Tag: understanding

Criticism destroys communication between couples

The Four Communication Pitfalls in a Relationship

Communication is the key to unlocking a growing, adaptable relationship with trust, closeness, and intimacy. When communication goes array, at least one of the four taboos of interaction has taken place. The relationship becomes stuck in a rut and trust and affection is broken. He runs away and avoids conflict and she latches on with more force and power. The relationship is headed into a cat and mouse chase with possible separation, disconnection, and affair(s).

The four dangers in interaction include:

  1. Criticism
  2. Demanding
  3. Defensiveness
  4. Angry outburst

Couples counseling can clearly define the four communication pitfalls and the relationship can become close and intimate again. This article will explain the menaces of criticism and will be followed with three other editorials describing demanding, defensiveness, and vented anger.

What is criticism?

Criticism is unconsciously belittling another. It is assessing, blaming, and disapproving of your partner. Without awareness, you feel superior and your spouse feels condemned.

Sure, criticism can be rationalized as helpful advice or constructive feedback. No matter how you look at it, criticism is the perception of trying to improve another based on your agenda to change and need to be right.

Whatever the rational, criticism is analyzing and disapproving of your partner. This act leads to a hostile environment causing distance, distrust, and defensiveness. The relationship is on a downward spiral into the pitfalls of condemnation.

Criticism is enmeshment. In other words, you are in an entangled mess with your spouse. Criticism is difficult to give up because retracting your position can feel like you have to swallow a portion of yourself, which can feel all consuming, dominating, and threatening.

The solution is differentiation. Couples counseling can help untangle an enmeshed relationship. During the process, helpful skills are taught to couples. You learn how to describe what you are feeling, explain your feelings about the event and how that affects how you feel about the relationship and about yourself.

If your communication is falling into the trap of criticism, call me at (424) 528-5416 or email me at april@aprilwrighttherapy.com and let’s begin a course of action so that you may build trust and understanding again.

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