The adage, “You’ll worry yourself sick,” is not just an old wives’ tale. Prolonged stress can have an impact on our health. But it’s not only negative pressures that cause stress. Change – even positive change – can affect our wellbeing. How can we identify which events in our lives have the biggest impact, and how at risk are we of falling ill because of them?
Learning to identify the different communication styles - and recognising which one we use most often in our daily interactions with friends, family and colleagues - is essential if we want to develop effective, assertive communication skills. But how can we tell the difference between the styles, and is there a time and place for each one in certain situations?
Criticism is often seen as a negative thing – look it up in any Thesaurus and you'll find it right there alongside such choice words as condemnation, disapproval, nit-picking and fault-finding. This is solely down to the fact that most people only ever criticise in a negative way. And we only ever refer to criticism as criticism when it's negative – positive criticism becomes 'approval' or 'praise'.
The truth is, criticism, when given in an appropriate way at an appropriate time, can have many positive effects – both for the giver and the recipient. The trick is to learn how to criticise in a positive and constructive manner, and to watch out for the pitfalls of negative criticism.