A nag. We have all heard one. We have all been in the room with one. Shoot, we have all been one. Nagging is what we all do when we feel like our spouse is not pitching in enough. After all, we spent the day packing lunches, folding laundry, cleaning the kitchen, making dinner, and running kiddos to appointments, practices, and school. Then out of our mouths comes, “Could you at least pick up your clothes? Would you turn off the TV and help me here? You never take out the garbage on time. I asked you to do that last week.” Nagging is what we resort to when we are tired and frustrated and feel like throwing a good ole “poor me pity party” to get things done. The sad thing is it actually does more harm than good. And not to mention… it is so unattractive. Nagging can easily become a normal form of communication if it is not caught and stopped. We struggled with this early on in our marriage. One of us was a “laid back, procrastinator” and one of us was a “get it done doer”, which you can see how that played out for us. Nagging entered the scene. Yes, the garbage got taken out, the bed was made, the laundry was put away, but not without collateral damage being done through the ugly art of nagging.
Choosing to Stop It…Break the Cycle We knew we had to stop it. And stopping it takes conscience effort. Here is what we did. We changed our accusation or complaint into a kind request. Instead of “You never take the garbage out on time.” Say, “I really appreciate it when you take the garbage out. Would you mind taking it out for me?” Hear the difference. When I hear the second request I feel loved and valued and it actually makes me want to help my spouse. We have 5 children and our life is crazy busy just like yours. There is much to get done in order for our days to flow and for everyone to be able to function in a healthy manner. Ready for something that has worked for us? We make “Honeydew List”. Cheesy….yes, I know, but sometimes you need a little cheesy to make things go smoothly. We make short list of things that need to get done and we number them by importance and by when we realistically need them done. The catch the list is short…not a page long and once we give it to each other, we don’t mention it again. We have agreed to try our best to get those things done out of love and respect for one another. Yes, sometimes things slip through the cracks, but for the most part they get checked off and we are all much happier because the nag has left the room! Simple Tips: 1. Ask yourself: Is there a nag in the room? Or are you the person being nagged? 2. Take time to apologize to your spouse if your have become that person. 3. Together come up with a simple solution -divide items that need to get done each day -talk about doing a “Honeydew list” or something similar -retrain yourself to ask what you can do to help
Proverbs 21:19 “Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife.”
One Change a Day!