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Nag as Much as Possible January 17, 2009

Posted by downton in Nag as Much as Possible.
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Nag as Much as Possible

     We know that we can’t help having ideals. We have ideals about everything, including ideals about how our mates are supposed to look and behave and how they’re supposed to treat us. Ideals are a blessing and a curse. They’re a blessing in the sense that they set up goals for us to try to reach and they’re a curse because when we fail to reach those goals, we’ll feel disappointed and frustrated.

     When our ideals pertain to our mates, they can be the source of a lot of nagging. Constant nagging will screw up love because the mate who is badgered will resent the constant pressure and resentment is a major source of discontent. So, the more you nag your mate to change, the more resentment and discontent you’re adding to the relationship. Resentment and discontent will undermine love.

     If you’re a perfectionist, you’ve probably become an expert at nagging. Why? Because you’ll want your mate to be perfect. The only way for you to create a perfect mate is to insist on changes that conform to the ideal mate that dwells in your mind.

     We can nag our mates about a long list to topics. We might nag about them about how they look, their fashion choices, what they eat, how much they exercise, and how quickly they get their chores done. So, take a few minutes to think about the ways you nag your mate. What are the ideals behind the nagging, what do you nag about, how exactly do you nag, how often do you do it, and what does your nagging create?

     Now, I know you’re thinking that some of your nagging is because you love your mate. You’re just insisting on changes that will be in your mate’s interest. That may be true. Maybe your mate never exercises or eats unhealthy foods and you put the pressure on so your mate will make positive changes in these areas. Even though your intentions are good, do you overdo the nagging? Is it undermining love? How could you cut down on the nagging to create a more balanced approach? How could you be more creative about nagging so your mate responds to your suggestions for change with a more open attitude?

     Now, a mate who goes to an extreme, let’s say eats too much unhealthy food or never exercises, will create a nagging mate. Why? Because people automatically try to counterbalance the extremes in others. It’s an attempt to live in harmony with the principle of balance. So, if you eat too much unhealthy food or never exercise and your mate nags you about it, you’re creating the nagging.  Your mate’s nagging is an attempt to get you into better balance, knowing that a better balanced person will create a happier and longer life.

     Take a few minutes to reflect on your mate’s nagging. What exactly are you badgered to do? Then, ask yourself if you’re living at an extreme in these areas. If you are, think about some changes you can make. As you make those changes, you’ll become better balanced, which will cut down on your mate’s nagging.  Less nagging will make you and your mate happier. With greater happiness, love will grow. Wouldn’t that be nice?

     If you succeed in reducing the amount of nagging in your relationship by either cutting down on the nagging or changing yourselves so the nagging stops, you can purchase my sweatshirt with the words on the back, “Caution! You’re standing behind a recovering nag.”

Coaching Tips

■ Humans are creative and they can’t help it. Be creative in the ways you approach changing each other.  Be open about it, discuss it, express what you’re trying to accomplish by nagging and how it makes both of you feel.

■ Instead of nagging your mate, learn to make simple requests for change.  See what happens.

■ Does nagging arise because one or both of you are taking something to an extreme? If so, how will you change in order to reduce or eliminate the nagging? If your nagging arises because of ideals, how will you lower your standards?

■ Reducing nagging and changing how you communicate the need for change will improve your relationship in a hurry. With less resentment over nagging, love will grow.

■ Get to know your ideals in detail. Notice how they work for and against you and then decide on changes to make. You’re creative! Create ideals and a way of living that are balanced, so you can be happier and your relationship can grow.

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