Asking for change is something that happens eventually in interpersonal relationships-- whether it's about texting frequency, boundaries with families, putting away the toothpaste... As a couples therapist in Oakland, CA, I help partners share their feelings and ask for their needs to be met in constructive, effective ways.
Do not criticize the other person, this is not about them being bad (nuance time--sometimes certain behaviors are absolutely not okay), but rather about you have feelings and needs. The solid people in your life want to make you feel safe and secure if possible and within their boundaries!
Expressing positive needs switches criticism and complaining to asks. This is a superior method because 1) it's not about another person being bad or wrong, 2) it focuses on your feelings so it is less debatable, 3) it gives the other person less opportunity to be defensive and more opportunity to be empathetic, and 4) it empowers you to identify your needs and come up with ways to meet them!
Hopefully, your partner then uses active listening and you all are able to work together in a way that creates safety, security, and intimacy within both of your capacities and boundaries.
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How to complain in a relationship
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Stephanie Bain, LMFT
***Resources are not a substitute for therapy and are not intended for making diagnoses or providing treatment. Not all practices and tools are suitable for every person. Please discuss exercises, practices, and tools with your individual therapist or health care provider.