Relationships

Can Criticism Actually Destroy Your Romantic Life

Alton Walker
Written by Alton Walker

In your experience, do you believe that we’re prone to highlight positive or negative things? In fact, let’s dwindle down this general question, and let’s focus on romantic relationships.

Now, do you believe that we have an easier time pointing out something our partner does incorrectly, or do you think there’s a much greater importance on what our partners do well in the relationship?

For a moment, think back to all of the words you’ve received over the years from romantic partners, but also analyze the many words that may exit your lips as well.  So, what’s the answer?

By the time this post comes to an end, I’d like for you to understand my position on this topic. In my perspective, I think we have an unconscious belief where everyone will arrive like a jigsaw puzzle, which we notice is completely assembled upon opening the box. In reality, we’re all under construction.

Unfortunately, because of the belief system where we see everyone as a completed puzzle, we may spend more time pointing out or just recognizing the things, which we don’t fancy about someone.

For instance, I’d like you to picture a blog post consisting of nearly five thousand words. Within this blog, the theme involves a popular blogger conveying why he remains in love with his wife.

Because the husband and wife duo shares their relationship with the audience in a transparent manner, this particular blog is simply business as usual. However, if even one sentence deviates from giving praise to his wife and the relationship, an interesting reaction is bound to occur.

You see, because we tend to pay closer attention to negative thoughts, his wife would unintentionally dismiss the thousands upon thousands of words praising the relationship, and she would shift her attention to the solo sentence. When it involves feedback, this reaction occurs because we tend to focus more on criticism than praise.

It’s as if we don’t recognize that we’re more than the sum of our shortcomings. On the flipside of this, we’ll sometimes place more emphasis on what our partners are doing wrong, or what our partners should improve upon than we do underscoring the things we truly adore.

Tell me, how often does your partner hear you say, “I’m grateful that you (insert an example of something that you appreciate)?” With that in mind, how regularly does your partner say, “I can’t get over how awesome you’re at (insert an example of something you do well).”

Because we’re human, it should come as no surprise that we’re flawed individuals. Although that’s the case, and though it’s reasonable to address our imperfections within the relationship, are your strengths in the relationship just as clear? For example, you might be an exceptional communicator.

Essentially, even when there’s a disagreement in the relationship, you’ll always find a way to disagree civilly. Well, have you ever heard your partner say, “I’m so used to disagreeing in a toxic manner, I didn’t recognize it until we met, so I want to thank you for helping me learn how to communicate respectfully?”

In a similar fashion, perhaps your partner has suggested a new daily routine where you both set aside 30 minutes for one another. During this time, the plan involves listening to soothing music without speaking and enjoy one another’s company. When your partner does something related to this, how often do you say, “I appreciate the time, which you’ve consistently set aside for us?”

So, do you believe that we have an easier time pointing out something our partner does incorrectly, or do you think we may emphasize their positive qualities in the relationship?

In my observation, some of us are far too quick to point out the things in the relationship, which we don’t like about our partners. Consequently, we’ll spend less time acknowledging the many benefits created by them.

When we refuse to share positive reinforcement, and when we only focus on delivering negative criticism, it shouldn’t come as a shocker that a relationship is unlikely to thrive.

For the next 90 days, consider telling your partner at least one positive thing, which you appreciate about him or her. Perhaps it’s the way your partner treats a waiter, or perhaps it’s the way your significant other prepares meals at home. Whatever you choose is up to you.

Upon its completion though, please come back and tell me how it went, or you can simply send me a tweet. So, please mark it down in your calendar, and I’ll see you in 90 days.

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About the author

Alton Walker

Alton Walker

Alton Walker discovered that the most beautiful, but also the most difficult thing about being in love is that it requires our active participation for it to thrive. His goal is to inspire readers to see that the magic of love doesn't only exist in fairy tales; it resides right within all of us. However, we must believe that it's possible, and we must then be willing to work to make it happen. Until we do, it will always appear as a mere fantasy. You can find him on AltonWalkerInspires.com, Instagram and twitter