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A nag is a horse, not a wife

Nagging someone to do something will get you nowhere.  You may get someone to take out the trash once but it is not conducive to making a long-term behavioral change.  The truth is, nagging only serves to make the person doing the nagging feel better.

I’m sure you’ve had the experience of someone attempting to chide you into making a change.  I’m also sure that the harder they pushed, the more you dug in your heels.  Why do you think it would be any different with another person?

How to handle it?  First, recognize if you’ve gotten into the habit of nagging and stop immediately.  It may be a good move to apologize for any past scolding you’ve engaged in – it will serve to smooth things over.  Then, when you want something done (a chore, a change, etc.), take a few moments to talk about before you’re at the point to criticize.  Negotiate the space between what you want and what they’re willing to do.  It may be a good idea to put it in writing so everyone knows what is expected of them.  Lastly, know that it may be a lost cause – sometimes you need to just let it go and find another solution.

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