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You probably have to deal with criticism at work, from your family, and—maybe most of all—from yourself. So when you come home after a long day and your partner calls you lazy for leaving dishes in the sink, it really stings.

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If you are always criticizing your partner, read this

Close quarters. Work pressures.

These are just a few of the stressors couples experience acutely right now. Even in the best of times, all relationships involve disappointments and missed opportunities. If our partner complains, we can learn to respond better.

It may come as a surprise to you to hear that changing how you respond to complaints and criticisms is one of the most important things you can do to improve your relationship. We naturally become defensive when our partners complain or criticize us.

We tend to refute or to correct what is unfair or wrong. We may become defensive or attack back.

How do we listen to criticism or complaints without getting defensive? How do we stay connected when we feel like striking back?

My partner is always criticising me

The reality is that only when you are truly open to hearing the complaints of your partner can you expect to be truly heard yourself. And you cannot do this simultaneously.

In other words, you cannot expect to be heard at the same time that your partner is expressing a complaint or a criticism of you. Not everyone can do this. It is very difficult to listen to a person accusing you of causing distress, anguish or discomfort.

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Listening with an open heart and an intention to understand that person requires commitment and practice. If you are on the receiving end of criticism or complaints from your partner, the following tips may be helpful to keep defense or attacks in check. No one likes being the target of criticism, but a lot can be learned from the challenge.

With practice, we can enhance our capacity to listen differently, to ask questions, to get our intensity down, and to move toward, rather than away from, the other person. We can learn to apologize for the part we can agree with and wait our turn to speak about our own issues at another time.

If you have never responded to criticism and complaints in this way, it may take some getting used to, and some practice. That is the road to better communication and true healing and repair.

You do have the power to lead your relationship down that road — why wait? Call or Text infocouples gmail.

Get In Touch. How to dial it down, keep your cool and reduce conflict this holiday. Assessing Anger: An Unmet Need?

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