Avoiding Not-So-Constructive Criticism

For most of us, the holidays include extensive time with family, sometimes including family that we don't get to see all that often. Christin Ditchfield offers some practical words of wisdom as we interact with those we love:

For many of us, we make comments and suggestions to our loved ones because we want to encourage them to improve. We drop hints to our daughters about their clothing choices, we remind our husbands to fix the sink (multiple times), or we joke with our 30 year old sister about still being single, hoping to light a dating fire under her.

Our little criticisms are meant to be constructive. But too often, they end up devaluing or demoralizing instead. Our well-meant encouragement turns into unneeded pressure and stress. How can we expect our loved ones to be happy and inspired when all they really feel is inadequate? Our message comes across as disappointment.

So here's her challenge to you these next couple weeks:

Instead of always finding fault, work instead to find the good. Offer encouragement as inspiration rather than critique. After all, would we ourselves be able to maintain the standards that we hold others to?

From A Way with Words by Christin Ditchfield.

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