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Nag with Love

Do you hate to be nagged?  Most people don’t like it at all.  One of the reasons people hate to be nagged is it’s usually done so badly.

The tones of voice most often used with most nagging are deplorable.  The facial expressions usually are downright ugly.  Often nagging is accompanied by guilt tripping, someone ‘shoulding’ on you, sometimes sarcasm, ‘victim speech’ and a host of things no one wants to hear.  So what does it mean to nag with love?  Here is an example:
“Sweetheart, most wonderful man in my life, let me give you a hug and a sexy fondle as I reluctantly remind you once again that, as I remember it, you were going to cut the lawn about now, or even before now I think, maybe?  Do you, Beloved, remember it that way”?
These words are accompanied by very pleasant tones of voice, big smiles, a sexy stance and at least one real good loving look.  This is overstated on purpose in jest but with a very upbeat, positive spirit.  Let’s think about another example.
“Darling, I’m betting you would like a happy me on your hands, and certainly not an unhappy, difficult me coming at you.  Well, to get the happy me please be real nice to me right now, while I ever-so-lovingly nag you again about calling my not-so-likable mother and wishing her a happy birthday.  If memory serves, and I could be wrong, there was something of a promise from you that you would by now have done that, Honey.  Also, Dearest, be warned that my next loving nag will occur in approximately 38 minutes, unless of course by then I am happily thanking you for having once again dealt with my rather difficult mom and accomplished this request.”
To make a nag a loving event you can work to make it fun.  To do nagging well you may want to start with one or more terms of loving endearment.  Add smiles and other loving looks, and as many pleasant ways of saying your message as you can think of.  A loving touch also can be quite helpful.  Most people get annoyed, irritated and aggravated before they nag and then their negative emotional state shows and contaminates their nagging.  Done with love, nagging can become just a good way to ask for what you want – again.

Nagging done with annoyance, irritation, aggravation, etc. (as nagging so often is done) just makes people want to hide from you, or worse.  Yes, of course, you may feel these negative things but to demonstrate them as you nag so often is self sabotaging.  If you nag with enough love it just may seem like you’re giving someone a pleasant reminder.  Even if it is perceived as nagging it has a good chance of being perceived and received far better and often with a reciprocal nice response.  There is a good chance that nagging lovingly might engender cooperation, in which case what you are nagging about actually might get done sooner than otherwise.  Nag nasty and you are in danger of running into passive/aggressive resistance, sabotage or an overt nasty rebuttal.

If nagging with love (as presented in the first example) is not working then you can add a loving threat (as is shown in the second example).  “If you want to have an unhappy me coming at you” even though pleasantly said is a threat and in fact probably is a realistic threat.  In addition, to make your nagging more powerful add the possibility of a reward.  “If you want to have a happy me coming at you” provides that.  And be sure to add, if appropriate, a little bit of sexiness which makes your nag a bit more enticing.  If your beloved accuses you of trying to be manipulative, readily agree that indeed you are, and ask them to notice you are being so very loving doing it.

The more loving you make your nagging the more likely your nagging will not set off a backfire response.  And with enough power by added threats and rewards being offered (if they are needed) what you want may actually get done without all the negative side effects that so often accompany the usual style of nagging.

There are loving ways to nag which can be done more seriously.  If in loving, sweet, soft, serious tones of voice while hugging your loved one you tell them how important it is for you to get what you are asking for, and how very grateful you will be when it’s done, and you might even mention that you are most willing to do something they desire as a sort of loving trade, you may be practicing love nagging at the higher art form level.

If you are going to be a good practitioner of nagging with love be sure to avoid blaming (IE. “You don’t care what I want”), referencing the past (IE. “You have never done what I want when I ask”), personal attack (IE. “You’re so selfish”), accusation (IE. “You are never going to get around to what I asked for, are you?”) and playing victim (IE. “I thought you loved me, but I guess you don’t at all”). 

All of these usually escalate into difficulties, distract from what you want done, may be interpreted as an attack triggering defensiveness, and are likely to create growing emotional distance.  Far better is to use compliments, praise , thanks, and words which focus on the ‘now’ instead of the ‘bad past’.  You don’t have to lie.  Try saying,
“Darling, I’m going to try to manipulate you by telling you how wonderful you are, and then I’m going to sweetly nag you asking you to do that favor I wanted.  You really are wonderful, and I really do love you lots, and will you please do it right away, please Sweetheart.  Now, don’t you think I just nagged and tried to manipulate you in the nicest way, my beloved?”
Freely offer hugs and kisses as you say this sort of thing.  But remember, your beloved has the right to say “No, I’m not going to do what you are asking right now”.  If you are making a true, love-based request you have to accept “No” as an OK answer and not continue to nag.  However, you might lovingly negotiate a new time frame.  Also if you get a “Yes” but it’s not done yet, it is fair to nag again – but do it with love.

Nagging with love is not limited to lovers; it can work with kids and friends and, if done carefully, can sometimes get things done at work (of course sexy looks and gestures need to be changed to friendly actions).

Hopefully this furnishes a few ideas for you to work with.  So, why not give loving nagging an exploratory chance and see if you get better results.  Experiment with new ways to do love, even nagging with love.  You and those you love may be glad you did.

As always, Go and Grow with Love

Dr. J. Richard Cookerly

Love Success Question What are you going to nag about next?  And if you do it in the old way that you’re used to what are the likely results?

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