The Art of Complaining
Criticizing our spouse or partner, rather than complaining about something we are dissatisfied about is a primary reason couples are unable to resolve arguments. Understanding the difference between criticizing and complaining is such a crucial element in discussions, disagreements and arguments that I could write a book on this one topic.
We must realize that complaining to our spouse or partner is normal and healthy. We must also make sure that we are open to our spouse/partner complaining to us as well. Complaints are a common issue within relationships of all types.
Complaining is freedom of expression within the parameters of a relationship. Criticizing is not about ‘ourselves’. Criticizing focuses on the other person. There is a difference between complaining and criticizing
How we begin a complaint is going to set the tone of the discussion, disagreement or argument. Therefore, it’s important to begin by confronting your partner/spouse with your complaint in a tone that does not attack, snap or criticize them.
When we complain we must remember that our complaint is about us, and what we are experiencing or feeling. It is not about our partner or spouse.
When we criticize we are focusing on the other person. Doing so will put your partner/spouse on the defense.
The difference between complaining and criticizing is that complaining explains the problem or issue. Complaining vs. criticizing gives your spouse/partner a gracious way to respond, vs. react, allowing them to also explain their side. Complaining focuses on how “I feel” vs. you caused me to, or you made me feel, etc. Complaining vs. Criticizing maintains a civil, constructive conversation.Learning the art of complaining vs. criticizing will foster a healthier happier and more loving, productive marriage or partnership. Learning this skill deepens intimacy as communication becomes more emotionally safe, open, honest and connected.~