When we give hostile criticism, we tend to state what our partner is doing wrong, which doesn’t offer a solution. Instead, tell your partner what you need them to be doing differently.
Before you approach your partner regarding your criticism feedback, consider how they might react, thinking of multiple potential reactions.
It can be helpful to begin your constructive criticism with a compliment or an acknowledgment of something positive your partner has done, so they will be more receptive to your request for change.
This may seem obvious, but it is easy to fall into the pattern of attacking your partner’s character when you attempt to give criticism.
No one is perfect, and your partner will be more open to your constructive criticism if you admit there are areas in which you need to improve, too.
Sometimes when partners have a disagreement and one person offers criticism to the other, there is no right or wrong party.
You may attempt to give constructive criticism but find that your partner becomes defensive. If this is the case, you may have to end the conversation and agree to revisit it later.
Instead of assuming your partner is open to your critique, it can be beneficial to ask if they are willing to have a conversation.
Being vulnerable with your partner can soften their defenses and make them more open to listening to what you’re saying.