stop contention
Getty Images

How to Accept Criticism from a Spouse Without Taking Offense

Criticism can be hard to swallow in general. But when you have to accept criticism from someone you love, it can be even more difficult.

Dr. Lisa Hansen shares how being good at criticizing can help us take someone else’s criticism better.


How to Take Criticism From a Spouse

Criticize the Correct Way

Share what is happening inside of you, but don’t blame anyone else for it. There are many different ways to make clear what is happening inside of you, but people tend to do best when they can do that with no blame. The more details you can express tells people how you’re feeling, but not placing blame on what they haven’t done for you.

How to Accept Criticism

Once you can criticize correctly, then you can more easily deduce what is going on inside of another person in a critical situation. This is a better way to handle things rather than just reacting to what you think they want from you. This takes practice.

Slow the Moment Down

Sometimes the criticism you get from other people may be debilitating. It gets you mentally and emotionally stuck. That doesn’t help you or the other person. Instead of reaching toward the criticism, take a step back and make it not about you. Recognize that there is something going on inside the other person. Try to identify it and reflect it back to them with compassion.

Stay in Your Own Lane

Criticism tends to make us feel like other people are trying to move into our lane. Staying in your lane means knowing that you’re okay. Even if you’re not doing perfectly, you’re okay. And if other people are trying to come into your lane, back them off a little bit so you can keep functioning.