This Is Why Your Partner Is Always Criticizing You ( & What To Do About It)

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Relationship Advice For How To Deal With A Critical Partner & Fall In Love Again
Love, Heartbreak

In a relationship, dealing with a critical partner who claims to love you and their constant negative criticism can wear you down mentally, emotionally and physically.

Healthy relationships are not always perfect and partners can be each other's best critic. But, when criticism is the norm in a relationship, there's usually constant hyper-vigilance and a "fight or flight" response is always just below the surface of all interactions.

RELATED: 2 Phrases That Will Shut Down A Critical Partner Fast (And Help Your Relationship In The Process)

One of the most difficult things to do is to be kind, open, and loving when it feels like you're being criticized every two seconds. And when it feels like you're being criticized all the time, it's hard to see that other person as your friend, lover, or someone that's on your side.

When you feel like someone else is being overly-critical for an extended period of time, there reaches a point where you feel like you just don't want to take it anymore. Then, you start fighting back at the critic, lashing out, and giving them a taste of their own medicine.

When you feel like someone is repeatedly criticizing you unfairly, it's incredibly hard to see what's really going on within that other person.

After all, you wonder, "Why in the world would they criticize me and act this way if they love and care about me?"

It's hard to see this about someone who is being harsh, critical and in many cases downright mean to you.

Here are some general "truths" about people who are very critical.

  • They are coming from a place of fear.
  • They are coming from a place of "My life won't be okay if this happens and I have to make sure it doesn't."
  • As weird as it might seem, their thinking is telling them that the answers they have are better and going to make them happier, more peaceful, more alive, more at ease, more secure, more vibrant, or anything else that they think would make their life better.
  • They are simply responding to the thoughts that are appearing in their head about you, about the situation or about what they're thinking or feeling in the moment.
  • They may actually love, care about and want the best for you but it comes off as critical. Sometimes another person's criticism of you can seem totally warranted and logical to them and not criticism at all.

Here are some general "truths" about people who live with constant criticism.

  • They feel like the criticism is constant but it may not be as constant as it appears.
  • They are probably putting energy into thinking about the criticisms and defending themselves on an almost constant basis — and that makes the criticisms feel constant.
  • They may not want to look at or acknowledge that the other person's criticism is in part valid and he or she just doesn't know how to express it in a kind and loving way.
  • They may deal with a critical partner by being just as critical in return.
  • They believe they are worthless and go through life that way.

RELATED: This Type Of Communication Is Disastrous For Your Relationship

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Dealing with a critical partner and the "Criticism Dance" is a challenge.

So how do you cope without falling into a criticism trap yourself or into a major self-esteem drain? Here are 2 ways to do it.

1. Take a step back from the "Criticism Dance" and tune in to what you really want

Do you want to rebuild the connection and have more love? Do you want to have more peace? Do you want to experience a true soul connection again? Or have you had enough and want out of the relationship?

Having an idea of what you really want other than getting back at your partner for being critical of you is really important.

It's important because the temptation is to respond to their criticism with even more criticism. That response will never get you what you want which in most cases is more connection and a deeper feeling of love between the two of you.

2. Take yourself out of the "Criticism Dance" and be open to exploring other possibilities

When you call a halt to your "Criticism Dance," other possibilities open up and you can see what your partner truly wants.

When dealing with a critical partner, it takes you seeing something new and different and knowing that you don't have to keep following the path you've been going down.

RELATED: 5 Toxic (But Common) Habits That Mean Your Relationship Is Doomed

Susie and Otto Collins are certified Relationship Coaches who have helped people have happier, easier communication, relationships, and lives for the past 20 years. Go to their website for more articles on dealing with criticism and other relationship topics on their website.

This article was originally published at How to Deal with a Critical Partner and Your "Criticism Dance". Reprinted with permission from the author.