You know the scenario. "Honey, please take out the trash." He says, "Sure, I'll do it in a minute." An hour goes by, even several hours, and you walk past that same stinky trash can. "Hey, I thought you were taking the garbage out?" Exasperated, he says, "I'm headed that way." The following day you wake up to the unpleasant aroma of all the foods you cleaned out of the refrigerator the night before. You decide it is time for a showdown. Does that make you a nag? Is all nagging bad?
According to Oprah.com, actually, there is nagging, and then there's nudging. Nagging is negative reinforcement issued in a repetitive, irritating manner. It sounds like, "Do your homework, or you'll end up like your father, a high school dropout." It can also sound like, "I've told you over and over again..." That's nagging. It's personal and hurtful, but you may not even know it.
Nudging has a different tone, but it's often classified as nagging. Nudging sounds like, "Hey, that homework needs finishing before you flip the television on." This method is not a personal attack, and it doesn't rely on manipulation or intimidation to make a point or exact a specific behavior.
How can you tell if you're nagging?
- The family tunes you out.
- You hate the sound of your own voice.
- You feel frustrated in your relationship with your husband or boyfriend.
- You focus on the person, not the problem.
- You call his phone and the name "Nag" pops up.
You can break out of the "nag cycle" by changing your tactics and challenging the title. Try to focus on the problem, not the person. Also, love, not fear should be the motivating factor. Nagging him about going out with the guys is likely based on a fear that he will cheat. Examine your motives. When you've done that, you can say, "I'm not nagging, just nudging. You know what, it's no big deal." That will blow his mind and help you break the cycle of nagging and ignoring!