You’ve asked him to take out the trash at least 20 times and he’s still sitting on the couch staring at the TV. What the hell? He claims he’s annoyed because you’re nagging him. You wouldn’t have to nag if he listened the first time. Yes, I know, it’s a neverending cycle, but it’s time to break it and come out on top.
There are ways to get what you want without being a bitch. Whether it’s help with chores or even some special gift you really want for your birthday, you don’t have to nag to get it. Get ready, though – it’s going to take a lot of self-restraint to avoid nagging. If you do it right, he’ll happily do what you want and you won’t have to ask a billion times.
- Leave subtle clues. Okay, we’ll start off simple. For instance, make a comment about feeling too tired to do the dishes tonight, or leave a magazine out with a picture of the blouse you want. You could even set out the rake in the middle of the steps to remind him to clean up the backyard.
- Let things build up until he gives in. I know it’ll drive you nuts, but stay strong. Guys have a higher tolerance for clutter sometimes, but it’ll still annoy him when his favorite jeans aren’t washed or he doesn’t have any more bowls for cereal. He’ll get the hint that you’re tired of asking and he’ll start helping out.
- Say thank you when he does something. Sometimes the real problem is your man doesn’t feel appreciated. Don’t get pissy, you’d feel the same if he never said thank you for anything. You don’t have to say it all the time, but tell him you appreciate him taking out the trash or helping you cook dinner.
- Let him deal with the consequences himself. Odds are, you usually deal with any consequences when he doesn’t listen. Stop right now! If he didn’t vacuum and his parents are coming over, it’s up to him to explain himself. He won’t like actually being responsible for the consequences so he’ll just do it himself to begin with.
- Don’t accuse him if you ask a second time. It’s not nagging if you have to remind him to do something. The key is to not immediately get bitchy and say something like “you never listen” or “you always make me ask you twice.” The more you accuse, the more stubborn he’ll get. See, guys are even more petty than we are.
- Wait until he’s not in the middle of something. Yes, sometimes it’s our fault that he didn’t listen. Would you really hear what he asked if you were busy talking to your girlfriend or watching your favorite show? Probably not. Make a point of asking for what you want when he’s not distracted by something else.
- Talk to him about why it’s so important. Maybe he doesn’t get that staying on top of the dishes or being on time is important to you. Talk to him about it. Just realizing that it really is a big deal and not just something for you to nag him about makes a major difference.
- Ask nicely without sarcasm. Naturally sarcastic women will likely struggle with this. You already know you’re going to have to ask more than once. So what do you do? Your first request is dripping with sarcasm. This just tells a man to ignore you. I know, it’s ridiculous, but it’s true. Leave the sarcasm out and try being a little nicer. Nice never hurts, right?
- Be straightforward. I know this goes against the subtle clues advice. This one is for women who never actually ask for what they want. They nag with hints and accusations and want their man to guess what they need. It doesn’t work that way. You have to tell him exactly what you want.
- Keep it short. Giving him a half-hour speech about wanting him to go see a chick flick with you isn’t going to work. Say what you want in just a few minutes at most. Otherwise, he will zone out completely. Be straightforward, get an immediate answer, and move on.
- Give him a to-do list. He can’t claim he didn’t hear you if you give him a list. Text it to him or write it down. Either way, he has a clear list of what you want. It’s a great way to get the gifts you want and the chores you need to be done.
- Try to be a little flexible. I’ve learned it’s much easier to be flexible when asking your guy to do something. You might expect him to jump on it right this second. When he doesn’t, you start nagging. He could just be waiting until he’s done with his favorite show or playing a round online with his friends.
- Offer up a compromise. You don’t have to go to extremes to get what you want. It’s not a nag him to death or do it yourself type of deal. This is where that all-important relationship compromise comes in. Talk to him and figure out what things you can both do for each other to help out. He thinks he’s getting what he wants and you’re definitely getting what you want.
- Don’t criticize the things he does do. So he finally washed dishes, but he didn’t put them in the drainer like you do. You couldn’t help but tell him the right way to do it. Guess what? The more you criticize when he does do something, the less he’ll actually do. It’s not a big deal. The chore still got done, so be happy.
- Do it yourself and do it even better. Men take offense when they think you don’t need them. Stop asking and just do things yourself for a while. He’ll be amazed at how much gets done and how much better you’re doing it than him. Most guys will get competitive and a little insecure and start pitching in as much as possible. Plus, it’s a good way to show you’re pissed that he’s not listening to you.
Sometimes, you can’t help but nag. I do it too – it just helps me vent my frustrations. Other times, it’s better to back off and take a different approach. You’ll be amazed at how much of a difference it makes.