3 Conversation Starters To Get Him Change WITHOUT Nagging

Love, Heartbreak

If you want it done right, do it yourself ... or ask him using these three tricks.

Generally, we're our own worst critics, but sometimes in efforts to better not just ourselves, but our partners, we criticize and (gulp) nag them without realizing it: "Honey, don't talk to the kids like that!" "Don't arrange the dishes that way." "Don't wear that to dinner with my parents!" "You're not doing those situps correctly." "Sweetie, you need to brush your teeth twice a day everyday, not just when you feel like it."

Even if you're doing it to be nice, constantly correcting someone gets really annoying really fast. How do you bring up a conversation about change without insulting the person?

1. "How does it make you feel when I tell you about XYZ?"
You have two ears and one mouth. Shut up and listen to them for once. We know, you may not be criticizing them on purpose. You may not even be aware that you're criticizing them at all. But you need to hear them out and respect their opinion. You've got to allow them to speak their feelings. Seriously, just shut up.

2. "I" and "Please."
Communication is everything, and if you're walking on eggshells, you're not communicating properly. Still, that doesn't mean it's okay to be a monster. If you want your partner to change a set of behaviors, instead of barking, "Your breath is horrible!" make a suggestion: "I love kissing you so much more right after you brush your teeth!" or "Can you please have the dishes done when I get back? I hate when stuff is in the sink too long and food gets harder to scrub off." It comes off as less critical of them and more about your own issues. And that makes people feel less attacked. That said, if you're already past the point of being overly critical and your partner confronts you ...

3. Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror".
Not only do you need to learn to be honest without being rude, but you also need to decide what arguments are worth it and which aren't. If you know you can't survive in a house he constantly leaves full of dirty dishes, speak up. But is the occasional sock on the floor that big of a deal? Pick your battles, use those "I" statements, make that change, and get ready for a happier union.