Do You Feel Like A Broken Record?

© thegospelcoalition.org

© thegospelcoalition.org

Often in our relationships, we remind our partners to not be late, to call us, to spend time with us, etc. It’s like a broken record. We’re constantly nagging them and they are perpetually not learning.

You may feel frustrated and blue in the face from repeating yourself, so why not try a new strategy? You feel your requests to your partners and friends are quite simple, (e.g. move your dish two inches to the right and into the dishwasher rather than leaving it on the counter).

You may often get upset at these mistakes, and begin to point out the errors and ask for answers. “Why aren’t you taking the time to text?” “Why aren’t you double-checking your work before you send it to me?” These are negative tactics that make the mistake-doer feel bad and irritated. And you are left feeling like an exhausted broken record.

Instead of using negative tactics, what if you said nothing? In general, people don’t want to be judged and feel under the microscope. Most people feel bad after making a mistake but sometimes when you point out the mistake, the person is distracted by being criticized and has no time to actually reflect on the mistake. When you nag them, they tune you out, get irritated and don’t feel remorse. However, if you point out their wrongdoings in a polite manner and leave it at that, it allows them to reflect on their slip-ups and genuinely feel sorry about their actions. This is where change can happen.

© thoughtsbringactions.com

© thoughtsbringactions.com

We need to do less so that our partners, friends and colleagues can use their internal voice to discipline themselves instead of us telling them to do so. This encourages those who make mistakes to learn and start parenting themselves. We should allow their competence to guide them instead of our broken records. It’s much less exhausting and you will have a more enjoyable relationship.

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3 Responses to Do You Feel Like A Broken Record?

  1. deborah says:

    I’d like to read the next version to this article, to see if the recommendations actually work. In a marriage where the husband sees his wife as a replacement for his mother I am not so sure this would work. How many wives come home from a long day at work and find their husbands fixated on the television with their feet up? And as soon as the door shuts the husband is asking :what’s for supper’?I have my doubts that this would work in all relationships. The earlier the recommendation is put in place perhaps there will be a happy ending. One can only hope for the one in a million husband who is willing to pitch in and help with the children he helped create, put a load of laundry in the washing machine or start supper. How many men do not know how to use the washer and dryer or where the vaccum is? The old beliefs that house work women’s work is long gone. With both working all chores require a division of 50/50. Of course the ideal situation would be to hire a cook and house cleaner, oh wait! a maid and nanny. Now there is an idea!

    • Nicole says:

      Hi Deborah,

      I definitely agree with the notion that the earlier this is addressed the more likely one is to learn. It’s probably best to mention it to the person once and not address it again until they do it. IE ask your partner to put their dishes in the washer and not say it again until they do it and most importantly to wait until they do it and not do it yourself. Also remember to thank your partner when they do what you’ve asked them!

  2. deborah says:

    One can only hope!
    again communication is key. I really think and I would advise anyone getting married to go to counselling. The ideal wedding gift for a couple getting married would be for parents of both parties to pay for counselling. Some churches also provide marriage counselling. It opens communication, allows for identification of current and upcoming issues i.e. financially, expectations, integration of family etc. It is great to have ideas and tools when things are not going well. And having these tools lessens the stress that often ends marriages.
    There’s no gurantee that counselling works but it is worth the investment. AND no one says counselling has to end.

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