Hate it when you get feedback that’s, let’s just say, less than flattering?  Especially from your partner? A lot of us do. But constructive feedback can be very useful. This is not about an overly critical partner’s judgments about you.  But feedback in the context of a relationship based on goodwill.  Here’s the truth: not everything your partner says about you is true, so please don’t automatically take it in.  But at least consider it.

Is there a grain of truth in it?  If your answer is “no,” maybe you’re right.  If you have doubts, ask yourself if anyone else has ever told you something similar.  No?  Well, maybe you have timid friends. Try asking one or two of them what they think.  If they confirm the feedback, you’ve got your answer.

Here are a couple of steps you can take to benefit from valid feedback:

  1. PAY ATTENTION.  Heighten your awareness to whatever the feedback is–without judgment I might add.  Getting down on yourself is not helpful.  Just observe yourself, being as objective as possible, and know that you’re not bad.  At one time, you needed this behavior.  It protected you in some way and was entirely appropriate.  Now, it’s holding you back.
  2. DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT. When you catch yourself doing the old behavior, try something new.  For example, maybe you were told you’re too independent.  That you don’t ask for help and seem exhausted all the time.  So when you find yourself toiling away by yourself,  STOP, and ask for some help.  I guarantee you will feel a lot less worn out.  And you just might find that leaning on your partner (and others) feels good both to you and to them.  A balanced amount of interdependence is healthy.  Out of balance in either direction, is not.

These two steps will do wonders to bring about a happier life.   How about it?  Are you ready to take you and your relationship to a new level?  I think you’ll be glad you did.

Check out my book, The Affair: From Breakdown to Breakthrough, A Therapist’s Real-life Journey, for more great tips and insights about relationships. You can buy it on Kindle worldwide from all Amazon websites, including


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