Nag Relief 101

So… DO you nag? Does your significant other avoid the next furrowed brow or deep sigh as you notice what you had asked for has not yet been done? He is well trained to read your body language when you are less than pleased and when your expectations have not been met. Just like with children, scolding (nagging) seems to bring on the need for more scolding. It becomes a vicious, resentful circle. Our relationships don’t flourish when our perceived needs are not being met yet the resentment that builds emotionally separates us from the very people we love the most. They are not children, but behave like children, rebelling against nagging. They, like children try to please when they are feeling appreciated, understood and loved. Just like you do.

So, how do you drop the nag? First, start with yourself. Studies show that what bothers us about any anything is our thinking, not so much the circumstance we are focused on. Our thinking about a circumstance can change with our moods. Notice your overall mood. If it is positive, the thing you would nag about would likely bother you far less than when you are in a negative mood. When we are in a bad mood we tend to want to control things in our lives more and hyper-focus on those things.

Next, don’t have a “conversation” when you are in negative mood. Having a discussion then is more likely to turn into a nag-fest, where you are bringing up not just this one pet peeve, but everything you can think of that irritates you. Instead, stick with the specific thing that has you miffed. The best thing is to wait until your mood improves and have the discussion.

Finally, this is a person you love and cherish. Focus on what is working in the relationship and be willing to let the small stuff go. In the bigger picture, the relationship is worth it.