Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Nagging - How Effective is It?

In previous postings I suggested that nagging is not a spiritual gift. And it still isn’t, at least in any of the translations that I use. The following is from a Mort Fertel blog entitled “The Consequences of Nagging”.

Nagging doesn’t work. Especially not in the long run. Yet many people still nag their spouse. Women, especially, are often guilty of nagging their husbands. There are some serious negative consequences of nagging that can cause marital problems.

Women often nag their husbands because they feel that if they don’t, their husband won’t get things done. In reality, if you treat your husband like a child, he’ll likely act like one. If you treat him like an adult, and allow him to take on responsibility for his own behaviors, he’ll most likely act like a grown up.

Nagging doesn’t tend to yield results. How many times have you asked your spouse to do something repeatedly and the result was that the work got done and you both ended up feeling happy and satisfied? Probably not very often.
Nagging can actually decrease your spouse’s motivation. By the third time you ask him to do something, he’s less likely to want to do it. No one likes to be nagged.

Nagging can contribute to a lot of negative feelings. The person who is nagged often feels frustrated, angry, and resentful. The person doing the nagging often feels frustrated and exasperated. Although nagging may get something done in the short-term the negative consequences in the long-term can be a breakdown in the relationship.

Ask your spouse to do something and only ask once. Prepare yourself for the consequences of it not getting done. Depending on what it is, you might do it yourself or hire someone else to do it if it doesn’t get done. The other option is to allow for natural consequences of it not getting done. This may negatively impact your spouse but it might not. Ask yourself, how important is it for the job to get done? One year from now, will it make a big difference if it didn’t get done? If not, it may not be all that important after all. Find a time to have a conversation with your spouse when you are calm to share your feelings if you want to talk about it later.

Take the energy you’ll save when you stop nagging and devote it to offering positive reinforcement to your spouse. Compliment and praise your spouse. Increase your positive interactions and you’ll see that it increases your positive feelings and can improve the marriage.
The Bible speaks to wives in particular on this subject. Proverbs 21:19 says, “Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife.” And in Ephesians 5:33 wives are commanded to respect their husbands. If it is the husband who is the nag the results are no better.

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