How to Stop Nagging
Find more effective ways to communicate in your relationship, and leave the nagging behind.
The Essence of Nagging continued...
But like any facet of a relationship,
nagging is a two-way street.
"Obviously, if a woman feels responded
to she won't need to keep bringing up the same issues," says Turndorf, who
is author of
Till Death Do Us Part (Unless I Kill You First)
. "On the surface, it's easy to assume that it's all the
nagee's fault -- if he responded better, nagging wouldn't be
But rather than assigning blame -- is it
the husband's fault for not cleaning the kitchen, or the wife's for griping so
much about it -- start looking for more productive ways to communicate, or risk
damaging the intimacy in your relationship: According to a study presented at
the 2003 Society for Personality and Social Psychology conference in February, nagging can lessen a couple's
"How a woman presents her 'beefs'
determines whether or not her partner will be responsive," says Turndorf.
"Modern danger is no longer the ferocious tiger, it's the angry wife or
girlfriend. When she comes at him baring her teeth, berating him with
criticisms, and nagging his head off, his body sees danger and switches into
the fight-flight mode. Since he doesn't want to fight her, he flees
Before your partner grabs his golf clubs
and heads for the door, not to be seen until 36-holes are under his belt, turn
the temperature on the nagging down a bit.
"The way out is what I call 'climate
control,'" says Turndorf. "Women need to learn how to properly
communicate their needs, and it begins with calmly stating what was said or
done and how you felt about it."
Another tactic is to take action, instead
of getting on the soapbox.
"Skip the nagging, and try
taking action," says Weiner-Davis. "Skills like active listening allow
couples to learn how to talk to each other in such a way that they are heard.
Too often, when couples talk to each other about heated issues, they are too
busy defending themselves to hear on a deep level what their spouses are saying
and feeling. If they can learn the tools for fair fighting, then both spouses
can be heard, and nagging isn't necessary."