Continuing the recent crop of nagging articles over at Alpha Game: The Science of Nagging

However, the single most important thing that everyone should keep in mind is that if you care a great deal about something a) getting done, b) getting done in a particular way, and c) getting done to a specific standard,then you should do it yourself!

From the Comments:

Typical female solipsism:

When I got married I determined to NOT nag my husband. I would ask him to do something once and if he didn’t do it, I would do it myself. To be honest, I thought that this would “heap coals on his head.” Unfortunately it did not. I became very resentful that 1) he didn’t appreciate me for not nagging, 2) he didn’t feel appropriately bad that I was having to do the things I had asked him to do and 3) he interpreted my one request to be nagging. Sometimes you can’t win.


Men don’t appreciate women for not nagging in the same manner that women don’t appreciate men for not abusing them, or in the same way people don’t appreciate their neighbors for not stealing from them.


You can always identify the head of the household by watching who rewards and punishes whom (nagging, etc.).
Nagging is very simple in the abstract.
From the psychological perspective, it’s a mild form of punishment. If it’s a reasonable request, then it’s not nagging.

The genesis of nagging seems to be at the intersection of the desire for control lack of control over an outcome and a lack of respect for the person involved.  Desire for control over an outcome is not inherently a bad thing.  Responsible people need to have control over or some semblance of assurance that X is going to get done for innumerable daily tasks.  Teamwork, communication, and the interpersonal relationship undoubtedly play a huge role in preventing unnecessary reminders.  If you keep someone totally in the dark or are consistently unreliable, then additional reminders in order to effect the desired outcome becomes a more reasonable strategy of effecting a desired outcome.  How the additional reminders are presented can mean the difference in whether or not it is a nag.  Most forgetful husbands are grateful to their wives for timely and friendly reminders of say their forgotten soup that is on the kitchen stovetop about ready to become a vegetable burnt soup.

Disrespect for a husband can be born of a feminist misandry bent or from beta disgust.  Anecdotally it would appear that the more respect a woman has for her husband, the less she nags him.  Anyone have any data relating to this?

Not all desires for control over the outcome of a situations are created equally.  Most people know plenty of “control freaks”, which is really people freaking out because they don’t have total control.  I don’t think this is where most nagging arises from, but it certainly would not help matters.  The other end of the spectrum is probably an “innocent” form of insecurity like a mother worrying over a child’s 103F degree temperature.

In the middle, I think most desires for control over the outcome of the situation are driven by Captain and First Officer roles.  If you believe that you are ultimately responsible for something, then you should also desire control over the outcome.

Most of the game implications of this seem straightforward.


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