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Nitpicking in Relationships: Tips and Rules for Obviation

No loving couple can avoid disagreements in a relationship, and not a single person can resist an impulse to nitpick a partner for doing something wrong. Some people are annoyed by the lights left in the bathroom; others get angry because of the excessive talkativeness or wastefulness of a loved one. While this is about trifles, and a nitpicker and defendant reverse roles, there is nothing wrong with their relations. But when vexations turn into endless quarrels, relationships fail. Therefore, it is important to be able to define nitpicking and know how to stop it in a relationship. But first, let's take a look at the nitpicking definition and find out some interesting facts about the psychology of nitpicking.

nitpicking meaning

Origin and meaning of nitpicking in relationships

What is nitpicking? Nitpicking, essentially, is a rebuke, a remark, an accusation made for no good reason. This implies a demonstration of one’s own dissatisfaction with the actions of another person. In other words, nitpicking is an emotional beating that leaves bruises and scars not on the body but on the soul of a person. This is a manifestation of malice through ill-hidden aggression. Nitpicking is one of the means to show one’s own importance and superiority, draw the attention of a loved one, and manipulate a partner. In fact, this is the desire to change another person without ever changing oneself.

What does nitpick mean? The very phrase “nitpicking” dates back to the 12th century and comes from the act of removing tiny nits’ eggs from someone’s hair or clothing. The fact is that when nits lay their eggs on hair, it is very tiring to pick them off because they stick to separate strands of hair. Such a task takes a lot of time and effort and requires close attention to details. Interestingly, the figurative nitpicking meaning is modern – it was first recorded in the Oxford English Dictionary only in 1951 in the form of the word “nitpicker”. So, figuratively, the term “nitpicker” relates to someone who is extremely concerned over trifles and just tries to find flaws in everything.

The main reasons for nitpicking in a relationship

A lot of loving couples face such a situation: a relationship is harmonious for quite a long time, and both partners are completely satisfied with it. They spend a lot of time together and come up with home date night ideas. But then, for no apparent reason, one of the partners begins to nitpick a beloved one over every little thing. Why do people nitpick? Psychologists distinguish the following reasons:

1. Childhood issues

The roots of nitpicking are often hidden in childhood. It can be said that nitpicking is a “hereditary disease”. For example, if the parents constantly communicate with each other in the language of vexations, a child’s subconscious mind perceives all these examples of nitpicking as a behavioral norm and in the future, helpfully palms off nitpicking for psychological attacks on other people. Thus, the acquired “family tradition” becomes a behavior pattern in the future relationships of the child.

2. Shifting responsibility to a partner for preserving self-esteem

As they say, an attack is the best form of defense. So, in order to shift the fault from themselves, nitpickers often put blame on their loved ones. Although in truth, a part of the blame always lies with both partners. But nitpickers do not want to plead guilty. Consequently, they attach labels on their loved ones just to remain squeaky-clean. At the same time, psychologists note that the ever-dissatisfied partners blame literally everyone for their own failures and always pretend to be a “victim of circumstances”. Such an approach to life deprives a person of any relationships, including romantic ones and even simple communication with single women online.

3. Character features

Often, the reasons for nitpicking in a relationship are hidden in the character of a nitpicker. Simply put, there are some people who enjoy the suffering and torment of another person. Thus, they nourish their own inferiority complex, trying to assert themselves at somebody else's expense. When experiencing nitpicking, a victim suffers from overwhelming negative emotions and feels exhausted and lost, and a nitpicker just cheers oneself up with this energy and rubs the hands with satisfaction. The next time nitpicking partners want to “revive themselves,” they cause guilty feelings in their loved ones again.nitpicking definition

Are there any positive aspects of nitpicking?

Unlike well-argued remarks and constructive criticisms, nitpicking does not have any positive aspects for resolving conflicts in a relationship. When nitpicking becomes a habit, an individual resorting to this type of behavior no longer considers it to be something bad and hurtful. But, in fact, nitpicking is a form of psychological and emotional abuse. Relationships affected by the habit of nitpicking become unbearable for both partners. And this is not surprising! After all, regular nitpicking deprives freedom of choice, destroys self-esteem, and leads to the formation of a constant sense of guilt in a victim for no apparent reason. In short, nitpicking turns human relationships into psychological slavery. The only way you can mitigate nitpicking is to take it literally. That is, try to discuss things that make you angry or annoy in a loved one when grooming the partner and stroking the hair or skin of your beloved. Your loved one will be relaxed and will not feel any aggression on your part. Thus, you will get an opportunity to fix relationship problems without provoking conflicts and resentments.

Nitpicking – how to live with it?

A healthy relationship consists of pleasant things: coffee in the morning, joint walks every Sunday, watching favorite movies in the arms of a loved one… Such small amenities make couples stronger. But nitpicking quietly undermines relationships and gradually destroys them. So, you should know some useful tips on how to stop nitpicking in a relationship.

1. Learn to give thanks to each other

Most women never say thanks to their men for working and providing for their families. Men, in turn, do not thank their beloved for tasty food, home comfort, and constant care. At some point in a relationship, couples begin to take these actions for granted. But when partners thank each other for the work and routine activities they perform day after day, this gives these actions special value. After all, this implies the care and responsibility that a partner assumes. Thus, expression of thanks can help to reduce nitpicking in a relationship.

2. Do not demand too much of a loved one

There is no need to ask a partner for what they cannot give you. If you entered into a relationship with a rational and serious-minded introvert, do not blame your beloved for the lack of activity and social engagement. Moreover, do not blame all your troubles on the partner and fault them for your feeling bad. Try to take responsibility for your own happiness and you will see a great improvement in the relationship with your loved one.

3. Work on your mistakes

If you decide to get rid of constant nitpicking against a beloved person, take note of the following recommendations. Write a list of the qualities that you value in a partner: good sense of humor, reliability, smartness, kindness, etc. Look at this list every day, especially at those times when a conflict is boiling up. This will bring you back to reality and help you to see the positive aspects of your relationship.

4. Learn to trust a partner

Feeling the trust and support of a loved one, a person is ready to move heaven and earth in order to achieve the desired goal. Therefore, let a partner do what they need without your help. Do not boss around and control your loved one, but let them make decisions and solve everything by themselves. Just believe that your beloved can handle it. And if you cannot trust the partner, why are you in a relationship with such a person?

5. Determine what you are lacking in a relationship

Admit honestly what you are lacking. At the same time, do not rush to say that you are not happy because "a partner...” It is better to start speaking with the words "I'm lacking... attention, care, gifts, sex, relaxation, help, etc”. Maybe this problem can be solved without nitpicking. Moreover, such a model of communication with a loved one is unlikely to bring positive results. Talk with a partner and voice your beloved that you engage in nitpicking because you are lacking something in the relationship and ask for their help. Thus, you give your loved one the freedom to do something for you and help you. You are only required to accept this. But remember that you should accept this help absolutely, without nitpicking and looking for a bunch of flaws.

6. Give yourself pleasure

Why do people quarrel? Because this is one of the ways they get emotions. After all, the human brain does not distinguish what kind of emotions a person experiences – positive or negative. And usually, it is much easier to get the negative ones. As soon as you want to start nitpicking again, say “stop” and do something nice for yourself. Take a bath, make tea, have your nails done, eat chocolate, and so on. Remember the most relaxed state you have ever had and try to reach it. For example, imagine how you feel after sexual intimacy with a loved one – you do not want to nitpick your partner, do you? If you decide to stop nitpicking, you should turn to positive images and learn to enjoy pleasant moments spent with your partner!define nitpicking

7. Learn to accept the view of a loved one

If a partner does not think the same way you do, this does not mean that they are wrong. Many people think that they know everything better than anyone else in the world. You should develop tolerance and accept other people as they are. Learn to respect each other's opinions and beliefs. Ask yourself why a partner’s viewpoint annoys you so much. Thinking over it, you can sort out your feelings, find the reasons for your hostility to the opposite opinion, and finally, stop nitpicking.

8. Do not generalize

How often do you exclaim “Well, how typical!” when a partner forgets to buy bread (or fulfill your another small request)? It is these reproaches that cause guilt and hurt a person you love. Try not to associate what is happening here and now with all the problems accumulated over the years of life together. Do not speak with a loved one the language of claims and reproaches, instead, try to switch to "I-statements". That is, start sentences with the words “it seems to me”, “in my opinion”, “I think” – this greatly reduces the degree of a possible conflict.

9. Do not be categorical

The more pressure you put on a partner with constant demands, the less they want to do something. It is better to choose a different approach if you really want to achieve a good result. Therefore, so as not to offend a loved one, do not say categorical and offensive phrases like "You don’t help me at all!", or "You don't give a damn about how I look!" It is better to say: “I find it difficult to cook and clean the apartment at the same time. Could you help me please? ” or “I love it so much when you compliment my appearance.”

10. Change your attitude to your beloved

When you humiliate a partner with continuous nitpicking, do you really hope that your beloved will change and start loving you more? “As you call a boat, so it will float” – do you remember this saying? So, call your boat the coolest and cultivate the best qualities in it! And it is possible that soon, you will become envious of yourself that you have such a partner. Psychologists say that a person is inclined to develop those qualities that others pay attention to. Therefore, if you tell your partner a hundred times that “they are all fingers and thumbs”, do not wonder that the shelf in the kitchen falls down again and again. No one changes by force. People can change only when they feel the true love and sincere support of a beloved. So, change your attitude to your partner and you will be surprised!

Is it worth break-up a relationship because of this?

Well, romantic relationships are kind of a complicated thing to describe. After all, love is an unpredictable and mind-blowing feeling that spurs people on to crazy actions and great deeds. And there are no perfect, conflictless relations. All loving couples face difficulties and disagreement, so a man and a woman should constantly work on their relations to make them truly strong, happy, and long-lasting. Nitpicking is not an enormous challenge that is worth the break-up of relationships. You still can fix the problem by following the above-mentioned tips and rules on how to overcome nitpicking. Respect a loved one and strive for the happiness of your relationships!

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