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          Stop Nagging and Criticizing

          September 02, 2002

          Is your relationship suffering because of control issues? Learn to stop being hypercritical. Take Dr. Phil’s advice and start to repair your relationship.

          • Do what works for the marriage, not what works just for you.
          • There is no reality, only perception. What seems real and true to you isn’t necessarily the same for your partner. Try to understand how your behavior feels to someone else. For example, you may feel that you’re giving guidance, but your behavior may be interpreted as condescending.
          • If you’re trying to change your partner, take a look at yourself. You may have your own issues to deal with.
          • Don’t white-knuckle your way through life. Let the natural flow of things happen, and your stress level will drop dramatically.
          • If you need professional help, get it. Realize and acknowledge that the situation is out of control, and talk with somebody about it.
          • Practice “thought-stopping.” Whenever you feel the urge to nag, say, “I am not going to do that.” Make a point of telling your partner when you’re proud of him/her, too. Keep a good balance.
          • Don’t demand behavior; command it. You may be able to make your spouse kiss you hello each day, but that kiss will mean more if it comes on its own.
          • Parent/child relationships are doomed. A good marriage requires emotional integrity.

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