This is a preview. The full article appears in Neil's book: Love, Sex and Staying Warm: Creating a Vital Relationship

Note:  This is the second of a two-part series.

What’s the worst thing anyone could say aokut you?  Of the myriad of potential answers you might come up with, let’s say that your spouse or lover says that you’re insecure.

Instead of getting angry or defensive, let’s say you were open to exploring whether the criticism was true (“Well, aren’t I sometimes insecure?  OK, so she just told you something true about you.  Isn’t that what you want from your relationship—that she tell you the truth?”)

Of course, you could always go to your familiar response: “No I’m not.  It’s you who are insecure!”—but you know where that leads.

Once you understand that you can actually hear something critical and even gain value from it, give yourself a gift of the following exercise, compliments of Byron Katie in the book I Need Your Love—Is That True? (Three Rivers Press):

Step 1. When someone criticizes you and says you are wrong (unkind, insensitive, uncaring, etc.) settle into it.  Ask yourself “Is it true?  Could he be right?  Can I see how someone might see me that way?”   Be patient and wait for the answer.  Respond to the other person only with “Thank you for letting me know that.”

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