(147) Nagging in Relationships? Why THEY won’t budge.

Updated: Apr 27, 2019

How many times can we keep asking the same someone 'to do' or 'to stop doing' before finally giving up?

The answer is never. Because the nagger and the naggee often have a special relationship that neither want to give up or even change.

The nagger can shake her or his head in mock or real frustration while feeling better than. He or she can use their best what’s-wrong-with-you-voice to ask, Why can’t you do (or not do) the simplest thing?

On the other side, the naggee can enjoy the attention. It is a negative sort of interest, but many of us need more attention than we generally receive, and some mild negative is not really that bad, is it?

So the situation, if not wonderful, is at least okay. Right?

Maybe not. Even if nagging is just a small part of the relationship, it is still negative, and this relationship between nagger and naggee has been known to spiral drainward.

For those of us who have some nagging in our lives, here are some suggestions. If you are the one being nagged, well then, start or stop, problem solved. No, it does not feel good to let them 'win', but if you do it quietly, you can take your relationship to the next level.

As for you, the nagger, consider picking your battles. Can you let go of just this particular one; would the world end if you did not get your way?

Besides, suddenly stopping that nagging flow of words is sometimes enough to push the naggee right into starting or stopping.

Another option is to ask with consequences; decide how important it is, and clearly say far you are not willing to go and exactly what will happen if that line is crossed.

Whether nagger or naggee, if you are unsure about stopping, how about stopping for a week? You just might like the smoother, more tranquil relationship—enough to keep it.

Helping Others?

Our relationship was circling the drain. She saw the changes I needed in my life, the ones that would do me the most good, and she would not stop nagging, as she tried ‘help’ me.

She could not understand my resistance, that I tended to dig in when someone pushed, nor did she understand the end of our relationship.

There are people everywhere trying to get others to change: to lose weight, to start dating, or even just see the sunny side of life. And yes, I too have tried to get people to change.


I think we hope that their change will somehow help us. Or maybe it is just easier to focus on them rather than look at ourselves.

A big problem is that we ‘helpers’ tend to start without first asking; we jump right in knowing what is best.

At the very least this can be intrusive and might even be considered arrogant. But it is true, we probably know what is best for them. But do we have a right to shove them into it?

The reality? If we want the relationship to flourish, it is best to set them free. And sometimes that freeing moment brings the very change we wanted for them, as well as a closer relationship.

Here are 4 good reasons to stop helping now:

1 Every push puts distance in the relationship.

2 When they are resisting, no mountain of persuasive argument (or irritation/anger) is going to move them—until they are ready. And in that moment, they will move themselves.

3 The change is often what we want for ourselves, and focusing on them helps us not at all.

4 And, finally, the only person on the planet we can change is the one (writing and) reading these words.

So, let’s do that. Let’s inspire those around us by going for the one change that means the most to us, because that is the change that will most lift our lives--right now.

Before Television

Amidst the loud chaos of our lives, Mom single-handedly raised three wild boys and a girl (before disposable diapers, instant dinners and automatic dishwashers).

It was not until long after her death that I realized the depth of her struggles; with us, yes, but also her battles with smoking, weight gain and alcohol.

Mom fought, failed and fought again; only to fail again.

Toward the end, she mostly won, but the negative feelings she must have felt! My own failed resolutions have included, painful disappointment, guilt and shame, as well as a loss of self-esteem.

Pushing Back


Any time we cause ourselves a period of discomfort, or pain, there is an eventual 'push back,' which is why Mom kept failing.

Her diets were pain filled. She could not eat her favorite foods, and she was hungry too.

More exercise meant, long, boring walks.

And the harder she pushed to keep going the more pain she felt, which created more, and more, 'push back.' Until it was just all too much. And she would quit. Again.

Looking back, I wish I could have taken some of her pain; at least shown her that positive changes can be made without the struggle, that she could work with herself instead of against.


Free: Permanent Resolutions Without the Struggle: 4 simple steps

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Note These steps work easily with positive changes like less TV, more exercise, less weight or more sleep. They do not work with addictions , like drugs.

Permanent Resolutions Without the Struggle

The very foundation of personal improvement is self-care/self-love. At this link: https://www.danielsperaw.com/single-post/Self-Care-Self-Love-3-Tips--Raise-Your-Quality-of-Life

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