Criticism vs. Complaint
John Gottman is an author, psychologist & researcher, who has studied marriage for over forty years. He has a vast database and has collected different techniques that can make or break a relationship. Here are a few findings from his research.
Criticism Vs. Complaining: It is normal to have complaints or aspects of your partner that you are not fond of. But, it’s how you address the issue that makes all the difference. Complaining is bringing up the issue, criticism is pointing out your partner’s character flaws that relate to the issue. Here is an example.
Criticism: “You are always late, you do not care about anyone else’s time but yours.”
Complaint: “It makes me really nervous when we run late to events, would that be okay if we left a bit earlier next time so I won’t have anxiety?”
The difference is to state how you are feeling, the event or situation that is causing the feeling, and lastly a reasonable solution to the problem. Your partner might not be receptive to the solution, but it starts the conversation for peaceful negotiation.