I am a woman born 1949 and my quest is to find a mindmate
to grow old together as a mutually devoted couple
in a relationship based upon the
egalitarian rational commitment paradigm
bonded by intrinsic commitment
as each other's safe haven and secure basis.

The purpose of this blog is to enable the right man
to recognize us as reciprocal mindmates and
to encourage him to contact me:

The entries directly concerning,
who could be my mindmate,
are mainly at the beginning.
If this is your predominant interest,
I suggest to read this blog in the same order
as it was written, following the numbers.

I am German, therefore my English is sometimes faulty.

Maybe you have stumbled upon this blog not as a potential match.
Please wait a short moment before zapping.

Do you know anybody, who could be my mindmate?
Your neighbour, brother, uncle, cousin, colleague, friend?
If so, please tell him to look at this blog.
While you have no reason to do this for me,
a stranger, maybe you can make someone happy, for whom you care.

Do you have your own webpage or blog,
which someone like my mindmate to be found probably reads?
If so, please mention my quest and add a link to this blog.

Friday, August 26, 2011

382. Disrespect And Criticizing

Disrespect And Criticizing

Expressed conscious disagreement with any attribute in another person can be either hostile, neutral or benevolent criticizing.  

1. Hostile criticizing is a part of the rat race of people, who are driven by the hierarchy instinct to fight for higher positions for the purpose of gaining power and control over resources.   But this is not my topic, because this blog is mainly about how a relationship can be made a safe haven against the outside world of hostility.   

2. Neutral distance: In entry 377 I suggested that it is possible to disrespect someone for being either morally or intellectually not suitable for close contact, but that by avoiding close contact, people can be civil and courteous with disrespected persons. 

3. In entry 164 I explained, that a couple can only get close and bonded, if they share the same basic values.   If the behavior of each partner is logical, but based upon different values, then criticizing is futile and cannot solve the conflict between incompatible values.   In entry 379 I looked at the difference between disrespect in a couple due to being a mismatch, and feeling disrespect or feeling disrespected by mistake.

Disrespect kills every relationship, except if its purpose is consciously restricted by mutual consent to using or abusing each other.  While discovering incompatible values and losing respect after having got involved by mistake with a mismatch cannot be remedied, it is very important to prevent both, feeling disrespect and feeling disrespected, due to misunderstanding, misinterpretation, misperception.

Only in fairy tales, a couple lives happily ever after having conquered the obstacles of getting together.   Every real life couple has disagreements and conflicts at least once in a while, and the older people are, when they get together, the more they have become individual personalities, the more initial conflicts they have to overcome.  

A person, who wants to improve his behavior in general and as a partner in a relationship, needs the other's sincere feedback.   Feedback includes both the spontaneous non-verbal expressions of how behavior is experienced, and the verbal feedback of either criticizing or approving the behavior.  
Non-verbal feedback is for example the expression of pain in the face.   Criticizing is verbally telling someone, that a specific behavior is hurting.  
As a part of adapting to each other, a person has the choice to focus the attention on observing the non-verbal expressions, to listen to criticizing and to ask for criticizing.   The partner has the choice to give feedback by not censoring his non-verbal expressions and by offering verbal feedback, whenever it is either asked for or when there is a behavior to be modified by feedback.  This concerns both, behavior perceived as disruptive, disturbing and hurting or pleasing behavior, of which more is welcome.   There is the choice to receive or to ignore feedback and to give or to deny feedback.  

Constructive conflict solving to prevent disrespect means, that both partners cooperate as both, the motivated recipient and the sincere giver of feedback, they apply the method of beneficial criticizing.    

Beneficial criticizing is a vital part of the process of getting bonded.    Beneficial criticizing means to name, describe or define a specific attribute of the other, either a behavior or an expressed thought, and to offer support in improving it.   Beneficial criticizing means the full respect for the other based upon the assumption of sharing the same basic values and attitudes.   It is based upon the premise, that the criticized attribute is either something independent of the basic values or something, that is a contradiction to the basic values and the other is either unaware of this or is struggling with it. 

Beneficial criticizing can concern:
  1. Disturbing habits, like for example burping and cursing
  2. Self-damaging habits like eating too much.  Example: The supportive partner distracts and interferes with getting fat. 
  3. Behavior damaging the welfare of the couple:  Examples:  Criticizing for wasting money by buying household items without asking first, if it is needed or already on stock.    Criticizing for spending money on himself with priority over spending it on shared benefits. 
  4. Helping someone to correct errors of contradiction with the own value system.   Example:  Informing someone, who is a skeptic and atheist, that NLP is not a branch of psychology, but pseudoscience and a cult.  
  5. Correcting morally wrong behavior.   Example:  A man with the basic value of equality has grown up with the role model of a macho father.   Or he has been mislead by reading and following the detrimental advice of PUAs (pick-up-animals)   He is not aware, that when he makes a solitary decision and forces the decision upon the partner, he is acting in contradiction to his value system.   He needs to be informed, what a woman expects from him as being included in the process of sharing decisions.     

All the above are examples, where beneficial criticizing is not an act of disrespect, but an attempt to improve the bonding by measuring the behavior by its being in accordance with the shared values.  

If the criticized partner resists, refuses and reproaches the other, each of my examples indicates, that something is dysfunctional in the relationship.  
  1. Disregard and lack of care for how the partner feels.  
  2. Not valuing the other enough to want to be attractive and healthy.
  3. Selfishness and devaluation.
  4. Probable incompatibility either because he is not a real skeptic or because he is unable to comprehend.
  5. Probable incompatibility because there may be psychological troubles impeding the man to treat a woman as an equal. 

Beneficial criticizing is not an expression of disrespect, to the contrary it is an attempt to remove reasons for potential disrespect.    But if there is refusal to react to beneficial criticizing, this destroys the respect of the supportive partner.  Feeling disrespected leads to the reaction of also losing respect.  

Beneficial criticizing can also be a method to avoid misinterpretations and misperceptions and of giving someone the benefit of the doubt before jumping to unfavorable conclusions. 

An example:  A man spends money on buying something, what the woman perceives as very selfish and as an act of disregard for her equal valid needs.  Only be criticizing him, she can find out, if he really is as selfish, as she assumes.  
  • In the case, that he was so convinced, that she would also enjoy his purchase, that he omitted consulting her first, maybe meaning to surprise her, he is not selfish.   This misunderstanding is a step of learning to be more cautious about his assumptions about her.      
  • If he insists, that it is his right to buy, whatever he wants without consulting her, even though they share expenses and he spends indirectly half her money, then he is disrespecting her and his selfishness gets her disrespect in return.
By criticizing him, she makes a step of progress towards either improving their relationship or learning that he is not suitable for her.   Would she keep silent, she would continue to doubt him for being selfish, and he would not even know.   This would undermine the relationship.   The more often someone does not express experienced criticism, the worse it gets.      

Beneficial criticizing is a vital part of creating a bonded and committed relationship.