I saw some interesting research recently, which showed that if you
nag someone to do something they are actually less likely to do it
than if you don’t nag them. I can’t say it really surprised me I
know how I feel about being nagged.
The fact is that nagging is pointless. If your partner isn’t going to do
whatever it is because they love you, they’re certainly not going to
do it because you nag them. All you’ll achieve is resentment and a
deterioration in your relationship and that’s not going to help either
of you.
You’re just going to have to come up with another way to get it
done. Maybe if you tried getting off their back, they would do the
thing eventually in their own time. Perhaps you just need to
adapt to their timescale. Or maybe you need to sit down and talk to
them about why they don’t do it. Not accusingly of course, that
would just be nagging in a different format, but with genuine con-
cern to find out whether theres a problem. They could be
exhausted, they could be unsure how to do it, they could believe it’s
your job and they don’t see why they should do it.
Or perhaps you need to get more creative. Try tickling them until
they do it. Or hiding their car keys until they sort it out. Or having
a good-natured deal that you won’t do a certain thing until they’ve
done theirs it’s got to be good-natured though or you’re back to
nagging again. So you could say, ‘I promise I shall never ever men-
tion the washing up again. On the understanding that I shan’t ever
start cooking the next meal until the previous one is washed up.’
Make it light-hearted, but stick to it all the same. Maybe they’ll end
up doing all the cooking, but hey, in that case you can wash up
instead and it will be fine.
RULE 51
108
T H E R U L E S O F L O V E
Don’t be a nag
RULE 51
109
R E L A T I O N S H I P R U L E S
If your partner isn’t generally idle, there’s got to be a good reason
why they’re not doing whatever it is wiping their boots before
they walk on the carpet, or fixing the broken light. Try to get to the
root of the problem. If they just hate that particular chore, maybe
you can swap it. You’ll take over all the washing if they’ll do all the
shopping or something.
If you were foolhardy enough to fall in love with someone who is
just darned lazy and can’t be bothered to get off their backside, in
the end you may have to accept that you’re going to have to do
more yourself. Its either that or nag and then do it yourself anyway.
That’s the price you pay for choosing to be with a lazy person. If
they have enough compensating qualities it will be worth it. If they
dont, well your call.
IF YOUR PARTNER ISNT
GENERALLY IDLE, THERES
GOT TO BE A GOOD REASON
WHY THEYRE NOT DOING
WHATEVER IT IS

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