You said you would fix the tap! When are you fixing the tap? Why haven’t you fixed the tap? You promised to quit smoking! When are you quitting? If it does, you also know that it is ineffective, it doesn’t change a thing! No surprises there.
Nagging has never solved a problem and it does a lot of damage to your relationship. So why nag? Next time you have the urge to nag, count to ten and think of the following:
It doesn’t achieve anything (at least not anything positive for your relationship). You are actually only expressing your own negative emotions. You might be justified to be angry, but you are not necessarily right. Nagging doesn’t work – we all know that by now. Sometimes we need to do the exact opposite. Yes, I know it is difficult, but let’s think about alternatives.
We’ve all heard that positive reinforcement is far more effective to change behavior than constantly emphasizing the negative. It’s not always easy to follow that advice though, but try! Next time your partner arrives home late, don’t vent your anger immediately. If you have to, phone a friend and let steam off on the phone.
But wait till the next day to have a calm conversation with your partner. Then try and focus on better times. Tell them how you enjoy having them home early and having dinner together and catching up on each other’s day. Focus on the positive aspects of your relationship, rather than the negative. It might just touch their heart instead of their anger.
Be careful not to compare a few crumbs on the counter to your relationship. If you’ve asked your partner nicely to clean up after making a sandwich and your request is being ignored, it doesn’t mean that your partner doesn’t love you anymore, or that they don’t respect your feelings.
Your partner might even feel like you are treating them like a child who is reprimanded for not cleaning up after himself (or herself – it goes both ways!). You might feel that your partner is disrespectful towards you for leaving such a mess. Just stop. Maybe your partner is simply a bit of a messy person?
Crumbs on the counter don’t bother them. It has nothing to do with their feelings towards you. On the flip side, if you are the one being nagged, take a moment to think about how your partner feels when you ignore their request to clean up. Maybe just clean the counter?
After all we are talking about a few crumbs, don’t turn it into your relationship!
Ok, so you agree that nagging won’t solve anything, and maybe the stuff you nag about is not that important, but what can you do? You are still annoyed by certain things that your partner does or doesn’t do. The good news is, that it might not be that difficult to solve the nagging problem.
Sometimes it’s easier to just let it go. If you are constantly nagging about the fact that your partner doesn’t replace the lid on the toothpaste in the mornings, why not just replace it yourself? Is it worth another argument? Maybe focus on something positive that your partner does and let it go.
If you are the one being nagged, why don’t you just do it? Just fix the tap. Just put your dirty laundry in the laundry basket. Just wipe the counter – it’s not that difficult and it can save you from a lot of nagging. Just do it. It takes two minutes. It is so much easier than having to argue about it. Don’t you agree?
If you are nagging and fighting more than you are laughing together, stop right now! Do something to get the fun back in your relationship. Focus on the positive and forget about the leaking tap, the crumbs and the toothpaste lid. You are not roommates; you are a loving couple in a romantic relationship. Have fun! Reconnect with your partner - invest in your relationship.
Rather invest in your relationship than constantly nag about small things. Nagging is the opposite of investing. See your relationship as an investment – the more you invest, the bigger the growth. Constant nagging is like constant withdrawing; eventually the account will run dry.