I think (I hope, at least!) it's inborn in most women. For some reason, I (we) think that by nagging people it will inspire change. What about a whiny, tired, voice delivering snarky, sarcastic comments do I think is going to actually make others want to alter something they are doing?
This morning I even tried nagging in a "thoughtful" way. Truly, there I was explaining ever so "nicely" why I was upset that the kitchen was a mess when I came down from the shower. And yet, there wasn't really anything nice about it at all. It was early in the morning, James had fed all three boys, made his lunch and was trying to get out the door for an early morning start at work.
(I did humbly make a phone call 15 minutes later to apologize, with no "buts.")
It got me to thinking. If someone was nagging me about a bad habit, or an action they wished me to take or change, you can bet I would just tune it right out. Or even if I was feeling somewhat empathetic, I might think about changing next time, but it probably wouldn't stick.
On the other hand, if someone complimented me when I did do something right, I would definitely be more likely to make a concerted effort to repeat that thing. Everyone likes compliments, and we often modify our behaviour to obtain words of favour and praise.
I know it. My brain knows it. It's just that darn nagging instinct. Seriously. Can I get that removed?
I guess it's just another weakness I'll have to learn to conquer.