How Nagging Ruins Your Relationship

Nagging, in interpersonal communication, is repetitious behaviour in the form of pestering, hectoring, or otherwise continuously urging an individual to complete previously discussed requests or act on advice. As expressed by Elizabeth Bernstein, a Wall Street Journal reporter, nagging is “the interaction in which one person repeatedly makes a request, the other person repeatedly ignores it and both become increasingly annoyed”. Thus, nagging is a form of persistent persuasion that is more repetitive than aggressive and it is an interaction to which each party contributes. Nagging is a very common form of persuasion used in all aspects of life including domestic and professional. It is also a common practice in order to avoid more aggressive persuasive moves like threats.


Whether as a parent, wife or husband, no one starts out wanting to be a nag — it just seems to happen. It may seem like reminding your child to do his homework is a good thing, so why doesn’t it work? Or asking your spouse to do something. Here are some ideas as to why this traditional method of motivation is anything but motivating, and why it may be infact, ruining your relationship.

1. It creates resentment.

Nagging may produce an angry response in your spouse or kids, and make them resent you. The task you are nagging about becomes the last thing they want to do.

2. It Makes him feel mothered.

It makes your man feel like you’re mothering him, which can lead to resentment and irritation. If your mom’s the nagging type, you know how annoying this is! You don’t want to turn your guy into a rebellious teen.

3. Nagging is unpleasant, so you will get tuned out.

No one wants to hear the same old nag over and over, and your spouse and kids will simply stop listening. The more you nag, the less they hear.

4. It makes you feel unheard and irrelevant.

This is true especially if your repeated requests often go ignored. According to the WSJ, women are more likely to nag largely because they are conditioned to feel more responsible for managing home life. If nagging isn’t making your man listen, try a different approach.

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