Has Nagging Ever Occurred in Your Relationship?
Take out the trash, call your mother, help out more with the kids... we all know the pleas of a nag. And even though we also know that nagging annoys both partners and destroys the harmony in a relationship, many can’t help but participate. But why? Well, I've been guilty of nagging, only to find out I was doing it all wrong.
Certified life coach and author Quentin McCall would argue that those who nag do so only because we aren’t well informed on how to effectively communicate and get what they want. In his Knowledge 4 Life coaching program, McCall helps individuals grow emotionally, financially, spiritually and within their relationships. His professional purpose is to assist people in co-creating the life that God intended for them. He believes that most of us, armed with the right knowledge can stop participating in negative, ineffective behaviors like nagging, and instead align ourselves with a healthy and happy vision of love.
FOCUS ON TRUST
Discussing the number one issue couples are dealing with today, Quentin stated “No doubt about it, trust is the number one issue." When you trust your partner, you have a higher functioning relationship where nagging is less of an issue. McCall is bombarded daily with questions related to how to trust a partner — which motivated him to begin the process of writing a new book about rebuilding trust: “People are more likely to extend trust when they feel they can trust you. You have to have a spirit of being trust-worthy. You have to be the one to be proactive about creating an environment of trust in your relationship.”
McCall believes that everyone and every situation deserves trust until proven otherwise. He preaches the significance of “trust with verification.” Though you can’t blindly trust, you have to assume the best intentions in others or you will harbor the kind of constant suspicions that are catalysts for ineffective solutions like nagging.
McCall advises couples to understand that building trust isn’t about enforcing a “no secrets” rule. Though he doesn’t carry issue with couples who want to facilitate trust by sharing email and social media passwords, he does believe that demanding such things from your partner opens the door for codependency: “You should not need to share passwords to feel trusting of your partner.”
EXPLAIN YOUR MOTIVES
Though nagging carries a strongly negative stigma, McCall reminds couples that “most times a nag is coming from a good place— a place of concern and/or deep emotional need.” He suggests that women and men who nag should take the time to explain the reasons for nagging: “People need to ask for something while expressing how important it is to them.”
Most people nag out of desperation, not knowing how to get what it is they want from their partner. However, as McCall points out, “Nagging weighs down on other issues in a relationship. It fosters deeper insecurities in the nagger while the receiver of the nagging experiences great frustration.” When you can offer explanations for why you feel you have to resort to nagging, it helps alleviate frustration.
PUT IT IN WRITING
“I’m a big fan of writing,” McCall divulges. “Just the other day I was talking to men and I told them to sit down, ponder on their issues with their wife or woman and write her a letter.” Some people can express themselves better in writing and are more able to vulnerable when there is room and time to collect their thoughts and better shape their words. After all, sometimes we nag because we can’t formulate a better sentence in the heat of the moment than a simple, direct demand.
According to McCall, at the end of the day, there is no right or wrong way to effectively communicate. “If couples find that writing is the better way to communicate in the relationship, then they should do that. Or if they have to sit down together and chat... whatever works,” he explains. We discussed that one great way to exchange your ideas, delights and desires is via a free Lovendar app for couples, specifically designed for two.
“You have to give a person time and a chance to change. You can’t ask or something on Monday and then re-ask for it on Friday... Everybody is human and you have to be patient. Love, kindness and patience work together. When we want something, we tend to rush the process, but when you rush the process it becomes nagging,” McCall explains.
McCall preaches the power of God and the importance of marriage being a gift from God. As such, couples need to believe in the power of unconditional love and acceptance. Just as it’s important that your partner understand your needs, you need to understand their reasons, and allow them the space to fix an issue at their pace. As McCall puts it-- “You never want to make your partner feel like what they want isn’t important. Relationships are about exchanging and sharing with one another.” Patience facilitates deeper sharing and more mutual growth.