Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Be Nice More, Nag Less: Day 1

So yesterday was my first day of the 12 Commandments idea. If I had to give myself a grade, it would be a C.

Nagging is in my blood. My mother and grandmother before me pretty much mastered the characteristic to an art, so I'm having to go against both habit and blood (if such things can be attributed to heredity, which I think they can).

Last night, the moment Ryan walked in the door, I went to give him a kiss and a smile. I want him to feel good when he comes home. Atleast, that's my goal. I started to put away his lunch box and do my general follow-him-around-like-a-puppy routine (I work from home. This is standard.), and I tripped over one of two large containers that he'd taken out of the closets on Sunday and hadn't put away.

My instantaneous reaction would be to feel and act SUPREMELY ANNOYED, because I generally pick up after myself, so that kind of thing is "extra" irritating.

What I did was this:


"Babe, can you please--" (pause, as I scream in my head for a dramatic second because I'm supposed to BE NICE MORE, NAG LESS).

"I love you," I continued. "How was your day?"

Okay, so on the surface, I did well. But, honestly, my irritation was just barely contained. I can do better. Really, I can.

The rest of the night was generally rather mild, except for a few moments of defensiveness where I had to remind myself to BE NICE MORE. See, Ryan is my editor, and he's really good at it. Many nights we will sit on the couch, him playing a video game and me reading a chapter of my book to him. When he comments or asks questions, sometimes I get defensive, when I know I should just be thankful I have a husband willing to listen to my rewrites (and rewrites of those rewrites and rewrites of those rewrites) over and over again. He actually enjoys the process, so for me to be a jerk about him not understanding a paragraph is definitely something that I need to work on.

Today, I think I did okay, considering he's at work and I spent the first few hours of my day alone at the San Diego Museum of Art. I seriously love art museums. It's pure joy to me. I particularly love going by myself, because I like to read about the artists almost as much as I like to look at the art itself. I hate when I'm with someone who looks for a second and walks away. It drives me nuts.

Anywho, I did however have to work on my BE NICE MORE rule while I was at the market buying fresh produce. I was walking out to my car and I saw a political bumper sticker that REALLY made my blood boil. I really hate it when people have snarky political bumper stickers. I don't care even which side they are on. I cannot stand snarkiness. I had to really fight myself to not say hateful things in my head. Mission accomplished.

Today, lunch was light, very light, because I had an AMAZING cheese roll while I was at the market. They were fresh and smelled delicious. I couldn't resist. Serious caloric and filling, though, so all I had when I got home were some persian cucumbers sticks with lemon and sea salt. Yum.

Now, I need to get back to work. Have a nice, nag-free day!!! :)

**Survey Questions**

Are you a nag with your significant other? How do you keep yourself from nagging?
Do you have bumper stickers on your car?
Do you follow politics?
Do you have alot of opinions when it comes to politics?
Do you like to go to museums? What kind?

-----------------------For all of the 12 Commandments, click here.

To answer a question from yesterday...

"Spend Out" defined -- I took this phrase from The Happiness Project directly, but maybe a better term for it would be "Use it Up" or "Squeeze Out the Last Drop." Basically it means to "use up" your joy rather than saving things for a more special day or time that may never come. "Using up" spending means using the things you buy. How many times do we buy something and then put it on a shelf because we're afraid to "use it up" or to get it dirty? Or, how often do we rush around through our days just so we can "relax" later in the day or hurry the kids from one place to the next because we want to just get on with our day. We're probably all guilty of that "living for Friday" feeling. Life is always happening, even when you're running errands, even on a Tuesday afternoon. Yes, save time, save money, hurry if you must, but remember to wear that little black dress sometimes, dine on your best linens, and be happy it's a Tuesday night just for the sake of it, because you really can't bank on tomorrow.


  1. Yay for being nice! It really does take practice, it won't come naturally the first day, or even the second or third. But emotions follow thoughts so eventually you will actually be less annoyed at these things if you 'fake it to make it' :)

  2. I think it's really cool that you are trying to be aware of things and change. Not that you necessarily need to, but that's a huge thing few people do.

    Are you a nag with your significant other? No, very rarely.
    How do you keep yourself from nagging? I'm a pretty laid back person, and if I nag, he has a 100 things to nag me about.
    Do you have bumper stickers on your car? No
    Do you follow politics? yes
    Do you have alot of opinions when it comes to politics? Yes
    Do you like to go to museums? With my brother, because he's a smart cookie and can help me understand everything.

  3. Speaking of nagging...last night at yoga we were supposed to let go of something bothering us and I've been finding myself nagging a lot lately so I told myself that I wouldn't nag at my BF when I got home and he hadn't gotten dinner ready(assumption)...I came home and dinner was ready! Karma?

  4. I am a former nagger, and i was AWFUL. IT took a lot to quit...and now I think about how I hate being nagged every time I feel the need to (well did in the past relationship). Anymore my issue is thinking about myself in the situation first, or my feelings first..which isn't a good thing. Its good to recognize these things, you can work on them then :) Good article jazzy!


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