Tuesday, July 1, 2008

"Stop Nagging Me!"

Guys, if you have had your women repeatedly asking you to do things, so much so that you had to ask them to "stop nagging" you, here is an explanation for their "repeated requests" and our "repeated delays" in doing those tasks.
That women have been labeled "nags" may result from the interplay of men's and women's styles, whereby many women are inclined to do what is asked of them and many men are inclined to resist even the slightest hint that anyone, especially a woman, is telling them what to do. A woman will be inclined to repeat a request that doesn't get a response because she is convinced that her husband would do what she asks, if he only understood that she really wants him to do it. But a man who wants to avoid feeling that he is following orders may instinctively wait before doing what she asked, in order to imagine that he is doing it of his own free will. Nagging is the result, because each time she repeats the request, he again puts off fulfilling it. [31]
In her book, "You Just Don't Understand", the author, Deborah Tannen, suggests that we ought to treat the conversations between men and women as "cross-cultural conversations" because boys and girls grow up in different worlds. Getting educated on the other world is surely a much needed education, for me at least.

I do believe that women have been unfairly labeled as 'nags', and that we men have an important contribution to creating conditions that are conducive and provoke what we see as nagging. The above explanation by Tannen makes sense: it is how the dynamics between the two in the relationship play out that will determine whether 'nagging' will occur or not. Nagging, then, to a large extent, can be seen as co-constructed by both parties.

(Here's a link providing chapter summaries of the book mentioned above)

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