In my last post, Why You Should Never Nag Your Man, commenter Miranda addresses a concern about what to do if he’s the one nagging you. She says that though her boyfriend is great, he sometimes come off as pushy.
We often hear about the nagging wife syndrome, but I’m willing to bet that nagging husbands are more common than we are being lead to believe.
However, I think it’s important to know the difference between when someone asks you to do something, when they remind you to do it, and how that is different than nagging.
Nagging involves forceful and continuous urging, and is usually cast off as fault finding. In other words, they aren’t just asking or lovingly reminding you to do the dishes. They know you know it needs to be done, but they want to push you to do it now, not later, and they are irritated that it wasn’t done yesterday.
So how do you respond when your significant other is nagging at you?
Well, I’ll tell you how I dealt with a family member of mine – a relative, though not a parent or spouse.
First, I asked myself if their nagging was with any merit. Did I promise to do something that I later slacked off of doing? The answer was no. Was the task a time sensitive issue? Nope. There was no reason to be on my case.
I recognized the difference between reminding and nagging, so when it began to be too much, I knew I had to enforce some boundaries.
I simply stated, “I’ll handle it.”
When someone hears you say that, they’ll know it’s their cue to back off.
You don’t want to get upset and bark at them to leave you alone, but you also don’t want to jump when they try to crack the whip. You have to stay in control of the situation, so just say, “I’ll handle it.” I like this line because it’s direct, yet subtle.
If they try to push further after that, repeat it once more.
“I said I’ll handle it.” Then walk away if you have to.
They have to know you will do things on your own time, according to your schedule, and that needs to be respected.
You shouldn’t have to get into a long, drawn own argument about whatever it is. He is your partner, not your parent.
If they learn they can get you to do anything by badgering you, they will only further walk all over you, and then you’re done. Then you’re whipped – so don’t let that happen.
Now, if you say that you’ll handle your business, you must actually handle it.
Don’t be a jerk by saying it as a front and then ignoring your duties.
Say it, then do it.
Until next time,
– Ash Pariseau