Two of Us: Compliments and Criticisms

An exercise to understand the impact compliments and criticisms have in our individual relationships. It can be quite easy to give someone either, but the effect is usually greater than we initially think.


Separately, say the prayer and spend some time reflecting on the questions. 
Write some notes and then share your answers more fully with your spouse.


Father, how great You are to me! 
When I think of all the wonderful people You have put into my life,
I realize I am the most blessed of people. 
You have filled my life with an embarrassment of riches. 
Give me the urgency to tell them how much of a grace they are to me. 
Let Jesus speak my request for me.  Amen


  1. Jot down some compliments which are easiest to give:
    To your spouse:
    To your child/children (name the child and the compliments for each):
  2. Jot down some honest compliments which are most difficult for you to give in those same relationships.

  3. What specific compliments are easiest for you to receive? From whom? Why?

  4. What specific compliments are most difficult for you to receive? From whom? Why?

  5. Now, repeat the same four questions, using “criticisms” rather than “compliments” in the questions.

  6. In what ways do compliments and criticisms improve and detract from intimacy in your primary relationships toward your:
    friends in your faith community? 
    (Take your time here. Consider both the effects on your attitudes and dispositions of heart as well as the specific things you do as a result.)



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