Some thoughts on criticism  

puntachueca 107M
2534 posts
7/10/2006 8:46 am

Last Read:
7/12/2006 11:08 am

Some thoughts on criticism

After the first blush of love and lust, a relationship usually evolves to a point where each side starts criticising the other.

And criticism is very widespread throughout our culture.

Some stuff I've learned after 30 years of therapy and reading at least 200 self help books....


Whatever someone is saying critical about you is usually a definition of them. They are projecting something onto you that is really about themselves.

By looking at criticism as a revelation about the other person you can actually get to know them better and understand the undercurrents going on in them.

Reacting to criticism by throwing rocks back only increases the anger and negativity. Eventually this will explode and wreck everything.

A really good process is after someone says something critical about you to you, ask for a chance to repeat what they said back to them, then ask of you stated what they just said correctly. This gives you a chance to cool down and think a bit, and also gives them a chance to cool down.

Also, if you are expressing a frustration or a problem, NEVER start the statement with "you..." This just gets the other person defensive.

Always start with "I feel...."

Remember...everyone's right from their side (as Bob Dylan added "and it's one too many mornings and 1000 miles behind" )

Whatever ths subject of the critical comment, there's always something beneath that..a shadow from the past that is triggering a response now which is really an unconscious reaction to a past event. If you can explore why the person is angry and critical, a lot of the times they will start looking deeper and find that connection. You cannot make that connection for them, they must do it themselves.

And remember...there are a lot of times where the subject of the criticism is right on...whether you like it or not. Loving criticism just wants to help you be a better person.

So, stop for a moment, and if the other person is right on...admit it and get on with it.

runzwithknives 61F

7/10/2006 9:18 pm

nice post.
Yep somtimes I don't want to hear what is being said because I not ready to acknowledge the problem or my behaviour and make a change. I know for me, sometimes it takes a bit to really hear and understand what the other person is saying...

puntachueca replies on 7/11/2006 5:08 am:
I really don't think criticism is effective at all. It immediately gets the back up and one goes blind with defensiveness.

catkit13 68F

7/10/2006 10:44 pm

i prefer to think of critical comments as "observations" . . . maybe it's just semantics, but it helps me diffuse my reaction (often anger) before i can react in kind, and then i try to think about what's actually being said and the reason/motive/undercurrent, rather than the surface words. of course, i'm not always successful, but i'm really trying to make progress on this
also, trite as it sounds, "consider the source" often helps me temper my reaction

puntachueca replies on 7/11/2006 5:08 am:
Sounds like you've been going to the same therapist and reading the same books I have.

PrincessKarma 45F
6188 posts
7/11/2006 8:02 am

There's a fuzzy line between loving criticism and nagging, you know...

The Big Bang was the mother of all orgasms.PrincessKarma

puntachueca replies on 7/11/2006 1:37 pm:
Nagging is when you'ver hear the same criticism 112 times.

PrincessKarma 45F
6188 posts
7/12/2006 10:15 am

I thought it was 97... seems you have a higer tolerance for it than I do.

The Big Bang was the mother of all orgasms.PrincessKarma

puntachueca replies on 7/12/2006 11:09 am:
4 is enough...this is ancient Indian say something that is true or to ask a question is must be said 4 times

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