Ep.9 Give up nagging and have a Love Sandwich instead!

Tamra MerciecaPodcastLeave a Comment

Nagging never works. In fact, if you do it enough, you’ll simply be met with a fire-works display of disdain and negativity or maybe a cold shoulder.

So how do you get people to pick up their game? How do you lovingly encourage them to actually do what you’re asking of them? To take your advice on board?

You offer them a Love Sandwich.

In today’s episode of I Love Me The Podcast, I share how to make Love Sandwiches so effectively, you never have to nag again!

I’d like to start this episode with a question…

What is your first reaction when someone criticises you or your work?

Tries to offer you some advice, that essentially bags out what you’ve been doing?

Is it to put up a brick wall of defence, so impenetrable that you can no longer hear the negativity being thrown your way?

If so, you’re not alone.

No-one likes to be told what their doing isn’t good enough.

And no-one likes to have another person nagging them either.

If we’re being completely honest with each other, both being a nagger and being on the receiving end of the nagging, kinda sucks.

Nagging is not something we want to invite into any of our relationships, because.. well…

Nagging is fear-based.

We nag, because we don’t know what else to do.

We’re at our wits end, nothing seems to be working, so we nag.

Problem is…

If we nag, if we find fault with everything our partner does, these thoughts and feelings become vibrations that are sent out, and in turn, attract situations that will lead to more nagging.

You see, how we treat someone, is how we’re encouraging them to be.

So if we don’t see the good in a person, if all we see is how bad they’re being or what they’re supposedly doing ‘wrong’, then our nagging about this only encourages more of the same behaviour.

And this happens with our kids as well.

If someone is told ‘You’re bad’ or ‘You’ll never account to anything’ or ‘Why are you so unhelpful?’ enough times, that person will take on those words.

Those words will start to from a specific belief system for that person.

Or activate an already existing belief system.

And as you know from my previous episode Programmed for Love, the beliefs we have directly influence our behaviours.

So when we nag someone, when we focus on what they’re not doing right, we reinforce the behaviours we dislike.

It’s like we’re cementing them into place.

That’s why when we nag or put our loved ones down, their behaviours usually get worse, as opposed to getting better.

We are programming them to do more of what we don’t like.

This is why we should always praise our children, our friends, our colleagues, and our partner too, because in doing so, we reinforce their positive qualities.

But what if we need to offer the person feedback?


We sandwich the feedback in between two compliments.

Think about…

If someone just gave you a compliment, then you’d be more open to receiving the constructive criticism, right?

It’s like foreplay.

We’re more open to accepting someone into us, if they’ve given us a little intimacy first.

This is where I encourage you to employ the ‘Love Sandwich’ technique.

Because let’s face it, our children and our partner and the people around us, will do things that gives us the pits.

And this isn’t about turning a blind eye on that behaviour, or complimenting them when they’re misbehaving.

It’s about approaching the situation with a little more love.

So, let’s talk through the Love Sandwich now…

People LOVE compliments.

In fact, giving someone a compliment is a really easy way to build rapport.

And if you need to offer someone some constructive criticism, then you really need to build rapport first.

Otherwise what you say, simply won’t be heard.

So you start the conversation with a compliment, such as:

‘I really love that you take the initiative to do the dishes when I don’t have time.’

This a real life example from my husband to me.

In praising my diligence in doing the dishes, my husband has laid the bottom layer of love down.

The bottom layer of the sandwich.

Next, we need to add the filling.

And instead off the feedback being problem-focused, we make it solution-focused.

‘I noticed that often there are still bits of food left on the plates sometimes after you’ve washed them. Perhaps it would help to rinse the dishes before you put them in the drying rack?’

Notice how my husband’s feedback wasn’t a criticism, but rather offering a solution.

Because remember, if the feedback bit of the sandwich is negative, it can reduce the person’s belief in themselves, making them more likely to repeat that problem.

And like I said, once you criticise someone, a wall goes up.

They switch off.

It’s like banging on someone’s proverbial door, but there’s no one home.

So… we’ve offered a compliment, we’ve delivered some healthy solution-focused feedback and now we’re ready to finish off our sandwich with another layer of praise, such as…

‘But thanks for helping out, I really appreciate it.’

And there you have a complete Love Sandwich.

This is a powerful tool we can use to offer the truth, but offer it through kindness.

There is this silly little myth – a cultural meme, so to speak – that tells us we need to be tough to get results.

But seriously, that rarely achieves the outcomes we want, and if it does, it sure doesn’t build rapport and trust.

We want to treat others the way we want to be treated.

And being met with love, being offered feedback inside a Love Sandwich, is not only kinder, but far more effective.


Because when you nag at someone or offer feedback by way of criticism, they switch off.

They hear you, but their ego comes out to play, and they’re not really interested in taking on what you have to say, because your nagging approach doesn’t feel good for them.

It’s not loving.

Yet when we open our conversation with something loving, recognising what the person is doing right, instantly that person feels good about themself, and in this loving heart-centred space you’ve just invited them into, they’re now open to receive the ‘feedback’ component – the middle of your Love Sandwich.

They’re listening.

And they’re listening in a way that allows them to fully register and understand what you’re saying.

Imagine you have a snail, and you want to talk to that snail..

First, you need to coax it out of its shell.

And it’s not going to come out if you’re being all scary-like.

If you’re putting it down.

If you’re making it feel ‘less than’.

The snail needs to feel safe, right!

And the way to help someone feel safe enough to come out of their protective shell, is to talk lovingly to them.

Once you’ve lovingly drawn them to you, they’re ready and available for you to lovingly offer some feedback.

Then just to make sure that the feedback sticks, and they don’t withdraw back into their shell again, you offer them a little more love.

For you can never give someone too much love.

Then your Love Sandwich is complete.

This week I invite you to serve up some Love Sandwiches.

Start taking this approach, and you’ll see a huge difference in how your feedback is received and then actioned.

And yes, this approach does take a little more time than nagging.

It also takes a little more thought on your behalf.

A little more willingness to consider that actually this person you’re addressing does have some positive qualities and does contribute to the family or workplace in a positive way.

People like to know you value them and see their strengths.

So why not tell them!

And while you’ll invest a little more time in delivering the Love Sandwich than you would if you’ve just nagged, you won’t have to keep repeating yourself like a broken record, because your child or your partner, or whoever you just offered the Love Sandwich too, will be far more likely to adopt the suggestion you offered them.

Not only that, you’ll enjoy a far more positive relationship with that person.

And with practise, you’ll get super good at serving up Love Sandwiches, so much so, that it will simply become the way you share your feedback

Because when we practise something – yes it feels a bit awkward at first – but the more we do it, the better we get.

So whenever you feel the need to nag or criticise, think about how you could present that person with a Love Sandwich instead.

Trust me.

After a few bites, they’ll soon become your preferred way of communicating.

Because you’ll just love how your relationships completely transform for the better.

OK, so what are we exploring next week?


Why we do it.

And how to avoid it.

Yes, I’ll be teaching you the one thing you need to look out for so you know your inner saboteur, is on the prowl.

More on that next week.

For now, tuck into some Love Sandwiches, and if you feel soo called, I’d love if you left a short review or rating, to help others know where they can get simple, inspiring lessons in self-love.

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