a checklist of antinagging techniques.

I thought of you when I read this quote from “The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun” by Gretchen Rubin –

“To make it easier to quit nagging, I made myself a checklist of antinagging techniques. First, because it’s annoying to hear a hectoring voice, I found ways for us to suggest tasks without talking; when I put an envelope on the floor by the front door, Jamie knew he was supposed to mail it on his way to work. I limited myself to a one-word reminder. Instead of barking out, “Now remember, you promised to figure out what’s wrong with the video camera before we go to the park!”I just said, “Camera!”as Jamie got up from lunch. I reminded myself that tasks didn’t need to be done according to my schedule. I had to fight the urge to nag Jamie to retrieve the play slide from our basement storage, because once I decided Eleanor would enjoy it, I wanted it brought up immediately. But it wasn’t really urgent. 

I did give myself credit for not indulging in the popular “It’s for your own good”variety of nagging. I never bugged Jamie about taking an umbrella, eating breakfast, or going to the dentist. Although some people think that that kind of nagging shows love, I think that an adult should be able to decide whether or not to wear a sweater without interference from others.

 The most obvious (and least appealing) antinagging technique, of course, was to do a task myself. Why did I get to decree that it was Jamie’s responsibility to make sure we had plenty of cash on hand? Once I took over the job, we always had cash, and I was much happier. And when Jamie did a task, I didn’t allow myself to carp from the sidelines. I thought he paid too much when he bought the replacement for the dud video camera, but it was his decision to make in his own way.”

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