A closer look at the communication breakdown that leads to nagging ... and what to do about it.
Compromise. They say it's wise to pick our battles in life. To help, here are three steps to take the next time you feel your nagging inner-monster rearing her ugly head.
1. When you feel the nagging impulse, stop. Take a few minutes to ask yourself what you want and why. By getting in touch with your real feelings you can start to limit the things you feel the need to "nag" about. Look deep because often the real un-met need is something bigger than your feelings of resentment that he hasn't gone to the doctor yet.
If you are a person who is prone to nagging a lot, changing this habit may take some time. This is normal; don't be too hard on yourself, remember your actions do comes from a place of love even if your husband/boyfriend is missing that intention in your behavior.
2. Ask yourself: Does it really need to be done now? Where's the fire? What’s the hurry about? If he has a different timetable, is it really wrong? And most importantly, is there something urgent that's going to fall apart, not happen or cause someone harm if the task isn't done right now?
3. Finally, learn to ask for what you want in a way that motivates him. You want him to want to do it because he's motivated, not because he’s afraid you'll be mad or hurt. When the timing is right, there are a few simple things to consider:
- Find an appropriate time to talk. Keep in mind that the right time for you may not be the right time for your partner. If you approach your partner when he/she is not open, you run the risk of not getting what you want.
- Using the word "I" is a good place to start. "Honey, I want, feel, or need …" This places the responsibility on you to ask for what you want. It also removes the blame from your partner for not meeting your needs yet. Clearly communicating your needs is a vital part of being in a healthy relationship.
Most nagging comes from a place of love. Your intent isn't to hurt your partner or even to control him. The problem lies in how your intent is perceived.
For most men, nagging is both annoying and unattractive. You can learn to get your needs met by understanding first why you need things and second learning to ask in a way that he's open to. Practice makes perfect when learning to let go of an old behavior and don't worry if you don't get it perfect the first time.
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