, and you’ll find both you and your partner really begin to connect, and find it easier to communicate!
Elizabeth Davis is a well known and respected relationship adviser. Visit her website RelationshipsAdvice.co where she offers free, no-holds-barred counseling, friendship and support to anyone experiencing difficulties in their marriage.