The real reason women nag

by rodney on September 23, 2013

why women nagThis weekend, I attended a workshop on the Gold Coast. During this workshop, I did a presentation to the women of the group on how not to nag men. While the blokes thought this was a presentation that was long overdue, it sparked a robust discussion with the women in the group during which it became clear to everyone, the real reason why women nag.

At first, the response was defensive, “if he just did this or did that, I wouldn’t have to nag”.

It was then highlighted that the attitude of “if men did as they were told, everything would be ok” is counter- productive.  This attitude causes men to put up resistance and even rebellion, men simply will just ignore what is being said.

It is this type of interaction that causes most arguments in relationships.

The discussion then peeled off more layers. The women in the group giving further insights into what they were thinking revealed that they nagged because there was a need that was not being met. Because men didn’t intuitively know that there was an unmet need, the women became resentful of the men because they interpreted this to mean that he doesn’t care, he doesn’t love me.

Even though this was a breakthrough, this is still not the real reason why women nag.

The real reason is ineffective communication.

Because women are not effectively communicating that there is an unmet need, men are unaware. This then causes women to believe that he doesn’t care, which produces a negative emotional response. This effects our behaviour, i.e. causes someone to nag. The nagging then causes resentment i.e. a negative emotional response which causes resistance. Whenever we have force meeting resistance in a relationship, conflict ensues.

All we need to do is change just 1 thing in that sequence and we can get better positive results.

Here’s a few things both men and women can do to change that sequence.


  • Understand that when there is nagging or an emotional response of any kind, there is more to the story. Ask a few questions to find out what that story is so then you can have a discussion on how to effectively end the story.
  • Instead using resistance when you feel you are being nagged, use assertiveness. Simply state that you feel that you are being nagged, which is an unacceptable way to give a message and invite a discussion on how both your needs can be met.


  • From the beginning, enter into a discussion and make it clear that you have an unmet need. If you offer the unmet as a problem, men being the natural problem solvers they are, are more likely to help find a resolution.
  • Change the story you’re telling yourself. Just because he won’t do this, it doesn’t mean that he doesn’t love you. It may mean that he doesn’t have the same need. Changing this story will change the negative emotional reaction you’re having that is causing this nagging.

At the end of the day, it’s all about changing your current paradigm and changing the way you communicate. Understand that relationships are about meeting the needs of both partners. If you need to change the way you communicate in your relationships, consider professional counselling.


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