I’ve been working hard to stop nagging. I’ve thought a lot about nagging, and how to cut down on nagging, because nagging is unpleasant for me, unpleasant for the Big Man – and furthermore, it doesn’t even work.
I’ve recently had the chance to practice not nagging.
Each year, instead of sending out holiday cards in December, I send out family Valentine’s Day cards, because December is such a crazy time.
Even apart from procuring a fabulous photo of the girls and ordering the cards, sending them out takes a lot of grunt work: stuffing, sealing, stamping, and addressing. (Though this year, for the first time, I’m using printed address labels instead of handwriting them – handwriting is nicer, but just too much work.) Our cards arrived about ten days ago, so the task looms.
For Christmas, my sister gave the Big Man a DVD set of Season Three of the TV show Lost. He and I have slowly been watching the episodes.
The other night, as we settled in on the sofa to watch, I got out the stacks of untouched envelopes and cards and asked, “Would you like to stuff or seal?”
He gave me a sad look and said, “Please don’t make me.”
And I DIDN’T. I let it go. I didn’t say another word.
Last night, we settled in again. I took out stacks of envelopes and cards. And this time, I DIDN’T even ASK.
I didn’t really care about doing it myself. It wasn’t hard, and I could do it while watching TV. Zoikes, it was a relief and a pleasure just to do the work myself, and let it go, than to feel myself nagging.
Maybe that doesn’t seem like a “fair” outcome.
I used to have a self-congratulatory habit, when I did something nice for our household like sending out Valentine’s cards, of telling myself, “I’m doing this for the Big Man,” or “I’m doing this for the team.”
Then I’d be angry if no one oohed and aahed over what I’d done. Or if no one helped.
Now, however, I tell myself, “I’m doing this for myself. This is what I want.” I want to send out Valentine’s cards.
This sounds like a selfish attitude, but in fact, it’s less selfish, because it means I don’t expect praise or help from anyone else.
I can do the Valentine’s cards, and be pleased, and not nag, and not feel resentful. A happy solution.
I LOVE before-and-after de-cluttering pictures, especially when they involve the application of Happiness Project principles. This blogger on The Reshaping Project got great results in just thirty minutes. Inspiring.
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