Here’s a “guest post” from Amber, a member of my Effortlessly Attract Love Program, who was able to completely turn her relationship around (click here to read the full story of the progress she’s made in her relationship). Thank you, Amber!
What if criticism is just feedback, and it you could actually use it to expand your communication and DEEPEN your relationship?
What if women, as the “receiving” partner in our relationships, started receiving feedback the same way we receive compliments? I mean with genuine gratitude.
I did this, and it completely transformed my relationship! In the spirit of not defending myself or convincing my man, I decided to take it to the extreme and stop doing those things even in my head!
As women, when we feel criticized, we often:
- Judge him: This often presents as outrage – “How dare he say that?!”
- Defend: This often presents as an explanation – “I did/said that because…”
- Judge ourselves: This often presents as over-analysis – “Why would he say something like that?” (cue obsessive over-thinking here!)
What if – much like receiving an unexpected compliment – we simply smiled, said “thank you,” and went about our day?
How would our relationships change?
No good man is critical with the intent to hurt us. If that’s the case I suggest simply smiling, saying “thank you” and walking away, for good. If he’s trying to hurt you, he’s not a good man.
Luckily, most of our men are just clueless, and trying to get important information across the best way they know how.
When we receive this information without judgment – maybe even with gratitude – it creates a safe space our man can step into, and communication flourishes.
One of the first things I learned about myself when I started this “experiment” (I really thought of it that way) was that I’m loud in public places. My man said to me, “You’re so loud. I feel like the whole restaurant can hear our conversation.”
My conditioned response would have sounded something like:
- “You’re such a jerk! This is me and if you can’t handle it, screw you!” – judging him (in my head, true, but he could feel it in my vibe)
- “Well, it’s loud in here…” – explaining or defending (which does nothing for the attraction and connection, except weaken it)
- “Am I really that loud? What’s wrong with me that I can’t be more appropriate?” – judging myself (again, in my head, but it came out in my vibe)
Instead I smiled and said, “Thank you.”
And then, I got curious. I approached him later for clarification.
Me: “Am I really that loud?” (Notice this is the same question I might have used to judge myself, instead it becomes a conversation starter!)
Him: “Yes, and it makes me uncomfortable.”
This led to a long discussion and a few compromises:
He agreed to let me know, nicely, in the moment, when he felt uncomfortable with my volume.
Even bigger than this issue, though, is now he feels he can tell me the truth without being attacked or judged.
He can also be confident that his truth is not damaging me emotionally. For him this was a very real fear, one he only voiced AFTER I gave him a safe place for expression!
I’ve reached a place of calm receiving, equivalent to that of an unsolicited compliment. Those words are a man’s truth in this moment, and deserving of validation.