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Criticizing or Listening

Criticizing or Listening

Do you tend to hear your partner out when she’s sharing his or her perspective or do you jump in quickly to point out the problems with their views? 

Try listening and giving your partner space to share their opinions—it’s easier to find a compromise or the best solution when everyone has a chance to share their thoughts.

@carlos_tb483

MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE

Blaming vs. Supporting

When things go wrong for your partner—on the job, with friends, or personally—do you tend to identify the faults in them that may have led to their difficulties or do you offer support and a willing ear? 

Tearing down your partner when the world is doing a good job of this already does no good for your relationship.

If your partner is taking on a new challenge or trying to solve a problem or fix something that’s broken, do you complain about their success and pace or do you offer encouragement and act as a cheerleader? 

Improve your partner’s chance of success by giving them space and positive encouragement. You should view yourselves as a team, not as rivals.

If you have a set way of looking at the world or doing things that are 180-degrees different from your partner’s, don’t nag them to change how they do things; respect the differences that exist and let yourself off the hook for being the “expert” in everything. 

If a partner needs to work late, do you threaten them that they’d better be back on time, or that they’d better be telling the truth about their plans? 

Learning to trust your partner’s commitment can ease a relationship’s path. 

If your partner forgets to pick up groceries on the way home from work or forgets to set the alarm on a Monday morning, do you tend to insult or belittle them? 

Learn to accept the imperfection of others, as you expect others to accept in yourself.

When you want to convince your partner to do something your way, do you try to bribe them with promises of giving in to their requests later? 

Healthy adult relationships don’t function well when disagreements feel more like payoffs than negotiations or mediations. 

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RELATED IDEAS

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.

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IDEAS

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Does your sense of purpose involve making extreme sacrifices to satisfy your partner's needs?
  • Is it difficult to say no when your partner makes demands on your time and energy?
  • Do you cover your partner’s problems with drugs, alcohol, or the law?
  • Do you constantly worry about others’ opinions of you?
  • Do you feel trapped in your relationship?
  • Do you keep quiet to avoid arguments?
  • Say “I love you” and “Have a good day” every morning. This is a great way to buy some patience and tolerance as each partner sets out each day to battle traffic jams, long lines and other annoyances.
  • Say “Good night” every night, regardless of how you feel. It says that what you and your partner have is bigger than any single upsetting incident.