Nobody likes being the nagger, or nagged at. It’s no fun for anyone. In my relationship, I’m usually the nagger and I hate doing it. I know what you’re thinking, “if you don’t like doing it, then why don’t you just stop?” but it’s really not that simple. Allow me to explain.
First of all, I know exactly when I’m nagging someone. It doesn’t just happen, and it’s not an accident. Before I open my mouth, I’ve usually thought it over many times - asking myself: Should I say something? Is it worth it? Why hasn’t he done the thing I’ve asked him to do a million times? I ask all of these questions because I know that constantly bringing the same things up over and over again will just annoy them and most likely close them off from me and my questions.
This brings us back to the big question: “Gee Angela, if you don’t like doing it, then why don’t you just stop?” The answer is because I don’t know how else to ask the questions I need answers to without it sounding like I’m nagging.
From the perspective of the person being nagged, they’re thinking why does she keep asking me these questions, I already told her I would do it, I’m not a child, it’s my life and I can do things the way I want. All these protests are fair of course, but what about the nagger’s perspective?
“I Already Said I Would Do It”
The nagger is likely as frustrated, if not more frustrated than you are - the one being nagged. Saying you’ll do something is great, but what happens when a week passes by and you still haven’t done it? Maybe this particular thing takes longer than a week, or maybe you got really busy, but how are they supposed to know that? The problem here is that you didn’t give her any timelines or updates. It’s really hard to be in the dark when you need something to get done. For myself, when someone doesn’t give me any timelines, I try to follow up about once a week. This is actually me trying to be flexible and not be so naggy. If it were completely up to me and I didn’t care about being naggy - I’d probably ask every 3-4 days. I’m really type A, so it’s pretty hard for me not to have a clear timeline. The fact of the matter is, people who do the nagging are usually type A personalities. We need to know who, what, when, and why. It’s not that they try to treat you like you’re a child, they just have a need to know.
“I’m Not a Child”
If you’re being honest with yourself, chances are that you’ve let down the person nagging you more then once by forgetting to do something, or missing an important deadline. Everyone forgets, and forgetting doesn’t make you a child, but it does make people uneasy. I’m at fault here too because I constantly forget things. Usually it’s things like forgetting to bring the keys, leaving my phone somewhere, or misplacing something. When I’m forgetful, it annoys my boyfriend a lot - and I think that’s justified. A lot of times, when we go out, he asks me if I have everything - but I don’t get upset at that or feel like he’s nagging me. I’ve given him a reason to ask me these questions, and it’s basically the same thing when someone nags you to do something. You’ve likely given them a reason to feel like they need to ask you the same thing over and over again. I’m not trying to blame the victim here, but I think there’s always a reason for anything someone does, including nagging.
“It’s my life”
Yes, it’s your life and you should be able to do what you want, but if it affects someone else, I feel like they have a right to speak up and say something about it. The people who speak up (or nag you) are the people who care and want what’s better for you. For example, I’m sure everyone can related to a nagging parent who wants them to clean their room. I know when I was a kid, I always thought this was a ridiculous request because it was my room and when I shut the door, on one would ever see it. Thinking back, I know my parents were only trying to teach me responsibilities so I would have an easier time adjusting when I’d live on my own. So while it IS my life and I have the right to do what I want, I understand that people don’t nag me to be annoying, they nag because they care about me or need something to get done. If they stop nagging, that’s when you know they’ve given up on you - and that’s not a good place to be.
I hope this shines a light on why people nag you, and a bit about how to make them less nagg-y by communicating timelines. Remember so share so more people understand, and maybe there will be a little less nagging in your life!