Nagging and Project Management

In business, we practice the project management principle called “Management by Exception”. Someone is given a task, as well as the freedom to execute. As long as the task is delivered as at when due and is done well, he/she continues to enjoy latitude.

Sometimes, what we call “nagging” in relationships is a pointer to project management failure. Especially, when it is done by a person who doesn’t have a predisposition to it. So, when it occurs, it is often a pointer to consistently missed deadlines, broken promises and loosely held integrity by the one who is being nagged.

In business, the result is excessive micro-management, when the party is crucial to the relationship. However, when the cost of such micro-management becomes too high, the party is either retired or relegated into irrelevance.

Relationships are not like business, thankfully. Nonetheless, those we cannot fire, we nag. The alternative is to give up on them for peace sake. The problem does not go away. Someone simply sacrifices to keep the peace.

In relationships, some people are ill-equipped to bring out the best in others. Some are not blessed with patience or diplomacy. I guess that’s why it’s so important to have complementary personalities to minimise clashes. By the time nagging becomes prevalent in a relationship, two things have become entrenched  – bad communication and a breakdown of responsibility.

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