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Fighting Over Dirty Dishes? Tips on How Not to be a Nag

Dirty Dishes
Flickr: Labrionnaise.

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Fighting Over Dirty Dishes? Tips on How Not to be a Nag

Dirty dishes are sitting in the sink and you’re ready to fight. Some tips on how not to be a nag.

Staring at that first load of dirty dishes in our new place, I promised myself to not become the angry woman who wakes up her household to the sound of cabinet doors slamming and pots and pans clanging because she’s washing dishes she shouldn’t have to clean. Basically, I hoped I didn’t inherit the gene that made my mom sweat the small stuff – the Nagging Woman gene.

After a year of living with my boyfriend of almost four years, it’s safe to say that I, too, inherited the Nagging Woman gene. I’ve never been easily angered nor bothered by petty things so I thought I was in the clear, but apparently it was just dormant for twenty-three years. As days pass and I get to know myself more, I discover exactly what activates my crazy, Nagging Woman gene, and believe me it’s never anything petty!

Who wants to wake up to the load of dirty dishes he said he would clean the night before, or come home to find he never took out the trash? I sure don’t. Some days, I just take a deep breath and do it myself, completely unbothered. Other days, I’m just not havin’ it.

What do I do when that little voice inside my head starts cursing in Spanish, asking “Do I have to do everything myself?!” you might ask? Here are my tips on how to not be a nag.

Breathe. Dirty dishes should never make your blood boil. It will get done… eventually.

Walk away. When you feel like you’re about to start ranting about what he didn’t do as he watches Sports Center, take some time for yourself. Leave the house if you must.

PLUS: Be Self-First: How To Make Time for Yourself When Busy

Request. Once you’ve cooled down, practice the masculine art of requesting. Don’t let the fear of being called a nag make you ask indirectly. Be as direct as possible.

Compromise. Although your requests are simple and important to you, it’s always important to communicate and compromise.

Get it done. If all else fails, do it yourself! Just don’t complain as you do it. Not only will that make him want to do it less, it also makes you no fun to be around.

Being a woman isn’t easy. We work, we cook, we clean, we nurture, we love, and are still expected to be calm, cool and collected at all times. Let’s face it, a life time with a person isn’t always all rainbows and butterflies, but don’t let those small nuisances suck the life out of your relationship. Pick your battles! And if you find that you’re living with a slob who refuses to compromise, don’t waste years trying to mold him. His own mother couldn’t even do it.

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Giselle Tena

Giselle Tena is a 24 year old hopeful romantic and avid sunset gazer from Venice, California. A writer/journalist, Giselle is notorious for always having something to say. See how loud it is inside her head, as she shares her thoughts on love, life, and women's self-empowerment right here on


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