The Informational Question

Of all the forms of criticism, the most prevalent is the informational question. The critic’s comment is delivered in the form of a question as if he or she were seeking some information when, in reality, that question is actually a criticism.  Moreover, the criticism is obscured.  You are not certain exactly what the critic is talking about and therefore you do not know how to respond.  In such a situation, the best strategy is to respond in a way that seeks clarification so you can find out exactly what the critic is talking about.  Here are some examples.

Critic:  Why can’t you be more considerate?

You:    I don’t understand your question.

Critic:  How can you say something like that?

You:    Why do you ask?

Critic:  What’s the matter with you anyway?

You:    Do you have a need to know?

New item:  DeAnne’s Anger Tips –

Last week a good friend of mine called to complain about her husband.  She was very angry about something he had done.  The terminology she used encouraged me to give you an important tip about anger.  Never say, “He or she makes me angry” or “You make me angry”.  When you do that, you place yourself in the victim role.  What you are saying is, “I am a puppet and you control the strings.  When you do such and such, I automatically go nuts.”

In order to have power over your anger, you need to own it.  You actually have no business blaming someone else for what is going on inside of you.  Other people do not make you angry; you make yourself angry.  Here is how you should frame your anger.

“I get very angry when you spend money on items we agreed not to purchase.”

“It makes me angry when I hear you using foul language.”

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