Shifting Criticism Into Connected Communication

Are you worried criticism is damaging or destroying your relationship?

Many people struggle with the painful dynamic of criticism and defensiveness.

Most people don’t WANT to harm or cut down their significant other with criticism. Rather, they are trying to express their needs and desires to their partner.

However, their partner doesn’t know this and often wonders, “Is my partner mad at me?” Or, ”Do they appreciate or value me?”

More often than not, their conversations turn into arguments, leaving them both feeling more lonely and hurt than before.

Let’s see how much of this sounds familiar:

  • You’re sick of the negative cycles with your partner, where you attempt to bring up a concern and they get defensive. And then the conversation escalates to conflict with no resolution, improvement or understanding.
  • You have tried to stop being critical. And yet even with the strongest intentions, your efforts do not lead to lasting change.
  • At times, you are afraid to bring up anything with your partner for fear that it will blow up in your face. Yet, this isn’t sustainable either because it often leads to resentment.
  • Your partner has given you feedback that they cannot take your criticism anymore and something needs to change. Maybe they have threatened to leave or have withdrawn from the relationship.
  • You are starting to feel a growing sense of disconnection and maybe you and/or your partner are losing hope.
  • You worry that criticism is damaging your relationship and that the negative effects could ruin your marriage or relationship.

Criticism is the number one relationship killer and leading reason for divorce and break-ups.

Criticism is one of the biggest complaints that I get from clients. Sadly, this makes sense because criticism erodes the sense of love, intimacy and connection in a relationship.

I know this pain too, and what it is like to experience a relationship be torn apart from this painful and destructive pattern.

Years and years ago, I was caught in a critical – defensive pattern with my then boyfriend, who I thought I was going to marry.

My initial reaction to his criticism was to get defensive and explain myself as an attempt to correct what felt like a misunderstanding. This approach only led to more arguments and endless back-and-forth.

We were so confused, hurt, and at a loss for how to make things better.

One fight led to another. And then it became too much to deal with.

When it was clear that we couldn’t find a resolution together, we sought the help of professionals and no one was able to help us find a way out of this painful pattern.

Ultimately, the critical – defensive pattern broke us apart.

It wasn’t until years later that I understood what caused so much conflict. It wasn’t him or me. There were underlying layers that we did not know how to access.

It is extremely hard to shift patterns that you cannot identify.

Maybe you are wondering, “Am I really that critical? Is it really that bad?”

You might be unsure if you use criticism. Possibly, you see your critical thinking as a strength. You appreciate your high standards. You like your ability to be direct, clear, and transparent. Your sharp mind and ability to discern has been an asset for you in your life and career.

When it comes to your relationship, you may be thinking…

  • “Is what I am doing all that bad?
  • “Maybe my partner needs to have thicker skin and not be so sensitive?”
  • “Why am I the one that needs to change?”

The act of being critical isn’t inherently bad. It is a matter of how it is being used. When it comes to intimate relationship, there are two issues with criticism.

  1. People do not respond well to unsolicited corrective feedback.
  2. Criticism does not help your partner understand you, what you need and how to help.

Maybe you have thought, If I really put my mind to it, I can stop being critical.”

Have you tried to:

  • Use willpower to stop being critical.
  • Focus on your partner’s positive traits and qualities.
  • Be grateful for all that you have and “not sweat the small stuff.”

While these are all good attempts, which might work for a little while, they do not result in lasting change.

Even though I am an experienced psychologist and relationship expert, it took me years to uncover the origins of criticism and how to help clients and couples shift out of this detrimental pattern.

There is a reason why you criticize. Until you discover these deeper reasons, it is likely that you will continue to struggle with the vicious pattern of criticism and defensiveness.

This dynamic can be incredibly insidious and hard to overcome.

You are right to be looking for support. The good news is you do not have to continue to suffer alone.

This work can repair years of hurt, despair, and loneliness.

One couple’s story comes to mind…

Here is the short version: the husband was claiming that his wife was “impulsive, irresponsible, and misled about her decision to go back to school. He was adamantly opposed and “would not support this decision!”

His wife on the other hand was devastated, heartbroken and beyond hurt.” She recounted all the ways she has given to him and their family over the last 16 years. With his lack of support, she was confused, appalled and suspicious. She accused, You just don’t want me to succeed.”

As we worked the process, I was able to help him identify that he was actually feeling fear. He said vulnerably “Yes, this is all so sudden, and our lives are going to change drastically. I feel like I am on a roller coaster ride. And I am a little freaked out.”

THIS his wife could hear and turn towards. She was more than willing to soften to him, his discomfort and express care and warmth for him and his position. She also conveyed her desire to help him feel more comfortable and how they might be able to work together.

They shared vulnerable tears together, as well as soft, loving eye contact and affectionate reaching out to each other. They expressed how much they mean to each other…how much they cared and wanted to help each other.

I am privileged to help couples attune to each other, so that they can feel and understand each other.

I love seeing the lightbulb of awareness go off, when the partner that was feeling criticized starts to understand the deeper layers to their partner’s complaints. Not only does this understanding help bring them close, it also calms their fears…”Oh, they do care. They do love me. They are invested.”

I watch their ice-cold distance melt into heart opening tears and loving affection. Hopelessness turns into connection and closeness. A bond of empathy, compassion, and goodwill starts to form. From this place, a whole new world of possibility starts to open up.

Are you ready to stop the destructive pattern, so that you can rebuild connection in your relationship?

Imagine if, you could:

dr jessica higgins couples empowered relationship courseRepair the damage criticism has done to your relationship.

dr jessica higgins couples empowered relationship courseStop the negative cycle of criticism and defensiveness. Have fewer fights and sleepless nights.

dr jessica higgins couples empowered relationship courseGet to the root of why you criticize.

dr jessica higgins couples empowered relationship courseDevelop new, healthy “go-to” strategies that get your needs met.

dr jessica higgins couples empowered relationship courseHave productive conversations that result in lasting resolutions.

dr jessica higgins couples empowered relationship courseFeel genuinely seen and clearly understood. Trust that you and your partner are on the same page.

dr jessica higgins couples empowered relationship courseExperience deeper intimacy and connection with your partner.

dr jessica higgins couples empowered relationship courseEnjoy safety, openness and engagement with your significant other.

dr jessica higgins couples empowered relationship courseHave more laughter, happiness and joy together.

How do you escape this negative pattern?

Often, it takes a lot of awareness, effort and practice to shift the old, critical tendencies and patterns.

The Shifting Criticism Into Connected Communication course can help you transform this destructive pattern into love, safety, and connection with your partner.

In the course you will get all the tools, strategies, guidance and support needed to finally transform criticism in your relationship.

You will be getting:

dr jessica higgins couples empowered relationship courseKnowledge of what is causing the critical tendency, so it no longer wreaks havoc on your relationship.

dr jessica higgins couples empowered relationship courseGuidance from a PhD level expert who’s spent years studying relationships and intimacy, and who knows how to help clients address the deeper layers for transformation and lasting results.

dr jessica higgins couples empowered relationship courseA reliable and proven system, based on years of research and proven experience, that gives you the practical tools and strategies to transform and eliminate criticism.

dr jessica higgins couples empowered relationship courseWays to uncover deeper unconscious blocks that keep you stuck.

dr jessica higgins couples empowered relationship courseEffective tactics to retrain your brain and solutions for breaking habits of criticism.

dr jessica higgins couples empowered relationship courseTechniques for you to communicate your needs in a way that your partner engages and responds to you.

dr jessica higgins couples empowered relationship courseStrategies for creating more emotional safety, so that you and your partner can enter into loving and respectful communication.

dr jessica higgins couples empowered relationship courseTools to get back on track when things start to going into a negative cycle.

dr jessica higgins couples empowered relationship courseWeekly exercises to practice and integrate learning, as well as to further evolve your skillfulness and development.

You don’t need any special training or knowledge to use this course – just openness to learning new things, and a willingness to experiment with things you’ve never tried before.

Give yourself and your partner the biggest gift ever…connected communication!

“I am very excited for the course. I want to let you know I think you are amazing. You have literally changed my life. The way that you explain concepts, provide examples, and real actionable things to work on is a game changer! Thank you for what you are doing!”

Ready to stop the criticism? Get signed up today for $297 $197 for a limited time.

Shifting Criticism Into Connected Communication:

Here’s a quick breakdown of all the vital skills and discoveries you’ll get in the course:

Module One: Why do I criticize?

In this module, you will:

dr jessica higgins couples empowered relationship courseExplore the mechanisms of why we criticize.

dr jessica higgins couples empowered relationship courseIdentify how we develop the critical tendency and why it makes sense.

dr jessica higgins couples empowered relationship courseRecognize how criticism can be encouraged and reinforced.

dr jessica higgins couples empowered relationship courseUncover your deeper- primary feelings, needs, and longings underneath criticism.

dr jessica higgins couples empowered relationship courseAcknowledge how criticism is often a protest, reaction, or an attempt to get your needs met.

Module Two: Why is it hard to change?

In this module, you will:

dr jessica higgins couples empowered relationship courseExplore the various ways criticism works for us, protects us, and serve us.

dr jessica higgins couples empowered relationship courseIdentify your primary strategy when confronted with a difficulty, threat or conflict in relationship.

dr jessica higgins couples empowered relationship courseAddress how our habits can be addictive in our nervous system and thinking patterns and can distract us from our deeper vulnerability.

dr jessica higgins couples empowered relationship courseRecognize how stress, anxiety, insecurity and personality can play a role in our critical patterns.

dr jessica higgins couples empowered relationship courseIdentify how fear and emotional reactivity play a major role in a critical response.

Module Three: How do I change?

In this module, you will:

dr jessica higgins couples empowered relationship courseRecognize the importance of emotional intelligence (awareness, management, empathy, skilled relationship).

dr jessica higgins couples empowered relationship courseDeconstruct your fear response, and learn how to get your systems back on board.

dr jessica higgins couples empowered relationship courseLearn how to reprogram your response and find your emotional balance.

dr jessica higgins couples empowered relationship courseExplore the importance of prioritizing emotional safety as well as sending a clear signal to your partner.

dr jessica higgins couples empowered relationship courseGet clear on your bigger intention.

Module Four: What can I do differently?

In this module, you will:

dr jessica higgins couples empowered relationship courseExplore how harsh start-ups are damaging and problematic in relationship.

dr jessica higgins couples empowered relationship courseRecognize how going slow can get you to your goals faster with your significant other.

dr jessica higgins couples empowered relationship courseIdentify the benefits of a gentle start-up in relationship and support closer connection.

dr jessica higgins couples empowered relationship courseLearn how to gain emotional balance and how to send a clear message to your significant other.

dr jessica higgins couples empowered relationship courseDiscover how to find an opening with your partner through acceptance and appreciation.

Logistics: Module information.

How it works:

dr jessica higgins couples empowered relationship courseModules are about 75 mins, which are organized in sections, and include exercises, skill building and strategies. Each module is a video slide presentation with audio teaching of exclusive content, with handouts and exercises.

dr jessica higgins couples empowered relationship courseOnce you register, you will get your login credentials. Then, you will have access to the course platform. The course is self-paced, so once you complete one section, you will go onto the next section or module.

dr jessica higgins couples empowered relationship courseThere is no time limit for the course, and you can engage at your own pace. The learning platform allows you to pick up where you left off.

Dr. Jessica Higgins

About Dr. Jessica Higgins

Through rigorous study, research and experience, I have discovered the key principles for how to shift out of criticism into connection.

This program is the culmination of all the knowledge I’ve gained and the tens of thousands of hours of helping couples to heal their relationships.

I am a licensed psychologist, with two graduate degrees in psychology, two coaching certifications, and over 20+ years of experience helping clients achieve successful results.

All of the material in the Shifting Criticism Into Connected Communication course is organized in an easy-to-use, user-friendly format, so it will take a minimum amount of effort for you to transform criticism into connection.

This course will improve the quality of ALL your relationships!

Possibly, you have noticed criticism showing up in other areas of your life…at work, with friends or family members.

How would it be to experience a breakthrough that would transform all of your relationships…even the one with yourself?

Bonus

Live Q & A: Get your questions answered.

Coaching with Dr. Jessica Higgins:

dr jessica higgins couples empowered relationship courseLive laser group coaching calls with Dr. Jessica Higgins.

dr jessica higgins couples empowered relationship courseAsk specific questions and get personalized attention.

dr jessica higgins couples empowered relationship courseUpon registration, coaching details are included during orientation.

What people are saying about Shifting Criticism Into Connected Communication:

“Your course has been so great. You have put it together so we’ll and I feel connected to your message and activities. I’m identifying where I am criticizing my partner. I am uncovering a lot of emotions about my former marriage. I realize that I did everything I could in my precious marriage and am in a much better place now. So I feel really good about the journey your course is leading me.”

“I learned some great insight into why we criticize and what is happening internally in my mind and body when an experience happens that leads me to criticize. The background understanding was really useful and made a lot of sense. I also appreciated the steps given to calm down and turn towards yourself when those flooded feelings and impulses to criticize come up. I had a positive experience with the course and I’m grateful for it, I would definitely benefit from actual coaching in my relationship when this comes up and having my partner understand what is happening to me and how I’m feeling to have some empathy. Thank you for all of your work and help.”

“I’m finding the course content rich and deep with meaning and relevance. Prior to getting your emails and starting the class, I simply thought criticism = bad, don’t do it and had a narrow view of what criticism looked like. Now I realize there is so much to unpack, the breadth, and the complexities.”

“I have gained such valuable insight and understanding about why I criticize my partner. And that there is an important underlying reason. With these new understandings and strategies, I can now approach my partner in a whole new way.”

“This is exactly what I have been looking for. I am so grateful to have come across this program.”

“You’re awesome and helpful and I can tell you care Jessica about all of us. That makes a difference in feeling safe. This course was so helpful in understanding the underlying meaning of why I criticize…Tools to understand the process of how to spot it in action and then tools for choosing a different path. I learned deep insights and would recommend this class to anyone who is struggling with the long standing pattern of criticising. ”

Questions…

Will it be enough to save my relationship?

While I can’t promise you that your efforts will save your relationship, I can tell you that continuing to relate in critical ways will continue to damage your love and connection with your partner.
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What if only one person is willing to shift?”

While this situation can feel daunting, I can tell you…your current relationship dynamic cannot continue if you show-up differently. When one person shifts, it shifts the whole dynamic.

There is very little to lose and a lot to be gained. Yes, it will require effort and emotional vulnerability. However, you will receive so many positive benefits from communicating with more ownership, authenticity, and transparency in all aspects of your life.

Who this program is and is not for:

If you’re experiencing issues with infidelity, major trauma, addiction or abuse, this program is not the solution you’re looking for. In these cases, I encourage you to seek therapy first, before enrolling in this program.

If you ARE feeling less connected, loved, understood and desired than you want to be, and you long to create a deep and intimate relationship that improves every aspect of your life, you’re in the right place.

What if we’re already in therapy?

The Shifting Criticism Into Connected Communication course can make a great complement to your existing therapeutic practice. I strongly recommend that you talk to your therapist about this program, and see if it will support the therapeutic work you are already doing.

What if I’m not satisfied with the program?

If you start to participate in the Shifting Criticism Into Connected Communication course, and decide that it isn’t right for you, you can get a refund any time within 30 days of signing up.

It’s understandable to be afraid when you’re thinking of taking a big new step. That’s just a sign that your concerns and relationship are important to you, and it’s all the more reason to invest in something that’s clearly so vital to you.

If you’re afraid, I encourage you to take one step at a time. As you take action, you’ll build confidence, and you’ll gain the information you need to take each new step.

You are not the issue. Criticism is the issue.

The sooner you shift your patterns, the sooner you can get your relationships back on track.

A small change now will dramatically improve the course of your relationship six months, a year, or even ten years down the road.

You have everything to gain, and nothing to lose.

Just click the button below to start your journey…

Shift Criticism Into Connected Communication