Communication is the one issue most people attribute their relationship problems to. I have good news, communication in and of itself is not the issue. We need to look at how the brain receives and interprets information. Communicating is the act of talking. I believe we all are well adept at talking. Many of us, actually, talk too much. The issue is not then with communicating but rather with relating. We have misunderstandings not because we cannot communicate but because we cannot relate. Let’s explore the difference between criticism and feedback. Criticism comes from the world of the mind and feedback comes from the world of feelings.
The majority of people, when feeling emotional or insecure, communicate from a critical place as a way to gain control. It is common when we are emotional to embellish facts and re-write history to make a point. Criticism hurts and erodes the integrity of the relationship because it is competitive not collaborative. It is defensive, not open-minded. So much communication is fear-based, and out of fear and insecurity criticism is employed. It is the distortion that if we feel ‘righted’ that we will solve our insecure emotional state. Criticism only deepens the emotional insecurity, it deepens chaos in the relationship and it deepens resentment.
As I stated in my article on Seduction, argument is the most repulsive form of language because it makes a person look defensive and ugly. This is anti-seductive. If we are engaging in criticism we are coming from a low frequency. To criticize is to judge and make someone wrong. It is usually delivered in the form of an attack, over-correcting, or sarcasm. If we are being critical of someone we see ourselves as right. We maximize our own qualities, and minimize the qualities of the other. We are right and they are ‘misinformed.’ When we criticize we are coming from a place of insecurity, anger and control. It is a perfectionistic place of demanding something in the other that we are not adept at doing ourselves. To criticize is to cut down. Critical people blame-shift and deflect the issue from what is really going on, to some unimportant non-issue. Criticism creates argument, separation and division. It is based in argument and it promotes more argument. It is all based in talking and litigating whose thoughts and perceptions are more correct than someone else’s.
The egocentric energy of criticism creates what I call the chaos-loop. Once someone is criticized, they feel stung. The central nervous system experiences that sting and becomes adrenalized. Typically the receiver feels a need to defend and or prove themselves to the criticizer. Once the receiver engages in defending themselves they are hooked. They will not win the battle. Criticizers are tenacious fighters, especially in the area of verbal warfare. They will outlast their victim every time. If they can get you hooked, the more you say, the more ammunition you give them to continue the criticism and argument. It will loop around and loop around all the while you are being further and further criticized until you “tap out.”