In the context of poor communication, criticizing is when you knock someone down for the wrong reasons: to hurt someone, to vent your frustrations or to boost your ego.

It’s easy enough for someone to get defensive when they’re given constructive criticism. But when your criticism comes from a destructive place, it’s a communication killer.

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Communication

When you blame someone, you take any responsibility off of yourself and put it on them. 

It’s understandable that you want to express your dissatisfaction with something. But sometimes you need to express it in order to find a solution, not to point singers.

Complaining is exhausting because it puts pressure on the other person. 

Complaining often results in the other person feeling as if they should somehow “fix” the problem or else just get away from the complaining. 

  • Venting: Complaining to release strong emotions
  • The Active Effective Complaint: The complainer makes a specific complaint addressed at the person responsible, in order to improve the situation
  • The Ineffective Complaint: Complaining in order to feel some sense of control over something which the complainer cannot control

It is persistently bothering someone to do something you want them to do. 

By definition, it’s a communication breakdown and very unproductive.

Learn to compromise and empathize:

  • Focus on encouragement, not judgment
  • Focus on the effort instead of the outcome
  • Express your feelings rather than criticize

When we threaten someone, we become a source of fear and control. That doesn’t exactly lend itself to great communication.

Instead of threatening, open up about why your request is important. This shows you trust and respect someone enough to tell them why something matters.

It’s about controlling someone’s behavior through negative reinforcement

It it often used in relation to discipline. But punishment comes from a place of control and retaliation, while discipline comes from a place of trust, consistency, and improvement.

It’s focused on control. Often used in relation to rewards. But with a reward, you’re communicating a desirable behavior is. With bribery, you really don’t care if your message gets through, you just want to control and stop a behavior in an artificial way. 

Instead of bribery, negotiating a compromise is better for communication. 

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