How many times have you had a significant make you feel like you didn't matter – that you weren't pretty enough, smart enough, thin enough... This kinds of criticism can cause great emotional and psychological harm, and for good reason. As April Masini, a New York based relationship and etiquette expert and author explains:
When criticism is really just about preferring meat cooked well done, not rare — and not about a global criticism like, 'You're the worst cook I've ever met' — it's harmless. But when a partner uses criticism as a tool to maintain a power dynamic, there's abuse underfoot. Stinging, chronic criticism can be abusive if the point of the comments are to make the person feel bad about themselves and to manipulate them that way.