Friday, January 17, 2014

Gag the Nag: Curbing the Need to Nag

I hate to admit it, but I've been a nagger for years. Full out nag machine! I've been married almost a decade. That's a lot of nagging.

  

In the beginning of my marriage I didn't understand my rants were nagging. Soon after becoming a wife, I became a mother and in no time I was nagging the two people I loved most. I falsely believed that my whiny complaints weren't nagging fits. Truth be told, as my son grew up I began reflecting on my personal habits. I ask him not to whine or complain but what about my nagging? Isn't nagging simply the adult version of whining and complaining?

How hypocritical of me!

Luckily, motherhood shines a light on so many of a parent's bad habits. As I correct my children, I am curbing my faults, too. I've come to use less inappropriate or foul language. The next hurdle? Curbing the chronic nagger inside me and here's why:

1. Nagging drains everyone, the listener and the nagger. If you're becoming annoyed by your typical rants chances are you're a chronic nagger and no one is happy with this routine! This, like any bad habit, must be remedied. 

2. Listeners easily drown out chronic naggers. Don't get stuck with the label of chronic complainer. You know what I mean? There's always the co-worker who speaks in excuses or complaints? Yeah, not many listen to them after a while either. Don't become "that guy" in your home. 

3. Losing the valid point buried behind nagging. Somewhere behind the nagging there's usually a valid opinion. Don't lose that due to the "nagger's delivery". Try a different angle. The listener is more likely to listen when you're approach isn't one of whiny complaining. Use a calm tone and speak softly without critiquing or insulting the listener. Naggers often come across as unhappy complainers. Change that delivery. Truthfully, you're likely not unhappy and don't mean to complain. It could be something is frustrating, so start there.... "I feel frustrated. I don't meant to complain, but this is how I feel..."

Nagging has gotten the best of me. But I've decided to change my approach. Sure, I still regress and let a nagging fit or two slip. But just ask my in-laws?!? I'm much, much better!

How do you feel about nagging? Useless or essential? 
Chime in and share your opinion in the comment section.

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