Are you a nag?

confident manMorning rush is not always the best time for communication, is it?

Sometimes even the simplest sentences cause great irritation.

There I was rushing around getting things organised for the day. My husband was going to have a hectic day at work; I had plenty of clients and a list of chores to get through.

“Oh”, I thought, “I must remind him to organize that lift for his colleagues”.

As he rushed past me in the passage,  I reminded him.

I immediately saw the irritation on his face.

“I was just trying to help”, I responded, feeling wounded.

Later on that day I found a few quiet moments to myself and reflected on the morning’s interaction.

My intention was to help him to remember something.

His irritation led me to assume that he saw it as nagging – or something similar.

What was going on?

Then I remembered the old classic that I recently re-read: John Gray’s – ‘Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus’.

When I figured it out, I did wonder how many more times I would make this classic mistake!

The implication for him of my wanting to help implied that he would forget.

I was demonstrating a lack of faith in my husband.

At an unconscious level I was telling him that he was not capable.

Men want to know that they are good enough for their woman. It is intrinsic to their fundamental role as protector and providers.

The mistake myself and many women make is not understanding that nagging implies there is something wrong with the man.

This is a subtle and easy thing to get wrong.

Ever told your partner to stop and ask for directions? Ever told him how to cook a meal? Ever advised him on how to manage his money? Ever pointed out that he is feeding the kids incorrectly? This list goes on and on…..

Start thinking about what your nagging means to your man!

There are, of course, consequences to continually telling your man that he is not good enough, and they’re generally miserable consequences.

Here’s what to do instead:

  • Take notice of your partner’s face when you interact.
  • Make a note of moments when you see anger or irritation.
  • Find some time later in the day to reflect on what happened.
  • Look carefully at the words you used. What is the underlying message you are giving your partner?
  • If you are eroding your partner’s confidence decide how you can change what you are saying.
  • DO IT!

As you develop self-awareness and the ability to reflect calmly on your interactions, you will be able to make small changes that allow your man to feel like a man.

Naturally there is something in it for you too: A confident man exudes a wonderful and powerful energy. Enjoy!

Photo credit

I think I’ll be going to Heaven,
because I had good intentions.
But my actions are another thing.
Curtis Jackson

About Kirsten Long

Coach. Toastmaster. Prison-worker. Wife. Mother. Friend.
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