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Nagging Vs. Reminding In A Relationship

Let’s take a closer look at these two definitions per the Webster Dictionary:

Nagging — to annoy (someone) with repeated questions, requests, or orders.

Reminding — to cause (someone) to remember something.

Have you ever been accused of nagging when really all you’re doing is reminding your partner of a task you know he/she will forget to do? It’s okay, no judgment here! It happens all the time at our house.

Based on the definitions, it’s considered nagging when:
  • ‍Your partner knows exactly what you are about to say since it’s been repeated over a thousand times.
  • ‍Your partner starts to tune you out and gives you a blank stare.
  • ‍ Phrases like “you never” or “you always” are included in your sentence.
It’s considered reminding when:
  • ‍Your partner forgets important dates and tasks.
  • ‍There is no specific repetitive pattern associated with it.
  • ‍It comes from a good place without any negative or sarcastic intentions.

A couple of months ago, a conversation arose at work about this very topic and something my colleague mentioned really hit home for me- She used creative ways to remind her husband of specific tasks he had been pushing aside for weeks. I never tried that before, have you?

In my opinion, telling Bini over and over again was reminding him enough. He called it nagging but still forgot so I continued to do it my way. No one seems to think their way is ever wrong right? We are all so quick to blame someone else for mistakes we played a huge role in. Take our situation, for example, Bini once requested all events or tasks for him be placed on our shared calendar and of course I never did it. Stuck in my ways, I continued to remind him over and over again, and he continued to forget. At some point, I started to take offense, and we began to fight. I was making him wrong instead of seeing my part in the problem.

What I failed to see was that my method was actually wrong.  It took years of arguing with him and only one conversation with my colleague for me to see that (sad I know).

I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s made this mistake in my relationship. There are so many different methods available to remind someone of something important, if you want something done, try asking in a format that your partner will understand.

Here are some creative ideas on how to remind him/her of essential tasks or dates:

1. Add it to their calendar

Google Calendar works wonders. I love the shared calendar concept with all the color coding. It’s easy to access, schedule meetings and share with anyone you choose. Also, you can set alarm reminders which I love the most.

2. Leave them funny messages

We are big on SHMILY notes at our house. It’s taking a chance, but I started leaving little written notes in his wallet, pockets, and car and/or with his secretary. There have been times when he found the note after the fact, but on the offset that he sees it before hand, it makes him smile and reminds him of what he needs to do.

3. Add a reminder on their phone

For all the couples that do not use shared calendars. Adding an alarm reminder on his/her phone is perfect and gets the job done for you.

Hope this helps you or someone you know. As always, I’d love to hear from you. How do you remind your partner of essential family tasks/dates? Please leave your feedback in the comments section below.

Until Next Week.


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