Notes Book


If you don't read this article all the way to the end, I will nag you until you do.

Now that I have achieved a captive audience, of sorts, I apologize for the above libertarian crime of initiating force or fraud. Obviously, I have no means of carrying out the above threat which makes it fraud. Or if I did have such a capability, I would only consider it honorable to actually nag someone if you have their permission to nag, or if you are doing it in order to re-balance negative energy from some prior transaction, as in bill collecting. Nagging someone who doesn't wish to be nagged is at least rude and stupid, if not criminal.

But it also seems sensible that almost all long-term relationships are between people who have granted each other the right to nag. Obviously, if someone is nagging you, you have the right to nag back.

Behavior modification is the scientific term for nagging, by the way. It is sort of a discussion of the best nagging strategies.

The most effective nagging strategy is the one that gets the results you want with the minimum amount of conflict with the nagee.

One might think that just minimizing the number of nags would lead to minimum conflict with the nagee. But that doesn't seem to the case. Trying to minimize the number of nags while still achieving the result you want means that you have to move the nagee's position on an issue closer to your own by a greater amount for each nag.

It might be that the difference between a nag and an argument is the amount of time spent talking about a subject where the participants have conflicting views.

I believe that a larger number of pleasant, polite, and humorous short nags is a much better strategy. Arguments cause relationships to be terminated. If you have decided that the relationship needs to be terminated, that is another subject for another day, but letting a nag turn into an argument is not a good way to end a relationship.

Passive-aggressive is a way to describe the short, intense nag strategy. Perhaps there is a reason the term has a negative connotation.

A reasonable amount of light nagging, however, is the glue that holds stable long-term relationships together. Nagging provides an effective feedback mechanism between members of a group that gradually adapts everyone's behavior toward a model that is efficient and pleasant and functional.

A good citizen is a responsible and effective nagger, and also a responsive and sympathetic nagee.