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What Is Nitpicking in a Relationship? How to Prevent or Stop It?

When you feel that you are falling in love with someone, it makes you believe that you can spend your whole life with this person without any significant problem. However, with time, your pink glasses slowly become transparent, and you begin to notice small faults in your partner. This is when it is time to analyze the roots of nitpicking in a relationship. Even if you try to meet mature single ladies, or even if you are already dating one of these glorious beauties, you still can fall into the trap of nitpicking. Nitpicking in a relationship develops very slowly, but it can actually ruin your relationship.

At this stage, it is crucial to understand that even those people who have the healthiest relationships in the world, still face problems. The reason for this is that when you live with your partner, you inevitably face differences between you two, bad habits of your partner and flaws of his or her personality. If you or your partner don't know how to react to those things, then it may lead to nitpicking in a relationship. But there is nothing to worry about because there are still plenty of reasons to get married, and nitpicking will never spoil your relationship if you know how to act. Today, we are going to share with you tips on how to stop nitpicking in a relationship.

nitpicking meaning

Nitpicking in a Relationship: Definition and Origin

So, what is nitpicking? First of all, to define nitpicking, let's pay attention to the word itself. All those who have already had children and faced problems with head lice know how hard it is to literally "nit-pick." When it comes to nitpicking in relationships, this word means minor criticism or faultfinding. In simple terms, nitpicking meaning suggests that one or both partners intentionally focus on things in a very negative way. Without a single doubt, those who are in relationships with nitpickers feel frustrated because their partners behave in such a way. After all, in the majority of cases, nitpicking is very harmful to relationships.

Surely, knowing nitpicking definition can help you deal with this problem. But our discussion of the psychology of nitpicking won't be full until we talk about the general patterns of the behavior of nitpickers.

First of all, they observe what their partners do. They do it very quietly, and they aim to find something to nitpick their partner for. The second one is when they find some faults or mistakes. When they do, they quickly get their partners to know that they are doing something wrong. Finally, due to nitpicker's confidence in his or her rightness, they begin to give instructions to their partners on how to do something right.

Note, there is a big difference between nitpicking and constructive criticism. While it is absolutely normal to let your partner know that he or she is doing something wrong, you should never nitpick him or her to do this. Ideally, your criticism shouldn't sound like one. Thus, it will never cause negative emotions, but only a desire to become better. In turn, nitpicking just annoys and calls for more problems in a relationship. So, you are not a nitpicker, if your criticism doesn't make your partner feel about themselves. Later, we will teach you how to criticize your partner constructively without involving nitpicking.

Main Examples of Nitpicking in a Relationship

Surely, the difference between healthy criticism and nitpicking is very blurry because what disappoints one person may not affect the other one at all. In fact, you can't rely purely on your or your partner's emotions because those can be affected by various external factors. So, this is why we've decided to share some examples of nitpicking. Our examples will also give you a better understanding of this problem, and you won't need to search, "Why do people nitpick each other?" This list of examples also can serve as a very convenient way to check yourself to know whether you are a nitpicker or not.

1. A nitpicker focuses on the problem

For example, when one partner drives a car, a nitpicker dissatisfied with his or her manner of driving, may say something like, "Why can't you pay attention to the traffic signs?" Thus, this person not just only points on the problem itself, but also states that his or her partner can't pay attention to something.

2. Hits his or her partner’s personality

Almost anything can trigger a nitpicker to say something like, "You are stupid and dull" to his or her partner. In this case, a nitpicker doesn't even try to fix the issue. Instead, he or she just insults their romantic partners. Of course, this is very far from what is considered a healthy criticism.

3. A critical guess

When a nitpicker sees that his or her partner struggles with something, they, instead of providing some real help and supporting their partners, will simply say, "It seems to me that you are not smart enough to perform this task." Everyone, except for nitpickers, understands that this approach is terribly wrong.

4. Blaming instead of supporting

No matter what happens between two partners or with both of them in their lives, a nitpicker will always blame the other one for their problems. You can choose any topic, and any problem you want, and nothing will change because a nitpicker will always blame his or her partner, "It is all on you!"nitpicking definition

6. Attempts to control

Nitpickers are very overconfident people. This is because they believe that they are smarter than everyone else around them. Combine this quality with their desire to control their partners, and, in the result, you won't be surprised to hear from a nitpicker something like, "I know better! I am much smarter and have better education."

7. They force to obey

In the eyes of a nitpicker, it is mandatory for you to follow his or her recommendation. For this very reason, you shouldn't be surprised if you hear them saying, "You must do what I say. Otherwise, you will be punished." This is their favorite technique because your obedience contributes to their self-confidence.

Why Do People Nitpick If They Seem to Love Each Other?

What does nitpick mean to your relationship? Definitely nothing good, it will bring you only anxiety and pain. Both nitpickers and his or her partner, sooner or later, will suffer from the consequences of nitpicking, and this hurricane of emotions will be painful for both partners. However, for some reason, people still nitpick their partners in relationships. And here, we are talking about relatively healthy relationships, in which partners seem to truly love each other. So, why do people do this? Generally, there are two main reasons for this type of behavior in relatively healthy relationships.

1. The first reason is that one of the partners, in fact, has low self-esteem. This can explain why they want to pull their partners down to appear taller on their background. You see, those people who have no problems with their self-esteem don't need to nitpick others, especially their significant others. So, if you see that you or your partner tend to nitpick, pay attention to your or their level of self-esteem because this may be the simplest way to resolve this problem once and for all. However, this still will take a pretty decent amount of time.

2. The second reason is the possible complexes. For example, a person can be too pessimistic, and may not be able to see positive things in people around them. In some cases, complexes make people behave too noisy. Those people always try to stick their noses in their partner's businesses. Also, a person may simply not understand that he or she actually hurts someone by this kind of behavior. This is why it is very important to discuss this matter with your partner before trying to change anything. Of course, here we didn't mention anything about cases when people nitpick due to boredom, or because they are abusers. After all, those reasons are clear signs that their relationships are very far from being healthy.

How to Stop or Prevent Nitpicking in Relationships

It is obvious that if you have spotted even the slightest signs of nitpicking in your or your partner's behavior, you must immediately take steps to fix this issue. So, how to stop nitpicking in a relationship? Fixing this problem will require perseverance, time, and a tremendous amount of effort. If you are the nitpicker in your relationship, then things are much simpler because you are not only aware of this problem but also are willing to fix it. In any case, our small tips and bits of advice will help you deal with nitpicking in a relationship regardless of your position.

1. Keep calm

Remember, no matter what happens in your relationship, you must always remain calm. If you love the control over your emotions, you may make terrible and unfixable mistakes that will cause permanent damage to your relationship. So, when dealing with nitpicking, make sure that you are not shouting at each other, or, at least, try to pretend that you are calm.

2. Reframe the problem

If in your relationship, you are a nitpicker, then try to reframe problems. We are talking about changing your attitude toward them. Quite often, people overestimate their problems and treat them too seriously. For example, it is not a big deal if your partner doesn't load a dishwasher as optimally as you usually do.

3. Find a distraction

If you know that your partner is going to do something wrong, and you can't avoid nitpicking him or her, then you need to find a distraction. For example, you can go to a different spot in your home while your partner does something. However, this is just a temporary decision.

4. Offer help

Instead of focusing on your partner's mistakes and commanding them on how to improve something, you can simply offer your help. However, don't tell your partner they need it. Just tell them that you want to help. Thus, you will help your partner fix their mistakes, and you both will feel happy about it.

5. Don’t focus on personalities

You see, your task is to avoid offending your partner. So, when you see that your partner is wrong in something, or that something can be improved, never tell them that they are stupid, incapable or in some other way inferior to you. This will only insult them, and you won't achieve what you want.define nitpicking

6. Be honest with your partner

No matter whether you are a nitpicker or being nitpicked by your partner, you should always be sincere with your partner, especially when you have negative feelings. This will help them know what they need to change in themselves. Plus, honesty will express your intention to save your relationship.

7. Don’t doubt and undermine your partner

One of the biggest problems with nitpicking is that, instead of making things better, it makes everything only worse. So, you need to learn not to undermine and doubt your partner. Remember, even if they are less efficient than you are, this doesn't mean that they can't be successful.

8. Respect their personal boundaries

Without a single doubt, you share many things with your partner, but there are still things that are only yours and theirs. Therefore, at any cost, you must avoid violating their personal boundaries because instead of helping them, you will only make everything worse. Note: don't help unless you are asked to, or a person agreed to receive your help.

9. Forget about punishing

The worst thing you can do is to try to punish your partner for not obeying your "recommendations." If you want to have a future with this person, then never let yourself withdraw affection or punish your partner for doing something in their own way.

10. Work on your communication

In healthy relationships, partners can resolve any obstacle because they have established communication and maintain it. In fact, even if one partner tends to nitpick, the other one will immediately find words to explain why this is bad. In turn, the second partner will understand his or her mistake and will find words to ask for forgiveness and, at the same time, help his or her partner become better.

Even though nitpicking won't destroy your relationship in a couple of days, this problem still capable of slowly damaging it. So, unless you do something about this problem, you will inevitably face a breakup with your significant other. The fact that you genuinely love your partner, in this case, means nothing. To build a healthy relationship, you need more than just your love. You also must know how to communicate with this person and have a desire to become better for him or her. Also, try to see you and your partner as two partners of a single team. This approach will help work on your communication and achieve new things.

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