why pointing out the negative hurts

Why Pointing Out The Negative Hurts

It wasn’t hard for me to see why pointing out the negative hurts.

Last night we were cleaning up the dishes and I (Bethany) stuck a semi-dirty plate in the dishwasher right before Scott was ready to close it. Scott took the plate, that I had just loaded, out of the dishwasher, rinsed it off completely, and stuck it back in.

Our dialogue went like this:

Bethany: “The plate wasn’t that dirty.”

Scott: “How about ‘Thanks hon’?”

Bethany: “It felt like a put down, like I don’t know what I am doing with the dishes.”

WOW! How many times do we misinterpret each other? Now let’s turn the conversation to a money conversation.

Him: “Here Honey, I bought these flowers for you.”

Her: “They are beautiful but they are so expensive.”

Him: “I was just trying to do something nice for you.”

Whether it is dishes or flowers do you really need to point out the negative in a situation. Is your point THAT important? Is it worth hurting the one you love?

We get so comfortable with each other that we forget we have feelings. That’s right. Feelings that can get hurt. Ask yourself these questions before you open your mouth and point out the negative:

  1. Am I majoring on a minor?
  2. Does it matter?
  3. Will this make the other person “wrong”?

All of these questions are good to ask yourself BEFORE you open your mouth and point out a flaw, error, or mistake.

Let’s expand on these questions:

  1. Am I majoring on a minor? – In the scheme of things, is it really a big deal? Do I need to point this out or save my “pointing” towards something that really matters.
  2. Does it matter? – Remember, you are about to point out negative to the person you love. Is the mistake hurting YOU? Is the mistake worth pointing out?
  3. Will this make the person “wrong”? Do you always need to be “right?” In your effort to be right, you are saying  your partner is WRONG.

As I reflect back to our conversation, did I need to question his plate cleaning? Really? I think I need to take my own advice 🙂

Let’s be sure to lift up our spouse. Show care. Show concern. And, BEFORE we correct the ones we love, ask ourselves the above questions.

We would love to hear from you. What negative do you point out? What other questions would be good to ask before you point your “negative finger”? Leave a comment.

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