When I want to get something, and the best way I know is to ask.  Asking is perceived as nagging when you ask more than once. You are a pain.  You can’t talk about anything else. What a drag you are. You make me feel bad about myself because you keep pointing out that I forgot. How dare you?

Would you please mow the lawn? Call the doctor? Empty the cat box?  Could you help me out by….” This is all the “right”language. Polite, persistent, reflecting what you want. Clear and specific.. All psychology appropriate.

Problem is, it doesn’t work.

The internal spirit of “you can’t make me” lives in all of us.

Right now I need something from my 20 year old daughter. She won’t give it to me.  It’s not emotional support, it’s not her favorite dress. It’a a password so I can fill out her financial aid forms.  A bit of information so that I can help HER.

Unfortunately, her behavior reminds me of my ex.  I ask and then if you don’t want to do it, you ignore it, forget it, whatever. This leaves me frustrated to the point of tears. She’s now risking her sister’s aid, because she won’t respond.  She’ll talk to me, and promise that she’ll give it to me, and then doesn’t.  I spin around, working SO HARD to get a response.

This IS my ex.  Or is it me?

My daughter is in New York. The means of asking have been email, text, phone messages. I nag in all forms of media and communication.

I’d go ahead and let her drop out due to lack of finances, or let her dad rescue her, which he may or may not do.  I just don’t think the younger should suffer what the oldest one deals out, or doesn’t deal out, I guess. My younger daughter says, in her usual way “Oh, she WILL do it”-emphasizing that her overwhelming force will make her sister act.  Sounds like I used to sound.

Just wait honey. If someone doesn’t want to do it, you cannot make them. They will work overtime to maintain control over what they will do.  They’ll show you, even if they have to cut off their right arm to do it.

I need to let disasters happen. I need to let the chips fall where they may. I need to give up. It’s so against my nature, but my part has been to create dysfunction through “taking care of it”, a common ailment among moms, nurses, doctors, therapists, and those who have taken away the impression, however misguided, that they can actually do something for others.

Not if they don’t want it



And by the way, all images of “nagging” on google are women nagging.  Men apparently don’t commit this awful sin.  Really?



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