Nagging is a particular form of unhappiness — for everyone involved.
Around the house, we’re often annoyed or disappointed when someone fails to meet our expectations — when, once again, our spouse is late, or the kids didn’t take out the garbage, or someone failed to help clean up, or wasn’t really listening while we were baring our soul, or doesn’t really “get” us.
Living with others is, in many ways, living in a constant state of unmet expectations.
I think we expect too much from our spouses these days. But that doesn’t mean it would always be better to lower our expectations so that we can feel happy or grateful when our spouse surprises us. If we lower the bar too much, especially for our spouses, how will any of our needs ever be met?
What else can we do?
We can develop constructive ways of responding when our needs aren’t being met by our spouses and our children — techniques that increase the odds that they will be met in the future. Read this post on my Greater Good blog for three alternatives to nagging — or harboring resentment — when your expectations aren’t met.