If you ask many men what their worst pet peeve is when it comes to their partner, I am willing to bet that a vast majority would say ’nagging’.
Nagging, according to dictionary.com, is when you “annoy by persistent faultfinding, complaints or demands.”
However, in the female dictionary, nagging is considered “constantly reminding your partner about things he ought to do, or should have done, since this is the only way to get something done.”
Men complain about nagging, saying that women like to make a huge fuss about nothing, and that we like to yip-yap about simple things.
What they don’t understand is that the things they consider small are really major for us. Forgetting to pay the bills or flush the toilet may appear trivial but it has monumental implications. If you consistently fail to flush the toilet then it means more germs and that in turn means more disease, more medical bills, etc.
Forgetting to pay the electricity and water bills means darkness and lack of hygiene, which are unacceptable in this century.
We find it bizarre how men can keep accurate mental records of their team’s performance yet forget to pay for the roof over their family’s head.
It is even stranger how men go completely sourpuss when things do not go well for their teams but will not get it when we get upset about things that impact on their day-to-day life. Talk about misplaced priorities!
What really gets to us is how dismissive men become when faced with realistic reminders.
Some give you a blank stare which we interpret to mean that they consider us neurotic morons who should be sent to an asylum. Some slightly diplomatic ones promise to remedy the situation, only to show up day after day with the same task undone and the consequences looming ever more menacing.
The worst reaction is the one where men just walk out.
Some men take great offence to nagging body language, which usually comprises women standing hands akimbo and behaving like Sumo wrestlers.
The warrior-like nagging stance is because we need to fight the laid-back attitude and non-compliance that men exhibit when it comes to reminders.
Men like to complain that when women nag them in public or in the presence of their friends and family, they actually infringe upon the Male Bill of Rights.
We need to make them understand that public nagging is a last resort, usually borne out of frustration and despair. It is also premised on the fact that men usually hold their ‘boys’ in near deity status and spend a lot of time maintaining the best image possible in front of them.
We therefore hope that once our grievances are aired in the presence of such serious influencers and opinion shapers, then the men will comply and deal with the outstanding matter.
While we cannot deny that we do get a fair measure of perverse pleasure in nagging our men in public, it really is a question of desperate times calling for desperate measures. If only men would do what we need them to do first time around, we would not deploy this weapon.
Men have an issue with the vocal gymnastics which women employ when they are nagging. They are completely against how women raise their voices and acquire a rather unattractive shriek that goes on and on like a never-ending record.
In some instances, women get so consumed by their nagging that they throw in theatrics like crying, flinging objects and banging doors.
Men like to complain that they are not children so they do not like the ‘nagging voice’ that women use.
For us women, though, it really is simple: if you do adult things like paying bills when you are meant to pay them, then we will not feel the need to talk to you like children.
Granted, women are emotional creatures who sweat the small stuff and sometimes blow fuses over nothing.
However, nagging is a necessary evil as long as men adopt selective amnesia and blank stares instead of doing the right thing the first time around.