If you’re tired of repeating the same requests without getting the results you want, it’s time to try some of these alternatives to nagging…
Cut them some slack
Focus on the positive. Keep your eye on the big picture. When you think about how your family, friends and colleagues enrich your life, it’s easier to cut them some slack on the less pleasant details of your interactions.
Be more flexible
Let your kids know that you appreciate their willingness to help out even if their methods are different from your own. If they make their own bed praise them rather than redoing it because they haven’t done it properly. See it as a learning experience for them. If you come along and redo it then they will stop trying to help.
Teach them to understand the consequences of their actions
Maybe your kids surprise you with a school project due the next morning on the evening when you usually go grocery shopping. Eating tuna fish sandwiches for a week may help them understand the importance of giving you adequate notice.
Get help from others
Consider paying someone to help with things that cause ongoing conflicts. A weekly housecleaning service may be worth the investment. Find another parent at your kid’s school who wants to take turns driving them to football practice.
Look at everything you are juggling
Stress and irritability is often a sign that you’re trying to do too much. Take a piece of paper and make a list of all of the different balls you are juggling. Rate them all on a scale of 1 to 10 of importance. Which balls could you put to one side for now?
Make better use of technology
Brief text messages and automated calendar reminders deliver the same information with less risk of putting people on the defensive. Remind your partner that you have a school meeting tonight without saying a word.
Take time out
Deal with sensitive subjects when you’re feeling calm and collected. Sometimes the best thing you can do is take a walk until you settle down.
Address the root issue
Probe more deeply to see if nagging is a symptom of deeper issues in your relationships. Marital counseling or parenting classes may help you get to the bottom of what’s going on.
Ask for what you want directly.
Work up the courage to state what you need clearly and tactfully. One skillful message beats years of beating around the bush.
Practice attentive listening. Concentrate on what the other person is saying and confirm that you understand. It’s easier to cooperate with each other when we feel validated and cared for.
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