Why Nagging Doesn’t Work

I guess that we all know really that nagging doesn’t work. I was staggered when I looked for synonyms in the online thesaurus … here are just a few,

Annoy, Pester, Scold, Berate, Fuss, Hound, Irritate, Torment.

They are really not very nice things to do to anyone, so why do we do it? Maybe because we grow up believing that it is the only way to get things done. Perhaps it gives us a sense of control, or maybe we just don’t know how to communicate our needs.
We think in terms of a nag in relation to a wife nagging a husband, but it is possible to be a nag in any relationship.

You show signs of being a nag if,
• if you are getting nowhere after asking for the same thing again and again.
• if your frustration leads to the frustration of the other person involved.
• if the other person becomes defensive whenever you ask something of them.
• if you constantly feel as if you are banging your head against a brick wall.

Nagging doesn’t work because

• it causes resentment and feelings of inadequacy.
• the nagged person withdraws and becomes defensive, which in turn destroys intimacy.
• it shows no respect.
• it feels personal.
• all the focus is negative.
• the person being nagged feels controlled.

Things to do instead,

• recognise your problem.
• communicate your needs effectively and calmly.
• think of other solutions – if a job is continually left undone, pay someone else to do it.

It is not always women who nag men, but here is a final quote by Louise De Bernière, especially for men who feel nagged,

Women only nag when they feel unappreciated.