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Last Updated on August 14, 2020

How to Stop Nagging And Communicate With Your Partner Better

How to Stop Nagging And Communicate With Your Partner Better

Asking for the same thing over and over again isn’t fun for anybody. Repeating yourself makes you feel like a nag and makes them feel bad about themselves. Not to mention, it drives you both crazy.

So, how do you break the cycle of nagging?

Learning how to quit nagging and start talking isn’t as complicated as it seems. It’s all about opening up those lines of communication and adjusting your expectations.

Keep reading for 6 easy steps on how to stop nagging and learn how to open a healthy dialogue with your spouse.

1. Watch Your Words

It’s natural to feel exasperated if you feel your spouse isn’t pulling their weight around the house, but the last thing you want to do is put your partner on the defensive. How can you avoid this? Simply put, listen to the way you’re asking your partner for help.

How you think you’re saying things: “Honey, I would really appreciate it if you did the dishes while I’m at work.”

How you’re actually saying things: “How are you so oblivious that you don’t even see those dishes piling up while I’m at work?”

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As we can see from this example, your words and the way you make requests of your spouse matter. Instead of making them feel guilty or belittled, phrase it in a way that makes them feel good.

“I would really appreciate your help with…”

“It always makes me feel good when…”

“You’re my hero when you…”

The above openers are great conversation starters.

2. Don’t Believe in Mind Reading

Men and women have a terrible habit of believing that, after a time, their spouse knows them so well that they should be able to understand what they want without ever having to tell them. This is a cute thought but rarely is it ever true.

Any marriage therapist will tell you that your spouse cannot read your mind. If you need something from them, you need to learn to ask for it.[1]

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You can start by sending out little cues that you want X or Y, but if they don’t catch on by the time you get to Z, it’s time to start communicating with your words.

Not only does this save your spouse from playing a guessing game, but it also saves you a lot of frustration.

3. Make It a Shared Decision

One way to stop nagging and start being proactive is by getting your partner involved.

Problem-solving isn’t something you should do on your own. When you are married or in a serious relationship, you are partners, not parents to each other.

What your job isn’t: Mummying your spouse and telling them what to do.

What your job is: To come together as a couple and work at healthy conflict resolution. Identify the problem you’re having in a kind and respectful manner and then ask your partner to weigh in on how to resolve the conflict at hand.

The keys to great problem-solving are empathy, communication, and listening to each other.

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4. Take a Marriage Course

The need to nag comes down to a fundamental lack of communication in a relationship.[2] When both partners are open and honest about their needs, conversation flows, and partners look for ways to help each other out – instead of being told to do so.

Instead of seeing a marriage therapist, why not take a marriage course?

There are plenty of online courses designed to help couples understand each other better. Topics covered in a popular online marriage course include setting shared goals as a couple, building compassion and empathy, mastering the art of communication, intimacy, and making and sharing traditions.

5. Get Your Partner to Hear You

No partner wants to be a nag, and the argument could be made that if the spouse or child did what they asked the first time, they wouldn’t have to keep bringing it up, which effectively stops nagging.

A fair point!

But harping at people doesn’t usually get the job done – so how DO you get someone to listen without nagging them?

The best way to get your partner to listen to you and avoid ending up in a marriage course for couples on the brink of destruction is to get them to see things from your perspective.[3] Relate your situation to something they can understand.

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One stay-at-home mom and homemaker worked hard to keep her house neat and tidy, but her construction worker husband would come home and walk through the freshly mopped hardwood floors with his dusty work boots on. She asked him to take his boots off repeatedly, but he could never seem to follow through.

One day she said to him, “Keeping the house clean is my job, just like doing drywall is your job. When you come home and walk through the house with your boots on after I just finished cleaning it, it’s as if I came to your construction site and ripped down the drywall you put up that day. Do you see how I could find this to be frustrating?”

The wife used an example the husband could understand, and so he became more empathetic to her desires.

6. Do It Yourself, If Possible

As they say, “If you want something done right, do it yourself.”

To decrease nagging, ask yourself whether what you’re about to say is worth getting upset over and whether it’s worth taking the task into your own hands.

Sure, it’d be nice if your spouse refilled the compost bag so you don’t have to do it, but the next time you’re getting ready to nag about it, ask yourself: Is a compost bag worth starting World War III over?

If you want to break the cycle of nagging without ending up in the office of a marriage therapist, you need to learn how to rephrase your requests. Speak respectfully and work on building empathy in your relationship. A marriage course can also help build communication and work on your conflict resolution skills.

Final Thoughts

Communication is key to any relationship, and it’s especially more important for partners. Sometimes, a person may feel like they’re communicating properly, unaware that their partner is already hearing them nagging. These 6 tips will help you stop nagging and communicate better with your partner.

Learn More About Communicating With Your Partner Better

Featured photo credit: Milan Popovic via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Sylvia Smith

Sylvia is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt its principles in their relationships.

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Last Updated on November 26, 2020

How Relationships Building Helps Achieve Career Success

How Relationships Building Helps Achieve Career Success

As playwright Wilson Mizner supposedly said all the way back in the 1930s,

“Be kind to everyone on the way up; you will meet the same people on the way down.”

The adage is the perfect prototype for relationship building in 2020, although we may want to expand Mizner’s definition of “kind” to include being helpful, respectful, grateful, and above all, crediting your colleagues along the way.

5 Ways to Switch on Your Relationship Building Magnetism

Relationship building does not come easily to all. Today’s computer culture makes us more insular and less likely to reach out—not to mention our new work-from-home situation in which we are only able to interact virtually. Still, relationship building remains an important part of career engagement and success, and it gets better with practice.

Here are five ways you can strengthen your relationships:

1. Advocate for Other’s Ideas

Take the initiative to speak up in support of other team members’ good ideas. Doing so lets others know that the team’s success takes precedence over your needs for personal success. Get behind any colleague’s innovative approach or clever solution and offer whatever help you can give to see it through. Teammates will value your vote of confidence and your support.

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2. Show Compassion

If you learn that someone whom you work with has encountered difficult times, reach out. If it’s not someone you know well, a hand-written card expressing your sympathy and hopes for better times ahead could be an initial gesture. If it’s someone with whom you interact regularly, the act could involve offering to take on some of the person’s work to provide a needed reprieve or even bringing in a home-cooked dish as a way to offer comfort. The show of compassion will not go unnoticed, and your relationship building will have found a foothold.

3. Communicate Regularly

Make an effort to share any information with team members that will help them do their jobs more effectively. Keeping people in the loop says a lot about your consideration for what others need to deliver their best results.

Try to discover the preferred mode of communication for each team member. Some people are fine relying on emails; others like to have a phone conversation. And once we can finally return to working together in offices, you may determine that face-to-face updates may be most advantageous for some members.

4. Ask for Feedback

Showing your willingness to reach out for advice and guidance will make a positive impression on your boss. When you make it clear that you welcome and can accept pointers, you display candor and trust in what opinions your superior has to offer. Your proclivity towards considering ways of improving your performance and strengthening any working interactions will signal your strong relationship skills.

If you are in a work environment where you are asked to give feedback, be generous and compassionate. That does not mean being wishy-washy. Try always to give the type of feedback that you wouldn’t mind receiving.

5. Give Credit Where It’s Due

Be the worker who remembers to credit staffers with their contributions. It’s a surprisingly rare talent to credit others, but when you do so, they will remember to credit you, and the collective credit your team will accrue will be well worth the effort.

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How Does Relationship Building Build Careers?

Once you have strengthened and deepened your relationships, here are some of the great benefits:

Work Doesn’t Feel So Much Like Work

According to a Gallup poll, when you have a best friend at work, you are more likely to feel engaged with your job. Work is more fun when you have positive, productive relationships with your colleagues. Instead of spending time and energy overcoming difficult personalities, you can spend time enjoying the camaraderie with colleagues as you work congenially on projects together. When your coworkers are your friends, time goes by quickly and challenges don’t weigh as heavily.

You Can Find Good Help

It’s easier to ask for assistance when you have a good working relationship with a colleague. And with office tasks changing at the speed of technology, chances are that you are going to need some help acclimating—especially now that work has gone remote due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Much of relationship building rests on your genuine expressions of appreciation toward others. Showing gratitude for another’s help or for their willingness to put in the extra effort will let them know you value them.

Mentors Come Out of the Woodwork

Mentors are proven to advance your professional and career development. A mentor can help you navigate how to approach your work and keep you apprised of industry trends. They have a plethora of experience to draw from that can be invaluable when advising you on achieving career success and advancement.

Mentors flock to those who are skilled at relationship building. So, work on your relationships and keep your eyes peeled for a worthy mentor.

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You Pull Together as a Team

Great teamwork starts with having an “abundance mentality” rather than a scarcity mentality. Too often, workers view all projects through a scarcity mentality lens. This leads to office strife as coworkers compete for their piece of the pie. But in an abundance mentality mode, you focus on the strengths that others bring rather than the possibility that they are potential competitors.

Instead, you can commit relationship building efforts to ensure a positive work environment rather than an adversarial one. When you let others know that you intend to support their efforts and contribute to their success, they will respond in kind. Go, team!

Your Network Expands and So Does Your Paycheck

Expand your relationship building scope beyond your coworkers to include customers, suppliers, and other industry stakeholders. Your extra efforts can lead to extra sales, a more rewarding career, and even speedy professional advancement. And don’t overlook the importance of building warm relationships with assistants, receptionists, or even interns.

Take care to build bridges, not just to your boss and your boss’s boss but with those that work under you as well. You may find that someone who you wouldn’t expect will put in a good word for you with your supervisor.

Building and maintaining good working relationships with everyone you come in contact with can pay off in unforeseen ways. You never know when that underling will turn out to be the company’s “golden child.” Six years from now you may be turning to them for a job. If you have built up a good, trusting work relationship with others along your way, you will more likely be considered for positions that any of these people may be looking to fill.

Your Job Won’t Stress You Out

Study shows that some 83 percent of American workers experience work-related stress.[1] Granted, some of that stress is now likely caused by the new pandemic-triggered workplace adjustments, yet bosses and management, in general, are reportedly the predominant source of stress for more than one-third of workers.

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Having meaningful connections among coworkers is the best way to make work less stressful. Whether it is having others whom to commiserate with, bounce ideas off, or bring out your best performance, friendships strengthen the group’s esprit de corps and lower the stress level of your job.

Your Career Shines Bright

Who would you feel better about approaching to provide a recommendation or ask for promotion: a cold, aloof boss with whom you have only an impersonal relationship or one that knows you as a person and with whom you have built a warm, trusting relationship?

Your career advancement will always excel when you have a mutual bond of friendship and appreciation with those who can recommend you. Consider the plug you could receive from a supervisor who knows you as a friend versus one who remains detached and only notices you in terms of your ability to meet deadlines or attain goals.

When people fully know your skills, strengths, personality, and aspirations, you have promoters who will sing your praises with any opportunity for advancement.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, it is “who you know” not “what you know.” When you build relationships, you build a pipeline of colleagues, work partners, team members, current bosses, and former bosses who want to help you—who want to see you succeed.

At its core, every business is a people business. Making a point to take the small but meaningful actions that build the foundation of a good relationship can be instrumental in cultivating better relationships at work.

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Featured photo credit: Adam Winger via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] The American Institute of Stress: 42 Worrying Workplace Stress Statistics

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