BLOG: Nip Nagging in the Bud
I know. It’s like fingernails on the chalkboard. It’s so grating, you don’t even want to think about it.
No matter if you are doing the nagging or being nagged – it simply sucks. NO ONE likes it!
And no matter who is doing the nagging, it will completely suck any play, peace and passion out of your relationship. QUICK.
No one likes doing it OR hearing it and it KILLS your relationship. So why does nagging happen almost every day in almost every relationship?
It’s a dangerous downward spiral and it must be stopped.
Otherwise you’re just leaving joy, pleasure, and even your own growth and evolution on-the-table. It’s like juicy fruit just rotting on the vine. There’s fun and flirting to be had, but nagging will nip THAT in the bud – IF you let it.
If you’re not committed to being intentional and aware about how you speak to each other about getting things done, then a regular old request can quickly sink into a minor upset. And then it’s just a slippery slope to totally devolving, until next thing you know, nagging has become a nail in your coffin or even the final straw that broke the camel’s back (AND your relationship).
Don’t let that happen to you! Love is too good to give up on. As Gaby says to me all the time… “Wonderful is SOOOOOO worth it!”
And the solution is pretty darn simple. Now simple is not always easy, but it WILL get easier!
Practice. Practice. Practice. It WILL pay off.
Now WHAT exactly is the there to practice? This article is all about our top tips, tools and techniques to Nip Nagging in the Bud so you can put a STOP to nagging and get going again on really getting “naughty”.
Remember, we’re all about Keeping the Fights Clean & the Sex Dirty so you can enjoy the most playful, peaceful, passionate relationship possible.
As Dangerous To A Marriage As Adultery.
HOW BAD COULD IT BE?
You might be asking, “Oh what’s the big deal about nagging anyway? So what if you get a little irritated with each other? People are busy and forget to follow through on what they said they would do.
Life is stressful. We get cranky. Nagging happens, right?”
Nagging is WAY worse than you thought!
Pay attention or your relationship will pay the price.
A recent Wall Street Journal article pointed to nagging as being potentially “as dangerous to a marriage as adultery or bad finances.”
You likely knew nagging was certainly not helpful and definitely NOT sexy. Still, did you realize it can be as “dangerous” as all that?!
THE CAROUSEL OF CRAZY
We want to help you get OFF this Carousel of Crazy, going round and round about requests, responsibilities and ultimately ripping each other’s heads off or making mountains out of molehills.
Failure to jump off this Carousel of Crazy WILL ultimately KILL your relationship.
You may not feel how tight the noose is until it’s too late, so take this advice to get your relationship OUT of the noose of nagging NOW. Before it’s too late.
A CLOSER LOOK – ORIGINS, IMPACT & NEXT STEPS
To set you up so you can Nip Nagging in the Bud, and spare your relationship a slow death of a thousand papercuts, let’s take a closer look at…
- The origins of nagging
- The impact of nagging on your relationship
- And some simple steps you can take to snap out of the nagging dynamic
Nagging Is An Epidemic Costing Couples Joy and Pleasure.
ORIGINS OF NAGGING
Nagging. Otherwise-known-as to pester, bug, harass, dog, henpeck, hound, needle or pick at… Yuck. A quick search of a handful of top dictionaries define nagging as…
- To annoy or irritate by persistent faultfinding, complaints, criticisms, scolding or demands
- Asking to do something excessively getting more and more pissed off
- To make a big deal out of something small
Yuck. Yuck. Triple yuck!
The Scandinavians have the dubious honor of naming this human invention as nagging likely comes from the Old Norse word “nagga” which means to moan or complain. Although clearly this practice of complaining has gotten its’ grips on couples across the globe.
Wherever nagging came from, it has evolved. And its an epidemic costing couples the joy, pleasure and happiness they once had.
ANATOMY OF NAGGING
You’re likely all too familiar with the nagger/nagee dynamic, still let’s dissect it just a bit to uncover the key elements at work in order to loosen their grip on your relationship.
In general, nagging consists of 3 major elements:
- A request (an agreement or natural expectation)
- Failure to follow through
- Increased levels of irritation
For it to qualify as a nag, it has to have first started with an initial request for action.
It goes a little something like this…
A nagger asks her beloved (the nagee) to fix a lightbulb.
This request does not turn into “a nag” UNTIL the person that would be fulfilling the request (the nagee), does NOT fulfill on the request either by when they said they would, or by when the nagger would have liked them to.
What ends up happening is that the nagger ends up asking the nagee to fix the lightbulb repeatedly with increasing levels of urgency and irritation until either the nagee follows through on the request or the nagger gets resigned and gives up asking (of course making their beloved wrong and killing off any intimacy or fun).
Dr. Scott Wetzler, a psychologist and vice chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Montefiore Medical Center in New York says that we nag because “We have a perception that we won’t get what we want from the other person, so we feel we need to keep asking in order to get it.”
The nagee becomes increasingly resentful about being asked more than once to do something. They likely will get stand-offish as they are met with increasing irritation and escalating demands. They might even become rebellious and take the “You-can’t-make-me” stance.
Congratulations folks, you just won yourself a regular request that transforms into a punishing power struggle!
This power struggle now takes on a life of its own that has NOTHING to do with the lightbulb getting fixed.
Can a spent light bulb cause your relationship to be spent? Yes it can!
I know. It’s like fingernails on the chalkboard. Still, if you look away now, nagging is likely to lead to numbness. And numbness is likely to lead to death.
You can say bye-bye relationship. Certainly bye-bye to any bliss.
DID I SAY HER? DUDE'S NAG TOO!
It’s important to note that while it’s a woman in a relationship that is generally considered the nagger, and the man the nagee – the roles can absolutely be reversed.
For example, while my wife by most standards is a neat person, she has a habit of leaving her laundry piled up on top of the laundry hamper when it is full – creating an eyesore in our otherwise beautiful bedroom. I ask her to do better at keeping that area clean, she says yes… and then the same thing happens on the very next laundry cycle. I get irritated and ask her to not let the laundry pile up AGAIN (with irritation), she gets irritated back for me making the request again and with irritation.Here we go – off to the races!
Nagging goes both ways.
So, both genders do it. And everyone hates it. It’s agreed, nagging and being nagged sucks, kills relationships and STILL everybody does it…
Now what the hell do we do to Nip Nagging in the Bud?
AVOIDING THE ON RAMPS TO THE NAGGING HIGHWAY TO NOWHERE
In a minute we’ll get to how to get OFF this Nagging Highway to the middle of nowhere and the end of intimacy.
First, let’s focus on how to steer clear of the On Ramps that put you on the Nagging Super Highway in the first place.
It’s ALL too easy to get lost and find yourself on the Nagging Highway. If you don’t look out for WRONG WAY / DO NOT ENTER signs, you might turn a corner and next thing you know, you’re flying, speeding towards your relationship middle of nowhere.
So how can you spot those WRONG WAY / DO NOT ENTER signs?
Naggers, take notice and ask yourself…
- Where are you experiencing a need for control?
- Where are you being obsessive or overly organized?
- Where are you making repeated requests with increased irritation?
- Where are you doing/saying the same thing and expecting different results?
- Where is your trust level? Is that due to your anxiety or your beloved’s reliability or a little of both?
Naggees, take notice and ask yourself…
- Where are you being increasingly resentful about being asked more than once to do something?
- What is your current reputation for keeping your word? Are you trustworthy and count-on-able? Where have you been saying yes to too much, having too much to do (so there’s no way you can do all of what you say)?
- Where are you making agreements that you have little to no intention of keeping? When do you placate your beloved’s requests?
- Where have you failed to set up reminders to help you follow through on what you said you would do?
- Where are you being too laid back or even lazy?
Be Sure To Ask Rather Than Tell Or Demand.
OFF RAMPS FROM NAGGING
Whoops. You missed the warning signs and now you are on the Nagging Highway.
You know where you want to go in your relationship and the Nagging Highway is NOT the way there. So get off it! Get over yourself. Get focused on the goal (your relationship being playful, peaceful and passionate) and grab the next off ramp you can find. Get off that super highway to nowhere!
So how can you spot the Off Ramps / Exit Signs?
Naggers, take notice and ask yourself…
- What is one thing you can do to release the urge to control this situation?
- What is one thing that you can say no to, remove from your to do list entirely to help you stop being so busy that you need to make so many requests of your beloved?
- Where are you being overly organized, anxious, or controlling? What one thing can you do this week to stretch and grow in that area?
- What is one thing you have been nagging about that you can let go of, surrender and relax about today?
- Is there a way to make the request smaller, more clear and more attractive to your beloved?
- How can you make your request in a way such that autonomy is present – where you ASK, rather than tell or demand?
- Have you asked your beloved “What do YOU think I should do if it’s not done by when YOU say it will?”
Nagees, take notice and ask yourself…
- Are you clear on what you agreed?
- Are you only agreeing to do what you REALLY agree to do?
- Does your word mean something to you when you give it?
- What can you do today to build your reputation for being count-on-able tomorrow?
- Are you scheduling your OWN reminders and updating your beloved so they don’t have to?
- Are you saying no more often in other areas of your life so you will have time to honor the agreements you make with your beloved?
- How and where are you being lazy or self focused. How can you grow in that area?
You don’t have to get sucked into the nagging dynamic. Take the exit. There are easy-access off ramps available to you at any time!
Just follow the 4 Steps in the Action Option below to start Nip Nagging in the Bud, and start being the source of the playful, peaceful, passionate relationship you really desire. Stop fighting and start flirting.
Keep the Fights Clean & the Sex Dirty and Save Being Nasty For Your Sex Life!
1. Acknowledge nagging is present in your relationship and declare you're putting an end to all actions that nurture the nagging. (Stay off those on ramps!)
2. Catch yourself nagging. Call yourself out on it so your beloved knows you are CHOOSING to take this on to Nip Nagging in the Bud. Gaby often whips our her best L.L CoolJ impersonation and sings "I'm gonna call me out!" when she notices she is starting to nag. Apologize for falling into the trap and declare your commitment to communicate and make requests with respect and integrity.
3. When you catch yourself nagging, ask... On a scale of 1-10, how much of this is about your anxiety and control? You're always aiming for a low anxiety number. If you anxiety number is a 7 or higher, chill out a bit. And OWN that it is YOUR issue.
4. When you find yourself in the role of the naggee, then ask yourself on a scale of 1-10 how much of this is about your reliability and follow through? You're always aiming at a high accountability number. If the accountability is below a 7 then acknowledge you broke your agreement, own it and declare your new agreement. Then put reminders in place and do what you said you would or at.
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