How to Deal with Someone Who Constantly Criticizes You
New relationships are intoxicating, however, time alone will reveal a person’s real qualities to decide if that relationship will blossom or die a slow, wrung-out death.
One of the qualities that destroy relationships the most is having a partner who continually criticizes you, especially when he does this in front of family and friends. No matter how well-meaning his actions, over time, it can make you feel like you’re not good enough, and this will make you lose confidence in yourself.
If you ever find yourself in such a debilitating position, here are eight top ways experts recommend for dealing with the situation:
How to Deal with Someone Who Constantly Criticizes You
1) Try to Understand Where He’s Coming From
Your partner might have been raised under an atmosphere of constant criticism, which will, in turn, make him into a critical person himself.
Most of these criticisms become internalized to become an inner voice that will always criticize himself or those around him.
This is not advocating you roll over and accept every time he criticizes you. Doing this would be accepting and encouraging a bad attitude. However, knowing his past experiences will better prepare you to understand why he acts that way.
It likely will also temper the depth of your responses to his ‘attacks” when they come.
2) Decide If It’s Constructive Criticism
While criticism is still that, for the most part, it isn’t always said with evil intentions.
Seeing as your partner, haven been hounded all his life, might have developed a perfectionism trait and might now be projecting that unto you, albeit in an overly critical way. His actions, however, while being strongly uncomfortable, might have good intentions behind them.
After the initial resentment at haven being criticized wears off, you might want to take a sit back to weigh his words if they hold some truth.
Understand he might mean well, and for the time being, pick out the gold contained in his words, if any and choose to ignore whatever else was said.
3) Assert Yourself
While you might put yourself out to understand your partner’s actions and where he’s coming from, you would also need to know when enough is enough and when to assert yourself.
Constantly keeping quiet over his actions will make him see nothing wrong in this habit and this will further encourage him. The result of this which is you gradually losing yourself and resenting him a little more each day.
You would need to be firm and assert yourself. Stand your grounds on why your opinions and ways of doing things are also right. Make him understand that while his suggestions and reasons for criticizing you are not so bad, they aren’t the only way to get things done, and your ideas are also useful.
4) Provide Honest Feedback About This Critical Nature
If you leave things the way they are, it will lead to one of two things:
- You losing yourself
- Gradually coming to resent your partner
5) Try to Work Out This Quality
If your partner’s critical attitude is destroying your relationship, which it likely will, you both should have a sit-down to discuss how his position is affecting you.
Chances are your partner is unaware of the damaging effect of his habit, and continuing to stay quiet about it will only lead to resentment and the gradual disintegration of the relationship.
Discussing it, however, will give the relationship a fighting chance before it disintegrates to the point of no return.
6) Consider Getting Professional Help
Since these habit and way of life have been formed over time, it might be hard, almost impossible for him to change it himself.
If you find he keeps relapsing, you both should consider seeking an expert who gradually works you through it all.
7) Take Marriage Courses Yourself
If your partner is unwilling to get professional help, you could try a few marriage courses and therapies yourself. These have been known for being effective in helping couples build more effective ways to communicate.
8) End the Relationship
If all else fails, you might need to look into a more permanent way to solve the issue.
Unless your partner shows a willingness to change this habit, you can’t force his hand, and you should put your emotional and psychological wellbeing as well as your happiness first.
What to Do When You are the Critical One in the Relationship
A large part of having a successful relationship is coming to understand that men and women are wired and might react differently in the same situation.
While you might be willing to talk things through with your man and suggest seeking out professional help, your partner might attack this situation in an entirely different way than you would expect.
It is not uncommon to see men who often get criticized react to the situation by
- Choosing to hide things from you.
- Seeking validation elsewhere.
- Tuning out from you and gradually slipping away.
Learning to criticize constructively would be a better way, and see you having less friction in your relationship.
Relationship experts have put forward the following way to constructively criticize:
- You might need to work on yourself and your tendency to always turn to criticism as a way out.
- Criticize with kindness. Understand that kind words are easily received and stand a better chance of effecting the change you seek. Be empathetic of your partner’s feelings as you point put what you feel is wrong and offer a possible solution to it.
- Talk about the actions and not the person. A large part of your criticism should be focused on the action and how it is affecting you, said in a soft tone that will leave room for no misunderstanding.
- Criticise in a way that would leave room for a possible discussion of the problem. This can only be possible when your partner knows that your criticism are not an attack on his person, but are geared towards solving whatever problems ails your relationship.
- Be aware of your partner’s personality type before seeking out a discussion. You should tread a lot more carefully if your partner is sensitive and could become hurt by words he deems out of place.
- Pick your battles. Not every wrong should be voiced out, especially if they cause grief to you or lasting damage to your relationship.
Tags: Emotional health, how to deal with someone who constantly criticizes you, how to live with a man who constantly criticizes you