My Girlfriend Nags A Lot

My girlfriend nags a lot, and I don't know what to do.

Dear Issarie,

I can see how being nagged "all the time" could be very frustrating and you would wish to have a break from some of the nagging, if not all of it.

What type of nagging is it? For example, is it the type of nagging that says you cannot do anything right? Feels as if you can't even breathe right? Is it the kind of nagging that is a "honey do list" of things that you need to do?

On one hand, it doesn't matter what type of nagging, but I suggest you figure out what type so that you can define it. You will see why, in a moment.

You need to tell your girlfriend that you do not care for the nagging. Do not do this at the moment that you are being nagged and do not do it at any negative moment (i.e. during a fight). Wait for a calm moment, during happy moments. Approach her calmly and let her know that there is something that you need to discuss, something that is very important to you and to your relationship with her. Now is the time to pull out your definition of nagging... Here is an example. If she is nagging you and critiquing you on everything you do, you could start by saying, "Honey, I really appreciate that you care about how I perform my tasks and that you are so helpful to point out areas where I could improve..." Make sure you are being sincere and not patronizing in your approach. Whatever you do, do not use the word "nagging" as that brings a negative connotation.

Now, there is a flip side to this. Have you considered that possibly your girlfriend has some valid things to say but you are not giving her the impression that you are listening? During this conversation, ask her how you can help her to feel that her thoughts and desires are important to you.

The goal is to reach a balance between the frequency and presentation of nagging on her part and the listening on your part.

If the nagging has reached a point where you are pondering the continuation of the relationship, please have the conversation first, giving her a chance to understand what is important to you before any permanent decision are made.

Deborah E
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Deborah is a #1 Jazz Singer, as well as a lifelong musician, songwriter, and sound engineer. She is also a writer who pursues a love of positive psychology. She is a thesis short of having her doctorate in psychology.
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