Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Fan and a Critic = The Best of Both Worlds

posted by Michele Olson
Are you a fan or a critic in your relationship? What about being a little of each? Author Mike Robbins, writing in a recent Huffington Post blog reflects on what viewing a re-commitment ceremony meant to him, and how it challenged his thinking. As the Reverend told the couple that their job was to be each other’s biggest fan and their greatest critic for the purpose of the person’s spiritual development, he had an “a-ha” moment.

What is often seen as opposite when viewed from a less than mature attitude can if fact be a basis for the success of a healthy relationship when there is the proper sense of “trust, connection and authenticity.”

He goes on to define what a real fan is: focusing on what we appreciate about someone and a willingness to let them know in a loving and generous way. This is done without agenda or manipulation as the motive.

A conscious critic is described as saying things that may be scary or even hurtful in the eyes of the receiver without being critical or judgmental. It’s freedom to give and receive feedback in a productive, positive and kind way…to stop these things from getting in between two people and hurting their relationship.

Now….you can see the potential for disaster if we are not ascribing to the better angels of our nature in either of these circumstances. You can also see the potential for true closeness if both people in the relationship will really have their act together and step up to the plate with emotional wholeness and sincerity.
That IF there is huge, isn't it?

He goes on to describe some tools such as using your Relationship GPS. Let your appreciation be genuine, personal and specific.

Clear your withholds. This is something you are holding on to that you haven’t shared with the other person. He gives a clear definition of what this means.

Ask for what you want. The clearer about what we want from other people around us, the more likely we are to have the type of genuine mutually beneficial relationship we want.

Great observations and worth thinking about, but possibly needing some real communication skills as a basis to make it happen. thinkmarriage.org has online and in person resources to learn those skills. Keep that in mind if you feel overwhelmed.

Are you a critic and fan in your marriage? Does it work? What makes it work?


M. Denise Wilmer Barreto said...

I love this and desire us to get there someday.

I am definitely the fan in our relationship and walk carefully as critic but strive to give necessary feedback.

I personally - LOVE both for me - I am such a typeA personality that I love praise and appreciation just as much as I love feedback on areas I need to improve.

There is definitely some validity to this theory - I will say though - different personality types require different tools and techniques to accomplish this successfully.

thinkmarriage.org said...

So true...but oh what we could have as a society if we would see this as the goal and all strive to get there, right? I hope the "idea" of what is possible will spur many people on to think of this as a new line of authentic communication...and like I said on the piece...if these seems overwhelming...thinkmarriage.org has the resources to help with the skills.