How to Give Constructive Criticism

Check out my last post to understand this one. I gave a simple solution to dealing with a person who cannot tolerate the smell of blame and therefore will not accept any feedback that he or she hurt your feelings. The problem, I could hear you saying, even before I finished clicking “save” is that it won’t work. No matter how well you set up the discussion ahead of time so that you attempt to convey that you are absolutely 100% not blaming, when you begin to say, “When you did X, it hurt my feelings,” you have lost your audience. I’m here to tell you that my suggestion will work. It just needs some sugar to make the medicine go down. Let me explain. Building Up Self Esteem We started with the premise that your partner cannot tolerate hearing anything that smacks of blame. So the solution is to fool him or her. This will break the chain of association in your partner’s mind between a “serious discussion of my feelings” and the assumption that the next step will be blame. What you must do is start setting up “meetings” as I described in the previous blog, only in these meetings you will pay a compliment. Your partner will be on guard for blame and criticism and instead will receive, very seriously delivered, with great attention to how you word it, praise. It could be as simple as telling him or her how much it meant to you that he/she did the grocery shopping/homework with the kids/laundry/yard/bathroom/spoke pleasantly to your mother, and so forth. The key is to...
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