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Sarcasm and Criticism In Relationships

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Sarcasm and Criticism In Relationships

Administrator’s Opinion

I would like to elaborate on the meaning of sarcasm and criticism before I give my opinion.
Sarcasm is a mocking or ironic language intended to insult someone. “

A sharp, bitter, or cutting expression or remark; a bitter jibe or taunt.
In sarcasm ridicule or mockery is used harshly, often crudely and contemptuously, for disapproval expressed by pointing out faults or shortcomings.

Criticism meaning fault-finding or censure. Criticism has a negative connotation for the vast majority of people. Consequently, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you hate criticism and avoid it even when constructive, you make avoidable mistakes and cause even more disapproval. If you change your mind-set about criticism, however, and view it as either neutral or positive, it will have a neutral–or even positive–result for you.

However, I personally do what is called constructive criticism. Whatever my spouse is doing, it doesn’t matter when, and how many times a day, if I see a flaw, I will point it out without indulging in name calling or insults and then, whenever possible, offering solutions if I can. Although, my constructive criticism is misunderstood by my spouse sometimes; and then she become very resentful and show less respect.
I do not think frequent criticism should be a problem in a relationship, if you see a flaw in what your partner is doing, it doesn’t matter how many times a day, I think you should point it out.
Some spouse/partner just don’t want to be criticised, regardless if it is constructive or not.

An emotional response to sarcasm and criticism does not make for change, positive relationships, or good feeling.

Note: This is the opinion of the administrator. A trained marriage therapist and relationship expert will be commenting on the topic discussed at the end of two weeks.

QUESTION

 How does frequent sarcasm and criticism from your spouse/partner affect your relationship?

Click the link below to voice your feelings.
http://gan.doubleclick.net/gan_click?lid=41000000034395426&pubid=21000000000327050

Response to Sarcasm/Criticism in relationship by Colleen Blake-Miller, M.Div (Individual,Couple and family therapist)

Sarcasm and criticism
Sarcasm and criticism, two things one can likely expect to encounter in relationships. As common or natural as these things might seem, it is however very important that partners be mindful about just how much sarcasm and criticism they are using.
As much as you’re intentions might be good and you’re probably hoping to help your partner, the likelihood is that the more you criticise the less likely they are to receive it in a positive and encouraging way. Sometimes we use sarcasm in an attempt to try to get our point across in a funny, rude or backhanded kind of way, but why not just be direct and say what’s on your mind?
Criticism, even constructive criticism when coming from a spouse or partner has the potential of being very hurtful. Don’t believe me? Well then just ask your spouse how they feel when you are criticizing them?
In his book The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work., John Gottman warns against both these habits couples commonly find themselves developing. He urges couples to recognize the difference between a complaint and a criticism. He states: “A complaint only addresses the specific action at which your spouse failed. A criticism is more global – it adds on some negative words about your mate’s character or personality i.e. “I’m really angry that you didn’t sweep the kitchen floor last night. We agreed we’d take turns doing it” is a complaint ‘Why are you so forgetful? I hate having to always sweep the kitchen floor when it’s your turn. You just don’t care’ is a criticism.” (pg.27-28)
I encourage couples to get in the habit of being direct and honest with each other when there are issues of complaint in the relationship. Why play games by being ‘sarcastic’ and why be hurtful by criticising. Instead be direct about the ‘exact’ behaviour that is upsetting/bothering you, and be transparent about how those actions leave you feeling i.e. uncared for, taken for granted, unloved etc. When couples are able to do this, then they are able to share with their partners what they are needing vs. focusing on what their partners aren’t doing right.
 

Colleen Blake-Miller M.Div
Individual, Couple, and Family Therapist
To contact Colleen log onto www.colleenblakemiller.com or call 416-837-4892

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26 Responses to “Sarcasm and Criticism In Relationships”

  • Troy:

    Thank you for talking about this issue, this is a problem in my home. My wife won’t stop pointing out fault on everything i try to do, just because she has more education than me, she think she knows better in everything. This is so frequent i think about ending the relationship everyday. Educated people lack common sense sometimes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • sandra:

    It is the opposite in my home, my husband think he is Mr know it all. This make me really sad.

    Sandra
    Toronto

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Jame:

    I think constructive criticism is a good thing in a relationship.

    James
    Toronto

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • Mary:

    I believe that giving a constructive cristism to your spouse is good without any sarcasm. Also you have to keep in mind, how you speak to your partner, and the tone of voice that you use when giving the feedback about a certain issue. As you might not be being rude, but your ATTITUDE might be saying something different…and that could also lead to another problem or cause a fight.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • Vanessa:

    Don’t put fingers at eachother, just tell the truth..sometimes the truth hurts but suck it up!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • james:

    This is a very positive website, am glad someone came up with this idea.
    A lot of partner will benefit from the different opinions of other people.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Sanchez:

    I criticise my spouse everytime she does something that doesn’t sit well with me, she don’t seem to have a problem with it, cos she knows i am write most of the time. Just learn to suck it up.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  • Sanchez:

    I agree with you vanessa, the truth hurt sometimes, but the truth got to be told.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • Adams:

    Too much of everything is bad. It is good to give constructive criticism, but when it gets too over board it becomes a problem.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • Adams:

    You got to check yourself before you criticise ur spouse.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • uyi:

    Love and peace to all the lovers out there. Sarcasm without attitude is acceptable to me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Sandra:

    Checking yourself is very neccessary before you criticise anybody, especially your spouse or your partner. Living happily with your lover is very good for your health.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • jenny:

    This is a very good forum to learn and better ur relationship. Love this!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Patricia:

    Your spouse should be your best friend.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Sanchez:

    Patricia, i think your response was intended for week 2 question

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Sanchez:

    The therapist has some very good point in her response, really anxious to read what she writes about the best friend question.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Daniel:

    Too much sarcasm and criticism is not healthy for a relationship.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Keep up the amazing work!! I love how you wrote this and I also like the colors here on this site. Very good opinions expressed hereeducation degree

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • ask:

    This blog has definitely changed my perspective on this subject. Theres no way I wouldve thought about it this way if I hadnt come across your blog. All I was doing was cruising the web and I found your blog and all of a sudden my views have changed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • roclafamilia:

    Helpful blog, bookmarked the website with hopes to read more!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • colon cleansing:

    Keep posting stuff like this i really like it

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • kelvin:

    Sarcasm might become very destructive in a relationship, if not properly controlled. It’s better if you limit the use of sarcastic references in your relationship.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Beneficial info and excellent design you got here! I want to thank you for sharing your ideas and putting the time into the stuff you publish! Great work!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Thought provoking article here. Thank you!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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Comments
Charla: I see a lot of interesting articles on your blog. ...
dave: Well said Patricia. Dont know of any perfect love ...
Patricia: Love is patient, love is kind. It has no envy, nor...
Patricia: This is one of the most common reasons why most re...
Patricia: It is very important when two people live together...
Rocio Bowlds: The root of your writing while appearing agreeable...
Dave: yeah, so right, some of these couples watch too mu...
Bernetta Bister: Hi there, I found your web site by means of Google...
Snerd: There is a fundamental logical flaw in the premise...
Daniel: Very well written. Great article....