What’s Preventing You and Your Partner from Connecting More Deeply with Each Other?

If you rec­og­nize that you tend to be self‐critical (as most of us are), chang­ing that can address neg­a­tive pat­terns in your rela­tion­ship. It is easy to feel dis­ap­point­ed and dis­con­nect­ed with our part­ners and as a result become crit­i­cal of our part­ners and con­se­quent­ly of our­selves. Kristen Neff describes why that hap­pens:

Because self‐critics often come from unsup­port­ive fam­i­ly back­grounds, they tend not to trust oth­ers and assume that those they care about will even­tu­al­ly try to hurt them. This cre­ates a steady state of fear that caus­es prob­lems in inter­per­son­al inter­ac­tions. For instance, research shows that high­ly self‐critical peo­ple tend to be dis­sat­is­fied in their roman­tic rela­tion­ships because they assume their part­ners are judg­ing them as harsh­ly as they judge them­selves. The mis­per­cep­tion of even fair­ly neu­tral state­ments as dis­parag­ing often leads to over­sen­si­tive reac­tions and unnec­es­sary con­flicts. This means that self‐critics often under­mine the close­ness and sup­port­ive­ness in rela­tion­ships that they so des­per­ate­ly seek.” ― Kristin NeffSelf‐Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind