Here’s the deal. None of us are perfect. And sure, we all wish our boyfriend or husband would just take out the trash the first time we ask them. On the flip side, men wish their girlfriends or wives would simply stop nagging to take out the trash; he heard you the first time.
So does constant complaining and nagging actually help us get what we want in relationships? Absolutely not. In fact too much complaining and constant nagging are hurting your relationship (whether dating or married) more than you can imagine.
Here are 6 ways too much complaining can hurt your relationship and how you can fix it:
1. Stop living in the past.
This is . This is incredibly destructive and hurtful for anyone to grow into becoming a better person. If you’re going to bring up things, bring up the positive things. In fact research shows “Rewards can change individuals’ behavior and encourage cooperation without the destructive negative consequences that come with punishment.” according to David G. Rand, a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard’s Program for Evolutionary Dynamics.
2. Stop broadcasting your relationship
We all have problems, but a b*tchfest isn’t going to solve them. Venting to your girlfriends will make you feel better in the moment, but it’s important to remember it’s YOUR relationship, not theirs. Lastly, when was the last time you enjoyed someone talking about you and your personal life behind your back… never? Yeah, him neither.
3. Replace judgement with compassion
When you judge your boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife or partner, or anyone else for that matter, you are defining the person you are, not who they are. Take a second and rather than thinking negatively, think positively, about their intent. For example, when your husband or boyfriend doesn’t respond to your text, don’t assume “he’s ignoring my texts”, instead imagine all the GREAT reasons why he may not be responding. Maybe it’s because he was busy picking up a bouquet of flowers for you or looking up restaurants ideas for date night. Same goes for you guys, sure maybe our spending habits can get a little out of control. But did you ever thinking, our goal was not to run up bills, but instead to always look great for you. When we collectively work on removing any judgement and look to compassion when things don’t go our way, it opens our hearts to love that person more for who they are, not what terrible label we put on them.
4. Avoid using the phrases “always” and “never”
I’ve previously discussed how incredibly ineffective “always” and “never” are when giving feedback. They are such extreme words, that the second we hear them it discredits all that we are saying because there’s a good chance it’s not 100% true that we “always” or “never” do exactly what you are saying. Simply remove these words from your vocabulary if you want to see any successful change or positive shift in your relationship.
5. Be nice and playful
When we complain or nag, it doesn’t make your significant other feel good about themselves, period. The least we could do when we communicate problems or issues in our relationship is to be nice about it. Being playful or humorous works as well. The less we attack and the more we love, the more effective we are. Harsh words will only shut a person down, so warm them up instead to get the action or change you want. Be nice, be playful, have fun.
6. Present solutions, not problems
The main lesson here: ask with love, what is it you want or need. This is a great way to present (positive) solutions rather than (negative) problem. Don’t simply highlight all that is wrong or a laundry list of problems. Remember, you’re a team, work together to find solutions. If you’re having trouble communicating what it is you want or need, watch this video.
Here’s to a more loving, solution-oriented, happy and loving relationship!