How to Live with an Overly Critical Person



Assert yourself.,
Examine the nature of the criticism.,
Provide some honest feedback.,
Use “I”-statements.,
Be open to compromise.

You cannot put up with criticism indefinitely. Criticism can reach a point where it’s no longer tolerable. It’s one thing for your roommate to get on your case about taking the garbage out. However, some critical people begin giving unsolicited advice about your personal and professional life. In this case, you should assert yourself.

Be firm, but also be kind. You do not want to be aggressive or disrespectful. This can escalate the situation and lead to an argument instead of a resolution.Simply state your concern in simple, concrete terms. For example, say your roommate is on your case about your relationship with your girlfriend. Say something like, “I appreciate that you’re concerned about how much time me and Madeline spend together. It’s nice to know you care about me enough to express this. However, I think my relationship is pretty stable. At the moment, I’m happy and don’t need advice. If that changes in the future, I’ll let you know.”, Even if it’s hard, it can sometimes be helpful to try to objectively examine the criticism. If you try to understand where the other person is coming from, you can more effectively address the issues.

First, consider what is being criticized. Is it something you can control? If so, maybe you could make the effort to change. You could try doing your dishes after using them. However, critical people have a tendency to nitpick people about things they cannot change. If you tend to laugh loudly when watching funny movies, this is more of a personality trait than a conscious choice. In this case, the criticism may be unfair.How is the criticism expressed? If you’re living with someone, you need to be able to communicate. If you’re doing something that bothers your living partner, that person has a right to express him or herself. However, how criticism is expressed matters. If the other person is yelling, using foul language, or otherwise being harsh, this is not reasonable.Why is this person criticizing you? Do you think your roommate genuinely wants you to change, or do you think she just enjoys complaining?, One way to cope with highly critical people is to give them feedback. Some people are simply inefficient at communicating with others. They may not understand how to be helpful without coming off as critical or condescending.

A critical person may have valid feedback or advice. However, how they dish out this advice is not always helpful. If you have to deal with a critical person each day, try telling that person what is and is not helpful. Eventually, they may learn how to better communicate with you.For example, say your roommate is lecturing you excessively on how you mop the floor. You’ve already mopped the floor that day. You know you’ll forget this advice the next time the chore needs to be done. Say something like, “I understand you want me to change how I mop the floor. But next time, can you tell me before I start cleaning? I’m worried I’ll forget by this time next week.”, It’s possible an overly critical person has hurt your feelings. People who are negative and demanding often upset those around them. When expressing your frustration, use “I”-statements. These are statements designed to highlight personal feelings over blame. You express how something made you feel instead of passing objective judgement on a situation.I statements have three parts. You start with “I feel” and state you feeling. After this, you explain the behavior that led to this feeling. Finally, you explain why you feel this way. This helps avoid blame. You are not telling someone they’re objectively wrong, but rather emphasizing how their actions affect you.For example, say your boyfriend always criticizes you for taking too long in the shower. Do not say, “It’s really irritating when you get on my case about my shower time. I don’t bother you when you’re in the bathroom. This is disrespectful.” When you use language like this, even though you may have a valid point, your boyfriend may feel unfairly blamed or judged.Instead, rephrase your feelings using an “I”-statement. In the above scenario, you could say something like, “I feel disrespected when you lecture me about how long I shower because I feel like I always respect you privacy when you’re in the bathroom.”, Even if you feel you’re in the right, living with someone means compromise. Look for ways you can meet an overly critical person halfway.

Accept any criticism that is valid. We all have bad habits that can irritate a roommate, family member, or significant other. If there’s something you’re doing wrong, even something small, make an effort to change.Try to work on letting go of some of your own resentment. Understand where the other person is coming from and, on occasion, give in to his or her demands.

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