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If You Are Always Criticizing Your Partner, Read This

If You Are Always Criticizing Your Partner, Read This

Constructive criticism does not hurt.  It advises and informs. If you take it up another notch beyond constructive, it can destroy someone’s life.  You may think you are helping if you are always criticizing your partner, but something else is happening.  You find yourself alone or trapped in a negative cycle.  There are consequences when you point a finger at someone.  Here are 10 bad side effects of criticizing your partner:

1. He/she will hide things from you

Your partner may be tempted to keep secrets if you routinely spew negativity and criticism.  If you are always criticizing your partner, think twice.  Your partner may be taking on new risks/challenges without you knowing.  You may be missing out on their growth, learning experiences, and the intimacy of a healthy relationship.

2. He/she will secretly resent you

A build up of criticism can lead to closeted resentment.  Resentment shows up when you most need your partner—on your deathbed or co-signing on a loan.  Resentment is worse than hate because, like the background music in an elevator, you don’t always notice.  It’s there while everything else looks normal. Walking around with resentment is painful and makes others vulnerable to future hurt.

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3. He/she will not give you the space to make your own mistakes

Sitting on a person’s pedestal may be nice in the beginning.  The overly criticized partner will admire you, perhaps too much.  They will give you no room to mess up, as you become the light to their darkness.  If you are always criticizing your partner, you inadvertently build your own jail.

4. He/she may seek validation online or elsewhere

A partner who is overly criticized needs an outlet.  It can be as innocent as reading a book alone or more risky like venting to someone who is emotionally available, caring and compassionate.  Leaving the door open to this can create dire consequences that can lead to the end of your relationship.

5. He/she will tune you out

After consistent criticizing, your partner will stop listening and stop caring.  Wait, what’s that you said?  Exactly.

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6. He/she will see you as a burden

Nobody wants to go into a relationship with a job.  Daily life is enough of a hassle.  If your partner overly criticizes you, you may see them as a drag, a burden, and a problem.  Your overly criticized partner may want to stay with you, but they simply cannot handle doing the work.

7. He/she will become a punching bag for the qualities you hate about yourself

Like everyone else, your partner is a reflection of your innermost self—some parts you don’t even know.  Criticizing your partner is an act of projection.  Your partner may look like they have the problem, when it’s really you. Is your partner always late?  You reminded him/her for the thousandth time.  You may see this as an act of disrespect when your teachers in elementary school ignored you.  Now, it’s up to your partner to make you feel good again.  Fix your own life, first.

8. He/she will lose self-confidence

Keep criticizing your partner and they will lose the energy to live life to the fullest.  They may become indecisive, disempowered and complacent.  Would you be happy with a partner like that? Consider how that would affect your life.

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9. He/she will become dependent on you

Your partner may give up completely.  After constantly complaining to your partner that he/she does not help out around the house, they may stop altogether.  You’ll end up with the brunt of all the tasks, decision making, and planning in more than one area of your life.  Congratulations, you just created your own worst nightmare.

10. He/she will lose courage to try new things to advance their lives

Worst of all, an overly criticized partner may become stuck and stagnant.  Regret will grow in them each day for the life they did not live or the places they did not go.  They will blame you, whether it is fair or not.

Then how to give constructive criticism lovingly?

  • Choose the right time: Never judge your parter when he/she has just gone through a tough time. Only give constructive criticism when they are calm and they can give you their full attention.
  • Go for dialogue rather than monologue: No one likes being told to do something so make sure you can create a space where both of you can express your thoughts and listen to each other’s point of view.
  • Show appreciation before giving criticism: If you want your partner to accept your criticism, always highlight what you appreciate him/her first. After they let their guard down and know that you have good intention, they will take your criticism more positively.

Keep in mind, everyone is responsible for his or her own life.  You can’t make an overly criticized partner give up unless they already wanted to, or had talked themselves into it.  However, if you are always criticizing your partner, you can make it a lot easier.  Instead, choose your words carefully. Give advice only when asked and show empathy more often. What you do to others, will in some way be done to you—literally or figuratively.  Think wisely.

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Featured photo credit: Caleb George via ununsplash.imgix.net

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Last Updated on April 14, 2021

How to Deal With Anger (The Ultimate Anger Management Guide)

How to Deal With Anger (The Ultimate Anger Management Guide)

We all lose our temper from time to time, and expressing anger is actually a healthy thing to do in our relationships with others. Expressing our differences in opinion allows us to have healthy conflict and many times come to an agreement or understanding that works for everyone. However, there are times when anger can become overwhelming or damaging, and during these times, it’s important to learn how to deal with anger.

Expressing anger inappropriately can be harmful to relationships, both personal and professional. You may express too much anger, too often, or at times that are only going to make things worse, not better. In this article we will look at anger management techniques that will help you better control your emotions.

Let’s take a deeper look at how to deal with anger.

Expressing Anger

Anger is a natural and normal part of almost any relationship. This includes relationships with your significant other, kids, boss, friends, family, etc. Anger provides us with valuable information if we are willing to listen to it. It clues us in to areas where we disagree with others and things that need to be changed or altered.

Unhealthy Ways to Express Anger

Here are some common yet unhealthy ways to express anger that you should avoid:

Being Passive-Aggressive

This is a term many of us are familiar with. Passive-aggressive behavior happens when someone is angry but uses indirect communication to express their anger.

Some of the more common passive-aggressive behaviors include the silent treatment, making comments about someone behind their back, being grumpy, moody, or pouting, or simply not doing tasks or assignments that they should.

This is a passive-aggressive person’s way of showing their anger. It’s not very productive but extremely common.

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Poorly-Timed

Some people get overwhelmed and express anger in a situation where it can’t really do any good.

An example would be getting angry at one person in front of a crowd of people. All that does is make people uncomfortable and shuts them down. It’s not a healthy way to express anger or disagreement with someone.

Ongoing Anger

Being angry all the time is most often a symptom of something else. It’s healthy and normal to express anger when you disagree with someone. However, if someone is angry most of the time and always seems to be expressing their anger to everyone around them, this won’t serve them well.

Over time, people will start to avoid this person and have as little contact as possible. The reason being is no one likes being around someone who is angry all the time; it’s a no-win situation.

Healthy Ways to Express Anger

What about the healthy ways[1] to adapt? When learning how to deal with anger, here are some healthy ways to get you started.

Being Honest

Express your anger or disagreement honestly. Be truthful about what it is that is making you angry. Sometimes this will entail walking away and thinking about it for a bit before you respond.

Don’t say you’re mad at something someone did or said when it’s really something else that upset you.

Being Direct

Similar to being honest, being direct is a healthy way to express anger.

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Don’t talk around something that is making you angry. Don’t say that one thing is making you angry when it’s really something else, and don’t stack items on top of each other so you can unload on someone about 10 different things 6 months from now.

Be direct and upfront about what is making you angry. Ensure you are expressing your anger to the person who upset you or you are angry at, not to someone else. This is very counterproductive.

Being Timely

When something makes you angry, it’s much better to express it in a timely manner. Don’t keep it bottled up inside of you, as that’s only going to do more harm than good.

Think of the marriages that seem to go up in flames out of nowhere when the reality is someone kept quiet for years until they hit their breaking point.

Expressing anger as it occurs is a much healthier way of using anger to help us guide our relationships in the moment.

How to Deal With Anger

If you feel angry, how should you deal with it right at that moment?

1. Slow Down

From time to time, I receive an email at work that makes me so angry that steam is probably pouring out of my ears.

In my less restrained moments, I have been known to fire off a quick response, and that typically has ended about as well as you might imagine.

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When I actually walk away from my computer and go do something else for a while, I am able to calm down and think more rationally. After that happens, I am able to respond in a more appropriate and productive manner. Doing things that helps you learn how to release anger can make an uncomfortable situation more manageable before it gets out of hand.

2. Focus on the “I”

Remember that you are the one that’s upset. Don’t accuse people of making you upset because, in the end, it’s your response to what someone did that really triggered your anger. You don’t want to place blame by saying something like “Why don’t you ever put away your dishes?” Say something more like “Having dirty dishes laying on the counter upsets me—can you work with me to come to a solution?”

When you are accusatory towards someone, all that does is increase the tension. This doesn’t usually do anything except make your anger rise higher.

3. Work out

When learning how to deal with anger, exercise is a great outlet. If something happens that angers you, see if you have the opportunity to burn off some of the anger.

Being able to hit the gym to get a hard workout in is great. If this isn’t an option, see if you can go for a run or a bike ride. If you are at work when you become angry and the weather permits, at least go outside for a brisk walk.

Besides working some of your anger out through exercise, this also helps to give your mind a chance to work through some ways to address what it is that upset you.

If you’re not sure where to start with an exercise routine, check out Lifehack’s free Simple Cardio Home Workout Plan.

4. Seek Help When Needed

There are times when we could all use some help. Life can be stressful and overwhelming. It’s perfectly fine to seek some help from a mental health professional if it will help you get back to a healthy balance.If you find that you are angry all the time, it might be a good idea to go talk to an expert about learning to control intense emotions. They can give you some sound advice and ideas on how to get your anger to a more manageable and healthy level.

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5. Practice Relaxation

We all seem to lead incredibly busy lives, and that’s a good thing if we are loving the life we are living. That being said, it is very beneficial to our physical and mental well-being to take time out for relaxation.

That can mean spending time doing things that help us calm down and relax, like being around people we enjoy, practicing deep breathing or listening to music. It could be making time for things that help bring us balance like a healthy diet and physical activity.

Many people incorporate techniques such as yoga and meditation to calm their minds and release tension when learning how to deal with anger. Whatever your choice is, ensure you take time out to relax when warning signs of anger start to bubble up.

6. Laugh

Incorporating humor and laughter on a regular basis will help keep anger in check and help you get over a bad mood and feelings of anger more quickly. This isn’t part of formal anger management techniques, but you’ll be surprised by how well it works. Remember, life is a journey that’s meant to be enjoyed fully along the way through healthy emotion. Make sure you take time to laugh and have fun.Surround yourself with people that like to laugh and enjoy life. Don’t work at a job that just causes you stress, which can lead to anger. Work at something you enjoy doing.

7. Be Grateful

It’s easy to focus on the bad in life and the things that cause us negative emotions. It’s vitally important to remind ourselves of all the wonderful things in life that bring us positive emotions, things that we easily forget because we get caught up in the whirlwind of day to day life.

Take time out each day to remind yourself of a few things you are grateful for in order to help you learn how to release anger and invite in more positive feelings.

Final Thoughts

Life can be overwhelming at times. We seem to have constant pressure to achieve more and to always be on the go. People we are around and situations we are in can cause stress, anger, and negative emotions. At times, it can seem to be too much, and we get angry and our emotions start to get out of control.

During these times, keep in mind that life is an incredible journey, full of wonder and things that bring you joy. When you find yourself angry more often than is healthy, take time out to remember the good things in life—the things that we seem to forget yet bring us so much positive energy and emotions.

Use some of the tips included here to help with how to deal with anger and better control your emotions.

More Resources on Anger Management

Featured photo credit: Andre Hunter via unsplash.com

Reference

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