Criticism Webinar

In this webinar replay, from the 3rd of Jan 19, we shared the following:

      • What is criticism
      • What is the problem with criticism
      • Types of criticism
      • How to become a repair artist

Transcript of the webinar about the Criticism Webinar by the Generous Marriage Podcast Team

Hello everyone. This is a Webinar by the team, the generous marriage podcast team. Hey Shachar. Hey Raviv, hey everybody. Uh, so teammate, what are we going to talk about today? We are going to talk about criticism. Is that a big issue in counseling where people come to you, married couples come to you and it, is it like very common, very common, super common. I really need to think to look for a couple of that. It’s not the problem with them. Wow. Everybody’s challenged by that. And because you’re a licensed family and marriage therapist in both, um, Berkeley in the state of California and Israel. Yeah. Yeah. So, so like human beings behave in California the same way. Like in Israel, they also are criticizing themselves. They’re more polite, but they still criticize and polite criticism still doesn’t work. It’s okay. Criticism is still criticism. Even if it’s with a smile or without a smile or with a window with a stabbing of a knife directly to your heart. Yeah. Um, let’s, let’s go into the research that you’ve conducted and that we’ve done to build some analysis. An analysis about criticism. I’m going to try and share my screen here we are and we are getting to start now.

So welcome to a generous marriage podcast webinar about dealing with criticism and, uh, before we started just wanting to make sure, uh, if you are in the right place. So first of all, definitely if you’re married, uh, all you know, committed to a relationship, then you’re in the right place because criticism affects your marriage and your relationship. If you are concerned about the impact that criticism is having on your marriage, then you’re in the right place. Even if you’re just concerned or if you, you know, had enough with, with the pain that these coupled with criticism, uh, um, I guess, pun intended with the coupled. Um, and maybe you follow us, you know, in what we do with generous marriage podcast. You know, it’s a podcast that you can listen to on your podcast apps and on your stitcher app and like online on So if you, you know that, you know what we’ll plan to do, um, you know, with all the generosity in that, then obviously thank you for, for listening and for caring and for being here.

Uh, so, um, we always provide value and believe in providing value first. So what we did, Shachar and me, we actually sit down and went through our entire curriculum for today, and have summarized the main takeaways for, uh, for the webinars so that you don’t have to write it down during the Webinar. You can actually just look at this, take a picture of this slide and you will be good Shachar, Uh, tell us what is going to be, uh, our first takeaway.

Well, first of all, we’re going to learn how to recognize criticism. Sometimes it’s really easy and we’ll give some examples of that when criticism is really bland and sometimes it’s more subtle but it’s still a destructive. So we’ll point out some examples of that. So, you know, you can recognize when you are criticized, when you’re being criticized, criticism is in the room. Yeah. And I think it’s a, it’s actually quite like the challenge in with criticism because um, sometimes we, we identify very easily the criticism when it’s someone else. But when it’s us it’s a little bit harder. So by practicing identifying what exactly was the point that made the sentence into a criticism, it criticizing sentence that will be good for us, but sometimes, you know, life happens and then you find yourself that you have criticized someone and that’s when you need to be repaired artist. Um, and we’ll talk about that. We’ll give you some ideas of how to do it in a very gentle way. That actually is, is it requires some, some college and it’s the good thing to do, the noble thing to do. What else, what else do we have? And then we’ll learn how to deliver your message in a more effective way. Criticism is trying to deliver a message. She wants something to be different, but it’s so ineffective. Hardly anyone changes because of criticism. Talk about nonviolent ways, easier ways, more effective ways to, to create the change that your interested in. Yeah, it’s a little bit like a, you know, if, if you’re using criticism, Eh, in order to get something to change in the best case scenario, maybe we’ll get a short term change. But on the long term, you know, the person doesn’t want to change because he was criticized. So you won’t. Um, but when you use other tactics that are, um, that actually create a connection.

Then it’s like two magnets that even though they have something that they want change, the still pull each other towards each other. So, so the partnership grows from from from wanting, uh, you know, to, to create some change, um, instead of, uh, um, deteriorating in dying. So, yeah. Um, we have an agenda for the next at least two months, uh, even more, but, but definitely the next couple of months we’re going to talk a lot about the right to feel, uh, raising a flag here.   And we believe that we have a problem, deep rooted problem in society, uh, worldwide, uh, where people have a right to feel, but they are being that right. Is being, uh, uh, diminished or deteriorated or, uh, just, uh, uh, yeah, affected by, by, by all sorts of forces. And we want to talk with you about that and show you how to become a, you know, a person that has, if he’s not criticizing someone else because of wrong information, uh, that was given to you by pop culture or by the videos or by, you know, the newspapers or by your Facebook feed. Sometimes we just are exposed to ideas that are not right. And that, uh, don’t allow you to look at other people as human beings with the right to feel. And that makes it easier to criticize when you don’t feel, you know, that you, that you have a right to feel that others have the right to feed. Um, and then, uh, what is this thing about vulnerability?

Well, vulnerability in my view is actually there one best key to a long lasting, happy, nourishing relationship. It’s always, it always takes courage. It’s always scary. That’s why it’s called vulnerable. We’re vulnerable. We might get hurt. And every time we do it, we strengthened our relationship. We understand ourselves better. We understand ours partner better. And you know, I, I feel like it’s falling in love again and again and again. I’ve been with my wife for 13 years and I’m still practicing this vulnerability. She’s my biggest teacher in this. Wow. And every time I dare to be vulnerable, uh, the heart opens and it really feels like falling in love again. This is what we mean by saying, you know, that being generous is a strategy in your relationship. In your partnership and vulnerabilities one of the main keys, like if you go to a lonely island, uh, with your partner and you need to choose a virtue or something that will help you maintain the generosity, then uh, in the connection, then maybe vulnerability would be uh, uh. So, uh, guys take the picture now of this, even though the slides will be available on, however, let’s now give you the actual information that will allow you to understand the takeaways in a, in a clear way.

So to summarize that agenda in a different way or to just give you the agenda, we are going to talk about a bit about ourselves just to introduce ourselves in case you haven’t seen one for webinars. And then we’re going to explain why criticism sucks like a, it’s important to be very blunt about this one. It just criticism is, is, is bad for humanity in so many ways and it’s bad for you, for your connection with your spouse. And then we’re going to do this training hands on training right here and now on how they identify all sorts of different types of criticism. We actually have some videos to show you yay videos and we’ll talk about how to overcome criticism. Um, and we will wrap up with the dessert at the generous partnership armor I don’t know what is that all about? But I already want to wear one. So with that said, guys could barely where I hope you’ll let the Shachar you ready to take us home with this? I am ready. Yeah, let’s do this. So let’s introduce ourselves.

Who is the team behind the Generous Marriage Podcast

So my name is, Shachar Erez. I’m a licensed marriage and family therapist, both in California and in Israel. I used to live in Berkeley for seven years and this is where I got my training and got licensed, and we moved back to Israel a couple of years ago. Um, I’m married to Judy for 11 years and I’m the father of two sweet kids. And My, you know, what I love the most doing in life is just helping couples fall in love again. Be close and they get a nourishing, a relationship back on.Yeah. It’s very, very, very inspiring. And in the noble cause I’m here for the money. So, uh, but I am a business man and I run three different podcasts and uh, um, online schools. Um, I married my, my sweetheart, my school a sweetheart, it like 16 years ago. So we know each other from age of 17 in we have three kids. And, um, I, I’ve learned the hard way that if you want to get your business to go, you need to have a very solid foundation and a very strong connection and relationship with your spouse. And any, any, any progress that I’ve made and I’ve made quite a few progresses in the last two, did two years.

Will made possible because I did this switch in my head and that switch that, that understanding that business cannot really thrive. Uh, you as an entrepreneur cannot or a solopreneur cannot really thrive without the support. Um, the [inaudible] support of your spouse. And without you, you know, being, uh, um, like that you deserve that support, then you will not, you will block yourself from succeeding. And that is something that, uh, has caused me to, to partner with you, Shachar, and to go on this journey together, creating the generous marriage podcast. Right for me. It’s funny that you said that you’re here for the money cause I feel like you’re the generous guy here. Oh, you bring so much generosity to this generous marriage podcast and webinars. Thank you. Um, well generosity is a strategy, uh, in partnerships but definitely uh, also in business generosity is, is a strategy. But uh, we’ll, we’ll have a place to talk about that. Let’s talk about criticism. Let’s be generous with talking about criticism. So you are our, uh, our academy guy. You, you have the degrees, you have the experience. Tell us what is criticism please.

What is Criticism?

 So according to the dictionary, criticism is the expression of disapproval of someone or have something based on perceived faults or mistakes. Okay. Gottman the famous couples researcher, Dr John Gottman takes it further, I think. And, and says that criticism is a global attack on personality or character, for example, to what, what he means here. If, Eh, Eh, you know, you tell your, uh, your husband, you are such a Slob, you never clean after yourself. Whoa. That’s an assault on his personality or a slob. You know, you have no chance, no chance of changing. You never take care. We never clean up after yourself. Yup. Of course that’s not true because even the biggest slob sometimes it cleans up there and stuff and it’s just, there’s not much to do with this. It’s just super hurtful. Yeah. And like between the lines, if is a set by a lady too, man, what she means is I want you to clean after. Like she, she pretty much means I need you to clean after yourself so that I could feel like you care about me. Right, right, right. But, but instead when she says like, you’re such a slob or you’re lazy, you’re lazy bomb, you’re all of those things, uh, it feels like a global attack on the personality or the character. But actually, you know, there’s other ways to look at criticism.

So, uh, uh, I’ll, I’ll offer another, a few approaches. Um, I know that you personally Shachar also look at the criticism in a more holistic way and not just like John Gottman allows in a way to, you know, to have complaints that are criticism and separates them, but even complaints are not really efficient in getting stuff done and getting you what you need. So I, I personally am a follower of Alison Armstrong. I love a walk or line on the topics of relationships and, and, um, the differences between men and women will talk about that as well. Today, and Alison, uh, actually describes a set of activities. Well criticism is one of them and she called, she uses the word emasculate. And basically anything that diminishes other people’s ability to produce result is iniquity. Sin like criticism does that. So what is criticism? It’s you do something that diminishes a and other person. Our ability to produce results. And that is a little bit, um, um, like sometimes it’s hard to, to see exactly what are the results that you’re trying to produce that you’re diminishing. It’s a little bit harder to see sometimes.

So I actually have, um, tried to make it even easier. For every time you can replace the sentence with the following sentence.  It’s criticism. So the sentence is you’re misbehaving by doing blank, you’re misbehaving by doing blank. So for example, if we go back, you’ll such a Slob, you never clean yourself in another way to say it’s like you’re misbehaving because you’re so dirty. Um, living room. So messy. Yeah, exactly. And so every time you can replace the sentence with you are misbehaving. That judgemental approach of telling someone, Hey, I know a how behaving is supposed to be to, to look like. I know and you’re misbehaving right according to like in comparison to someone specific, like maybe like an ideal person, then you’re misbehaving. You’re not following the rules that I compare you to. And that is exactly the judgmentalism or the criticism that is just very inefficient and painful. And Yeah, we’ll talk about what he does. So that sentence may be, can you be useful to help you identify what it is or understand what it is? And what do you think Shachar wonder, do you think constructive criticism maybe is okay? Well, it depends on what okay means, you know, in a relationship, in a romantic relationship and shaping and intimate relationship, even constructive criticism hurts. The relationship, hurts the connection. And usually it doesn’t really bring results. Maybe in career settings, in the corporate world, constructive criticism might be okay and might be used in a way that is constructive with your wife, with your partner. Uh, I really don’t recommend it. There are ways that are much more effective in getting what you want. And in Tennessee, you know, getting what you want, the change that you want, the, the, the, the slob husband to clean after him and keep connection with, with your husband and keep being close to him.                                 

Yeah. You know, I just got a flashback for my yields in the corporate world where there was really, you know, a well defined systems on how to do a review and you know, to provide constructive criticism. So you will know the date of the discussion. You could, you know, be nervous about it for a few days. I don’t know how that is constructive but whatever. But then in the discussion like you will first hear, uh, like one, one, two, three compliments before they give you the confection. So just the fact that they need to actually train the management team in such a detailed way of how to provide the constructive criticism, the, that I think that the, on the overall, it’s not really working. It shows how sensitive people are to, and like if criticism is a daily thing in your life, like just imagine the unbelievable situation where your wife says, oh, your spouse says, hey, I want to give you like some feedback about how you’re doing some of the things in, in our home. So let’s schedule, you know, two weeks from now, a discussion about it. Like it, he does any sense? So we have yes and, and, but on that scale, on the other side of the scale and not a hell of criticism or of of constructive criticism, it’s just the fact that it’s so common. It happens every day sometimes. And that is hard. And, and you can see the icon, the of, of the, of the wife taking the kid away and the husband, uh, wall stalling her and tried to go and find some air foam cell phone. Or maybe they’ll even being divorced. I Dunno. It’s really hell. Like the effects of criticism are distractive, they call it constructive criticism. But it’s destructive criticism actually. Even the constructive one. Yeah. So I, maybe people are not convinced. So maybe you can, you can explain to us Shachar what, what are the side effects of criticism?

What is the Problem of Criticism?

I wait, I just want to answer Lisa, Lisa, sorry. Was confused about who this program is for and tell her that this program is for people in a committed relationship in a marriage. Men and women, women that are in committed relationships. Yeah. Thank you. So what is the problem with criticisms? So, okay. Yeah. According to John Gottman, the famous couples, a researcher. Criticism is one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. It’s like really bad. And the reason it’s bad is because what it creates. So let’s say I criticize my wife, how would she react? She would share, probably become defensive when she’s defensive. She might even attacked me. And pretty soon there’s just two little defense mechanism pretending like they’re trying to achieve something. But you know, defense mechanisms are busy defending something. They’re entrenched in their position. They don’t really hear each other. They don’t really get each other. So I’m critical. She’s defensive. Then I get defensive. Just escalates really quickly into, you know, a fight or something ugly like that. And when that happens, there’s a rupture in, in, in the interpersonal bridge, the connection breaks. It’s actually an adversary relationship at that moment. Right, right. And I call it, you know, it’s one of the four poisons. A John Gottman causes the horsemen of the apocalypse, you know, bad names. You know, it’s really a problem. It’s really hurts relationships. And on top of all of this, it’s just ineffective. We criticize someone because we want something to be different. We want them to change, just doesn’t work. It just doesn’t bring the change. You know, most like 90% of the time it just doesn’t do it. And the few times that it does create the change, but we lose the connection, we lose the relationship. Is it worth it? I think it’s not.

Uh, I want, I want to give a, like to protect the idea of changing someone. Like sometimes when you want someone to change, it’s not out of some, some evil, uh, uh, desire to control or to change it for the purpose of changing. Sometimes you want someone to change because you have some needs, some needs are not being met. You have a need for a deeper connection or you have a need for, uh, for, uh, you know, living in a certain way, in a southern environment, you have kids with needs and so on. So those needs sometimes requires both of the side of the partnership to adjust, to change, to work together. And so, you know, the root cause of the criticism is some need some real needs. So getting that need, uh fulfilled is important enough that that people should think about, hey, you know, maybe if you want to get that result, there’s other ways to get that. Right. Right. And we’ll talk much more about this in the next few slides. Yeah. And, and for the purpose of clarity, because you have been in the room in the sacred to them of, of counseling people, couples specifically, um, is it common that both men and women criticize? Yeah. Right. So it’s not, this is not a gender thing. Both men and women criticize. And in both cases it’s, it doesn’t work. I guess the slight gender differences I can see is that some women or that women tend to complain more than men. And men take it. Really, men here, men often hear complaints as criticism. So there is this difference, but both men and women can be and are critical. It’s hard not to be. I think with men, which maybe, maybe it’s just a hunch. Maybe like the defensive with the dis, the defensiveness brings out an attack back and then, you know, it’s an attack, which is a critic, which is criticism. So it might be, um, a little bit more. MMM. Uh, impulsive. I think men criticized when they’re under resourced, when they’re tired or they’re hungry when they had a bad day, when they’re stressed. That’s when criticism comes up more interesting. Um, I, I just imagined goes with women actually, like, yeah, yeah, exactly. Like if I was a little different, but it’s not that. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. If I was a woman, right? Like, and, and I would be tired, they would still criticize more. So I think, I think, okay. So let’s go into the journey.

How to Identify Criticism?

First of all, we need to learn how to identify criticism. Because obviously if both of us, you know, men and women criticize, then both of us, all of us basically needs to try, and identify when do we criticize. Not when do other people criticize, but when do we, when, how can we stop the cycle, this vicious cycle and you know, to train, the ability to identify our own criticism when we use criticism wrongly, which is basically using it. Um, then, um, we, we, we’ve decided to, to create this hands on a training where we will go through some of the types of criticism and even we’ll watch some, some videos that demonstrate that.

Yeah. So the worst kind of criticism is the kind of criticism John Gottman talks about. And it usually starts with you always or do you never, you know, oh, you’re such a name calling title, you know, and, and yeah. And this is the worst because you can’t really defend yourself against it. It’s, it’s never accurate. Nothing really happens always. Nothing really never happens. And you’re not such a one thing. Your, you know, any person is more complex than this, but in any sentence that you hear, you always are, you’re never, or you’re such a red flag, there’s going to be a problem. Yeah. Like I just formed the beginning of the sentence. I immediately want to defend myself by providing an example that proves the throng. But that is exactly defensiveness. That is exactly what is going to invoke more criticism instead of less. Exactly. And that’s another reason why it doesn’t work. I hear you always, I go to the one time it didn’t happen. I hear you never, I go to the one time it did happen and then I missed the point and don’t talk. You know, with the person who criticized me about uh, what they really wanted to talk about.

I just show them that they’re not right. Yeah. Yeah. And that doesn’t really work either. So, um, and, and you know, we also criticize kids this way quite often, and then it’s like, it’s not fair. It’s just not fair. They cannot really, uh, respond in the same linguistic level. Like they can’t explain why it’s so helpful. And yeah, I mean, just imagine all those, uh, focus stays with them and what happens is they become a critical adult. Yeah. It starts by being, you get criticized when you’re a kid, and you kind of internalize it and you start criticizing yourself first. And then you start criticizing others and the world. Wow. Vicious cycle. Inter generational trauma in a sense. Well, let’s, let’s definitely try to get over this one. So, um, well let’s see a video from sex and the city and see how Carrie and Miranda, Miranda, now I forget. Yeah, I think it’s Miranda how they do, how they do it wrong. Yeah. Start with this one. And of course, yeah. Okay. I’ll talk more about it like that. Okay. Yeah. Sorry, go ahead. Uh, I’m good to start now. Yeah.[Video] You know what? I’m holding your hands with these again! I’m not asking you to hold my anything. We’re just having a lot of, it is not a huge mistake. It’s lunch with a carry. How many more times are you going to go through this? Is that for you, Jesus. Every time you get near him, you turned into this pathetic, needy, insecure victim. And the thing that pisses me off the most is it, you’re more than willing to go right back from work. I am not going back for more and I can’t. Okay.

Right. So the last part, every time you get near him, Miranda tells scary. Every time you get near him you needed insecure victim. Yeah. And how does Carrie responding a counter attack, the first sign of any little weakness or flaw and you just write off people like my God Miranda, you’re so judgmental. You know, she calls her a name back and from there it just escalates until they, they break. And of course they’re not, they’re not a married couple, but you know, they’re good friends. It’s very similar to to help people do it in marriages. Yeah. And I like, but what would you, how would you respond if I like if someone say, so the situation there is that uh Miranda, she’s a good friend of Carrie and she’s actually worried about her because is going to meet this guy again who was bad for her and like what if Miranda is right? Maybe she’s right. But the, the key is that the way she delivers this will just make a Carrie feel bad and probably even do it to show her she wouldn’t listen to the wise. Maybe wise advice that Miranda might have? And instead if Miranda could talk about herself and about how she’s worried or scared for Carrie, that will touch your heart, will open their heart health or listen to what Miranda says and then make her own choice. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s probably something like, uh, you know, Carrie, I, I see you going back to Mr big. I feel scared and sad for because I care for you and I don’t want you to see you. Hello. I need you to really think these through and, um, consider, uh, older last time that you needed my help. Um, would you be willing to think, think about it again. Right. So, so, so much different. You know, if I was her, if I were her, I would listen now I would consider what you just said. Yeah. At least at least you would actually think about it, right? Yeah. Okay. So using the every time, uh, that is pathetic needy, insecure, you’re such, Eh, yeah, yeah, yeah. Or to put it in, you know, with other formula, which is, uh, you’re misbehaving by doing that. So basically Miranda is telling her, Carrie, you’re misbehaving by going back to meet Mr. Baker big. Yeah. And that means it’s criticism.

Okay, let’s hear another one. And this is an example of you’re always, yeah, right. Exactly. So he tells her you always do something. And the first thing she says, I don’t always, she goes to the one time she didn’t do it, I forget what exactly it is. But that’s how telling someone you always, or never, it’s just ineffective. Just create, brings up defensiveness. And that one time that it didn’t happen or did happen in, in, in this case it’s is, you know, a couple, um, so it is, you know, romantic relationship. And if I would put myself into his shoes in this situation, oh man, you just need to suit yourself. You need to stop the discussion, take a few breaks and like a few minutes for a break and like tell her like, look, I’m, I’m, I’m upset right now. I need to calm down before we continue this discussion. Right. This is already too late. This is already there. Super triggered already. What the only thing to do right now is to stop, take care of yourself and come back to the discussion later from this point on, just hurting each other. Worst and worst and worst. Yeah. Now what is trying to do is help her understand that it doesn’t have, that it feels like it doesn’t have room in her house, in their heart, and you know, that he wants to feel more cared for. Yes. She would love hearing that. I totally, oh boy. Uh, it could actually end the entire series of sex in the city and they will just live happily with a strong connection without all the drama. So, uh, in, in real life, it’s better to get away from so much drama and try to yeah. And have a beautiful drama of love, of connection, of nourishment, of generosity. Yes. Yes, I love stories. Drama. Yeah. Okay.

Now here’s another situation where it got, it got escalated quite fast. Let’s take a look. He screamed at her, but you know what many things went wrong here in this discussion. It’s a fight, but he tells her, you set me up every time to be the, Oh, she does him. I’m sorry. He set me up every time to be the bad guy. And then he tells her, you spent too much time with those corporate clowns. They just keep criticizing each other and it’s really getting so bad that this couple actually divorces in the entire movie. This is like uh already like insulting pretty heavily. I like even by saying, you know, corporate clowns, by, by connotation of like you also the with them. Uh, he’s basically saying that your clown as well. And that comes from a Robbie Williams. Yeah. Mrs Doubtfire rest in peace and like from the biggest clown in the world professionally. Um, yeah, a little bit ironic, but a great actor and very sad that he uh, yeah, not with us anymore, but yeah. Uh this is uh, uh, again, like you see using those words every time. You always insulting one another. That is definitely when you know you’ve been crossing the line. Let’s hear another one.

Criticizing an Action

So this, okay, let’s say it’s first. Oh boom, boom, boom. Oh, hold on. [Video] Great deals. I save like $200. We’re just trying to talk last night about the fact we have to watch our budget. We’ve got the mortgage payment coming up, a high electric bill. The car needs to be fixed and you’re out here buying stuff we don’t need.

Okay. So this is actually a little bit better. Right? It’s not such a clear assault on her character and the, it’s more about the action she did about buying things to their grandkids after they had the financial conversation a couple of days ago or last night or something. And he gets super upset. And the uh, what’s the word when you talk the harsh to kids? I forget. He’s calls her as if she’s misbehaving. Yup. Alright. While he could have said something again that the nicer, you know that he appreciates how she cares about their grandkids and how she buys stuff for them. But he’s really stressed out over money and the over their financial situation. And when she, after they talk about it, when he sees her going out and buying stuff, if feels disrespected. That’s probably why he gets so upset, upset because he actually felt disrespected or something. And then she could, the, there could be a conversation and she could explain to him, maybe you’re right and I’ll return those things. I’m sorry I got carried away. You know? Or maybe, yeah, I hear you. I know we’re stressed. I actually got a really great stuff for our grandkids. It’s really cheap right now. There was a great deal and maybe say, yeah, wow, we actually saved us money.

There’s so many ways to do this differently. Even if like financially those, those gifts are not good to be bought. Like, even if he’s right, there are other ways to do it in other ways to convey the message and just, you know, the actual fact that we can rephrase the entire sentence that he says into you misbehaved by going to shopping. Uh, that only means it’s criticism where I think he meant something like, I wish you haven’t bought a more gifts after we discussed this. I feel like you, uh, uh, I feel like, uh, uh, this respected by the fact that we discussed about this yesterday. Just today you went on shopping or something of that sort, but a, in a, in a, in a like in a generous uh relationship, he might’ve actually, you know, stock team himself and thought to themselves, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. With the, uh, with like, you’ve been triggered. Yeah, but, and you feel frustrated and unhealed. But wait with your action, with your spawn and look at all the details, collect more information and just try to, to find out what she bought and why she bought it. And, and, you know, then use something like, I feel, uh, scared and frustrated about the budget. And, and, and he’s actually, um, very common topic with men I think are concerned about money. What do you think about that?

I think, you know, to a great degree, we’re still patriarchic in many ways and still in many families the men are more the providers and are more in charge about their financial situation. But I see couples that are different and then the wife is more, uh, responsible about the budget and she’ll do the same thing. You know, it’s not so much about men and women, it’s about the person who holds this role more in the relationship. Yeah. It’s still a man. And Alison Armstrong talks about it in a book about partnerships, about how, you know, with any partnership is a, uh, a protector and provider and the supporter and enhancer. And so the protector and provider of money, like you know, all of our future. Or our retirement fund. Yeah. One person is the, he’s the protector and provider and that might not be the person that ends small money. It can actually be that the spouse is earning more money, but they decided that the, the other spouse will be the one that leads this endeavor of, of, uh, saving enough for retirement or whatnot.

And so the provider and the protector or the leader of that specific vector of, of activity in the family in a partnership, uh, might get upset, uh, and might worry more about those things every time they see, um, that espouse the supporter, the enhancer coming back with shoppings. So shopping bags. And he might think, you know, in this case that she was actually saving so much money, she might think that he respected, uh, her husband because she was saving money. So it’s really a situation where you need more information before you can reach a decision. Uh, well she bought stuff that are not needed. Yeah. You can, it to be actually everything from a list that they’ve agreed and that you know, that everything is created. Okay. And Lisa wrote us a comment. I think she’s probably referring to the Mrs Doubtfire clip with so and she says, I think when the relationship becomes this destructive and hurtful, unfortunately, possibly has gotten past the point of return. And I agree that that’s possible. But I also want to say that couples counseling is super effective. 80 to 90%, uh, effectiveness rate, good results. And I see couples that come in this way when they’re so triggered, they can tolerate each other. It’s like two wounds that a scratch each other all the time. And after a few sessions it really changes. So of course it doesn’t always work, but I want to say that even when you’re in such a distress in your relationship, go find help couples counseling, it’s very effective. Yeah. Thank you, Lisa for this and Lisa for the sake. Yeah, thank you. Thank you for, for that. Yes, yes, yes. Like the whole purpose of us doing the webinars and the podcast, is to help people even in very hard situation, um, to help them find tools. It’s about, and it’s about not getting to these situations as well. Right, right. Definitely. Okay. Next one.

Complaining Causes Quarrel

Let’s take a look. I’m, I’m actually noticing the time and I wonder if we should skip this. Okay, let’s keep this. People can actually watch this later on the slide. Thank you for that. So another type of, Hey, this is is complaining and like this is something that sometimes is not really about your partner, but something that is related to them somehow and they consider it is not a complaint about that thing but about them. So for example, uh, uh, let’s say your, the wife always wants to go to this Italian restaurant and the husband says, what is this place? This food is horrible. How can we come here? Like in them, she hears uh, you’ve made bad decisions. You’re misbehaving by choosing to take me here. And that is a complaint. That is actually a criticism. It’s, he doesn’t say you are, you’ve made this dish bad. He, you know, you didn’t, it’s not her, but just the fact that it’s related to a restaurant that she loves creates criticism, right? It’s something complaining about something that we identify with. Yes. Heard like, like criticism. Yeah. And it is something, again, we need to be sensitive about. Yeah, exactly. And I just want to, you know, to mention that even though we’ve just went to this lovely training of how to identify criticism and I only feel like, hey, okay, don’t use always, don’t use every time and like, uh, take, take a breather and not go crazy. And all of those things that we practiced right now but still still still, still criticism will happen. Like we can promise you, you will criticize people from time to time and even if you try hard to not criticize, it’s not something that happens overnight. You need to practice and practice. In fact, probably for the rest of your life, you should practice, you know, um, replacing criticism with other options. Um, so don’t beat yourself up with, um, making the progress slow. Even just, just identifying it once in the upcoming days, identifying something you said, which could be criticism, um, even if there was no big drama around it, but still you identified it, that’s a huge win. So celebrate those wins because people will tend to be critical, the most critical of themselves. Yeah.

Becoming a Repair Artist

So we’re talking to you guys, you know, I’m like that. I have an inner critic. I’m critical of myself and others and I’ve done a lot of work with that. And I know how to communicate way better. But still it had happened over dinner, you know, a couple of hours ago. Thank God I became a repair artist. You know, this is a good segue to this slide. Yeah. Yeah. So I think this is super important. Becoming a repair artists. So tell us what is that all about? Ruptures. Ruptures in relationships happen all the time. They happen daily, they happen a few times a day. And they’re not that bad when you know how to repair. So, so, so if you notice, you criticized, stop, take a breath and apologize to your partner. Explain without being defensive. Because when you’re defensive, it’s not really explanation that the other could here explain what was going on for you. Yeah. Why you got critical. What you actually need. What you actually feel, and they’re to be vulnerable. Ask, ask for what you need. That would be way more effective. That’d being critical. Yeah. And just know that even if you messed that up, even if you miss, even if you criticize or hurt your partner, it’s not too late. You can repair.

We actually discussed about this own generous marriage podcast in episode three. So there’s more to learn about becoming a repair artists. Really beautiful metaphor. Um, that takes out the shame from apologizing doesn’t mean that you are, you know, that, uh, like, yeah, yeah, yeah. And like it’s not about being, it’s not about who is, who is to blame. It’s about taking ownership on your deeds, on your actions and on the results of what you want. What you really need. So be proud of that. Like that the things that you need a real. Yeah, you’re human. We have needs. Yeah. And we have a whole episode about it, episodes three and we have a great bonus there too that you can download for free. Check it out. Generous

And so we are now going to talk a little bit about, you know, communication. We’re not like, you need to communicate the things that are troubling you. You need, it’s like, but there’s alternative ways to do that. And that is the focus right now. Um, like imagine you need power and you can create power with coal and that is bad for the environment. Then instead of that, let’s use uh, communication with these not pollute pollutive and that is like, uh, ecofriendly.

What is an Effective Communication

So, um, in order to do that, we understand that in our toolbox we cannot use criticism. We need because it doesn’t achieve what we do, what we need. We actually need something else and we have a few tools that we’re going to share a really quick with you guys. The first one is called NVC or nonviolent communication. I really loved the words in Hebrew that uh, is the translation of nonviolent communication. It’s more like, um, a communication discloses that Kate’s closeness. Um, but nonviolent communication is, is also, uh, like it just the same thing, a different way to say it. Right? And, and, and there is a thing called non violent communication. There is a method. Yeah, go to the next slide. There is a method called nonviolent communication. And we’re going to teach it really quickly here. We teach it longer, uh, in one of our episodes, I forget which one actually also, uh, in, in many of them. Yeah. Well also, right? So we’re going to teach this quickly now and then we’re going to teach some other ways that are not according to this full protocol of, of NVC, but they still are nonviolent. And they still help you communicate what you want, what you need, and be, whoever. Effective communication that also creates understanding and closeness and intimacy. So going into NVC, the way that Marshall Rosenberg, Eh, taught it. The idea is to, so we get right, we know this, we’re triggered. And we want to say something. On a good day, we stop, we pause, we take a breath and we start with, try to understand what’s going on. What am I feeling? What do I need? What do I need to, to, to, to ask for what’s going on here. And then we’re in. When we’re regulated enough, we can express it in a beautiful way. So we start with an observation of an observation means it’s describing what’s actually happening. Free of judgments, free of flavors that diagnosis or opinion. You know, it’s like, Eh, Eh, when I see you coming back home with those shopping bags, you know, let’s use that example from the fall. Feeling.

Next is, is, is, is, is selling is saying what, what you feel. And it always starts with I statements. I’m talking about myself. It, and it’s better if it’s free of thought. So when I see you coming back with those, uh, uh, shopping bags, I feel maybe scared because of our financial situation. Maybe disrespected, because we talked about it last night and if you did shopping, that means you didn’t listen to me and you don’t care about me. Then we go into a need. What’s the need? What do I actually need right now? So maybe I need to feel that you care about me. Maybe a feel. I need to feel respected and they need to feel safe. Like you were a team. Like we’re in it together and both of us are going to take care of our finances. It’s not gonna fall only on my shoulders. And finally, there’s a request, not a demand. A request. And the request means that you know that your partner doesn’t have to do it. You’re just asking for it and then they can say yes, no. Or negotiate some other way. Yeah. Um, so when I see you coming back from with those shopping bags, I feel scared. I feel disrespected. I need to feel like we’re a team. I need to feel like we’re in it together. Would you please explain to me why you did this shopping or yeah. Yeah. Something like that. It’s pretty good, I think. Yeah. Would you be willing to, um, to let me know before you go to the shopping next time. Or would you be willing to not do any shopping this month? So I don’t know.

Non-Violent Communication

Uh, so, um, and here’s another example. Run it. I’ll run through this really quick. So, uh, when I come home and see a pile of dishes in the sink, I feel disrespected. I feel rejected. I feel I’m not important to you. I need the kitchen to be clean for me to be relaxed. Otherwise I get a headache and feel stressed. Would you be willing to make sure it’s not messy when I get home? And like you can screw this up. Like you can inject the criticism into any of the sentences pretty much. So instead of like if you say would you be willing to never have a make that happen again. Then immediately, you know, it sounds like a little bit more like criticism and or another common mistake is I feel, I feel like you are a slob. Yeah. Yeah. And it’s not an nice statements. Even though we use the words I feel there and it’s about the other and it’s, it’s a conclusion, rather than a feeling. It’s actually quite, I like exercising. This helps you identify what is a feeling and how do you really feel. And even just going back to the basic feelings, like scared, sad, frustrated, angry. All of those like being able to actually name, what are you feeling right now out of those? That that by itself is a skill that is worth practicing. And what it does, it creates empathy. Yeah. If, if I know my, my partner is scared, I want to protect her. If I know my partner is frustrated, I want to stop doing the things that frustrates her. It creates the actual thing you want to happen, it creates motivation for it to happen.

So here’s another simpler way to do the NVC, the non-violent communication. And this is inspired by Alison Armstrong again. Um, and basically, it’s like a quick version where you say you skip there. I see the observation and you skip the I feel and you go directly to I need and you say, I need you to do this, but you put the feelings scanner in a different way. You, you explain what, what would it mean to you? It would provide me a feeling of, it would provide me, uh, you know, a lot of comfort knowing that you will do this for me or knowing that the kitchen is clean. So, uh, and, and sometimes by, by explaining what it provides you uh, then that by itself actually changes everything. Because you, you, you first of all, you know clearly what the need is. It’s not, you always do this. It’s more like I need this table to be clean. And once you suddenly hear like, why it’s so important to you that, uh, allows you to be motivated to do that. So I need you to clean the kitchen after you, after you, it will make me feel loved and appreciated. Well, I want you to feel loved and appreciated. So I want to clean the kitchen. Right? So that’s a way more efficiently. Yeah. Yes, yes.

That the, the idea. Yeah, go to the slide. The idea behind this, Eh, nonviolent communication is effective communication is, is it start gently, you know, before you approach your partner, stop. Take a pause. Breathe. You know, nowadays yourself first, what’s going on for you in your body and your feelings and your thoughts, what’s going on in your inner world. Yeah. And, and try to figure out what you need after you’ve done that. If you know what you feel and what you need most probably the communication will be much more effective rather than throwing something, uh, at your partner. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s really important.

And another way with the wish. Can you explain that please? Yeah. Under criticism, there’s a wish that you said earlier, there’s a need. So there’s a wish for that need to be fulfilled. It’s a criticism is a negative expression of for real need that deserves to be seen first of all, and maybe even to be fulfilled, right? So if we articulate it in a, in a positive hope, you can say, I wish you cleaned after yourself when you’re done in the kitchen. It will make me feel so cared for. I would like to do that for my wife. I want her to feel cared for. Very different than feeling criticized. And it’s amazing how, you know, changing the words just a bit instead of saying you never clean after yourself. Saying I need you to clean after several saying, I wish you clean up this small change. And it creates a huge effect. So it’s a change in the wording, but it’s more than that. It’s a change in the tone. The tone is actually even more important. When you start gently and you deliver your message in a gentle way, it’s much easier for other people to hear that. Yeah.

Now we actually, uh, were planning on giving you more takeaways, which are actually quite extensive. We don’t have enough time to do it today. I’m sorry. Uh, but, uh, I’ll just let you know. We have researched the topic of, uh, of the right to feel. I think we’ll just do it in the next webinar. We’ll, we’ll start with the right to feel, to make sure that that’s a good plan. Yeah, yeah. We’ll talk about another poison of in relationship, but we will start with the right to feel and we will explain how men and women actually are being cohost by society to ignore who they are and to ignore the way that they feel. And because of that, um, men’s ability to produce results is diminished. And, and women’s right to feel is diminishing. So like so many, so many, uh, um, problems in relationships are a result of that. So we want to give you some ideas and also, you know.

That the bravery to be vulnerable is something that, um, what, what can you say about that Shachar? I talked about it briefly at the beginning and I just say again that it’s the one best key for long lasting, loving, nourishing, good relationship. Each time you’re there to be vulnerable to say what you feel. To ask for what you need. It creates closeness and intimacy. And then it’s like goals for your relations. Yeah, talk about it when we talk about the right and also like, imagine how powerful that person and how brave that person is to be able to push it back on the bear, and, uh, just a member of the metaphor. And if you are vulnerable and brave, becoming vulnerable, then uh, you will get some really amazing results in your partnership.

The Generous Partnership Armor

And that is a good segue to, uh, the idea of a generous partnership armor. And that is basically normal where you do sudden things that protect your connection, that, that, that creates a protection layer for your partnership. And one key element of that is the date night. Um, and both of us were strong believers in the importance of date nights actually have, uh, these days, uh, date nights with my, uh, we call it fun days. I have it with my kids as well, not just my wife. And it’s amazing. We just had today Shachar discussion with our kindergarten teacher and she said how she was amazed at how my boy was, uh, like an entirely different person, by knowing that he’s going for a fun day today with his dad. He was friendlier. He was like eating more than usual. He was listening to everyone. He was like just a totally transformed human being because of these injection of, of quality time. Um, and that is our yes, yes, definitely. And you, once you start to work with the partnership armor. You see the results really fast. This is one of the key, um, um, benefits of doing the date night. Like it, you can score up a date night. You can, but you can’t screw up all the date nights. And so like pretty fast, you find something that works for you and it is fun for you and it starts to build the relationship and helps you fall in love again. Um, so our mission is to help you guys in all sorts of ways to get that partnership armor. The generous partnership armor on you and to make it fit your life. And we actually want to ask you if you enjoy the webinar today. If you enjoyed our content in journalists, journalists, marriage borders, we have a small request is actually a big request. But before that, you know, I’m not sure why you’re here today. Honestly. Maybe, uh, like you can take a moment and ask yourself, why are you here today? Maybe there’s some, some blue sky out there that you really hope that by implementing some of the tactics that we share on our webinars or podcast, that you will get to live a life that you want to leave. Uh, so maybe, maybe you’re here because you’re concerned about criticism. Then definitely we hope that we’ve delivered some really quality training for you. Have a bed or maybe you know, you know that your marriage actually needs more than that. More than just a one webinar or on Thursday, uh, afternoon or whatnot. Um, and that is why we’re here.


 We’re here to help you with either, you know, the shorts term benefits of understanding criticism and the log 10 benefits of working on your relationship. And your partnership and your skills. And that’s why we have the generous marriage podcast with 12th, free episodes as you can on each episode. Hear story for married couple that had some Helder and how they use the tool from toolbox of the generous marriage. Uh, and um, uh, Tho those tools, they were well researched. So each episode comes with the tool and the re the examples from the research and the story to help you understand the flow of the tool. And then you can even download for free some game or some tool in pdf. Um, for me, each of the episodes and all of that is available for you in and the big request is Shachar. What is our request? Please help us spread the word. That’s the biggest help we could use. We really want more people to be exposed to this material and to bring more generosity into their relationships, into their lives. You know, my day there’s a friend of yours or a family member that you think might enjoy this. Might get some help from, from listening to this content. Maybe even, yeah, I think that’s a great date night by the way, to listen to a podcast like this or look for, look at a Webinar like this. We do it once a week, uh, in our second date. That’s what we do. Um, thank you guys for being here. Thank you. Shachar, thank you for yet another webinar. Thank you. As if the replay will be available on generous Um, let’s just check really quickly if we have any questions from the participants and for you watching the replay and replay mode. Thanks again. I’ll stop the recording now and, uh, we stay for another couple of minutes with the people that are live here, so bye. Bye. Bye.


Weekly episodes with stories, tools and research that will help you make your marriage generous


Shachar Erez, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, 12 years married, father of two

Ziv Raviv, 16 years married, father of three