Relationship Advice: I'm a very critical person
Dear Loveawake: What do you do if you are always picking people apart? I am very critical of not only myself but everyone I meet. I seem to find the worst in people. I don’t want to be this type of person anymore because it is affecting my wife and my kids. My wife says she is not willing to live with my negativity anymore but I don’t know how to change. – Mac
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Dear Mac: You are not alone. Many people find themselves focusing more on what is wrong with a person rather than what is right. I’m going to spend a little more time than I usually do in this column showing you some examples on how you can actually train yourself to change the way you see yourself as well as others. You can train yourself to make this shift from negative to positive by simply talking back to yourself as soon as you start to think a negative thought about someone.
Here are some examples of some negative traits that can be turned into positive.
Say you know someone who is unenthusiastic. How can we look at this trait as a positive? This person is calm and soothing to be around. He or she is usually level-headed and well grounded. This person doesn’t get upset at trivial matters and isn’t prone to mood swings. He or she is often patient, consistent, and low-key. Statements that would make this person feel good are:
I like the way you have such a calming effect on everyone.
I like the fact that you are so even-tempered.
It’s such a pleasure to be with such an easygoing person.
It’s such a pleasure to see you so relaxed and comfortable most of the time.
Is someone you know indecisive? Here is a person who is open to all possibilities. He or she usually sees many alternatives in any given situation. This person is often flexible, open-minded, and philosophical. Statements that make this type of person feel good are:
I like being with someone who takes time to make a decision and doesn’t act impulsively.
I like being with someone who considers other people’s feelings and needs along with his own. People who know you are lucky to have someone who listens to everyone’s opinion and gives everyone a voice in the final decision.
Do you know someone who you think is egotistical? Here is a person who knows what he or she wants. This person is goal-oriented and usually assumes leadership roles. He or she takes on a great deal of responsibility. He or she is often independent, confident, and strong-willed. Statements that make this type of person feel good are:
I like the way you are always in control of a situation.
It is so wonderful to be with someone who feels good about themselves. You teach people to stand up for what they believe in.
It is great being with someone who is so positive in their approach to life.
Do you view someone as disorganized? This is a person who is fun to be with. He or she has the ability to live in the present. This person is never in a hurry and will make you stop and smell the roses. He or she is often creative, spontaneous, and multifaceted. Statements that make this type of person feel good are:
I like the way you can do many things at the same time. It’s so nice to know someone who puts fun ahead of orderliness.
I like the way you don’t let little things bother you. You always have such original ideas.
Do you know someone who you think is too emotional? Here is a person who usually lives life in a passionate way. He or she has a deeper level of understanding because he or she is very sensitive and intuitive. This person is often tender, compassionate, and sentimental. Statements that make this type of person feel good are:
I like the fact that you are deeply concerned about everyone.
I like the fact that I can tell you anything and you can feel what I feel.
I like the fact that you feel so passionate about life.
I like how deeply things touch you.
I hope these examples have helped you to see trait in your own personality as well as others in a more positive light. Life is too short to dwell on anyone’s shortcomings. Put some blinders on and accentuate the positive. You will find out that you will have more fun and people will want to be around you as well. Everyone deserves to feel good. Help your children feel good about themselves by sending positive messages and supporting their dreams, and make your mate happy by verbalizing the things you love about him or her. You’ll see that as you continue to notice something positive, even if it’s just one little thing, you’ll start to get a positive response back. When you make someone feel good about themselves, they will want to do the same to you. – Dr. Ellen