Be a Good Finder, Not a Fault Finder - Don't Nit Pick Over Everything

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As a parent, or anybody in a relationship with another person, it's important to remember not to nitpick. It seems easy for some people to find faults, and to criticize. They examine others for any possible flaw, and point it out as though this is necessary for everyone. In fact, it's not! You can encourage others to change in positive ways. And sometimes, you don't even need to point out the flaws at all.

Constructive criticism is always helpful in certain situations. But when dealing with family and close friends, we need to remember that it's not good to be nitpicky. Remind loved ones that you appreciate them and what they do. Tell them how well they're doing at something, and encourage them, rather than pointing out what they're doing wrong.

Honest Feedback Doesn't Hurt

By all means, use constructive criticism. Honest feedback goes a long way in helping others to succeed and do their best. But do it in a kind, encouraging way. Sometimes people don't understand that when they're trying to be helpful, they can come across as critical and negative.

I knew somebody who really liked my art, and would comment on my drawings. But for the most part, whenever he saw a new drawing, the first thing he'd say would be something negative about the art. It turns out that he was only trying to be helpful and point out ways I could improve, but to me, it seemed like he was finding any reason to make me feel bad about what I'd drawn.

Nitpicky or Negative

Don't do this to your children, spouse, or friends. What might seem like helpful feedback to you, might actually be nitpicky or outright negative. Take special care to say things that you would want to hear yourself. Would you want somebody pointing out the spot you missed in the kitchen, after you'd spent all day cleaning the house? Some things are constructive, and others are simply nitpicky.

When giving feedback to others, make sure your comments are positive. Before mentioning ways they could improve, first show that you appreciate their work, and them as a person. Sometimes you don't even need to point out flaws. It's probably unnecessary, and only hurts feelings.

Treat People as Treasures

Remember to do this, and to appreciate the people in your life. Treat them as treasures, not reasons to criticize.

Judy H. Wright is a parent educator, family coach, and personal historian who has written more than 20 books, hundreds of articles and speaks internationally on family issues, including end of life. You are invited to visit our blog at www.AskAuntieArtichoke.com for answers and suggestions which will enhance your relationships. You will also find a full listing of free tele-classes and radio shows held each Thursday just for you at www.ArtichokePress.com.

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