Nitpicking is defined as looking at small or unimportant errors or defaults, especially in order to criticize unnecessarily.

This kind of fussy fault -finding can have negative effects on your relationship and if done on a regular basis, could create distance and tear away at the bond of your relationship.

Anyone who is in a relationship with a ‘nit-picker’ undoubtedly encounters this same level of frustration.

The ‘nit-picker’ generally mirrors this behavior pattern:

  1. Observance – the ‘nit-picker’ silently observes the behavior of ‘the nit-picked’, whether the ‘nit-picked’ be sweeping the floor or preparing dinner.
  2. Interference – The ‘nit-picker’ then notices some form of mistake in the ‘nit-picked’s’ action and immediately tells the ‘nit-picked’ what they are doing wrong.
  3. Instruction – The ‘nit-picker’ is adamant that their way is the right and best way, and that they have a better method for the ‘nit-picked’ to use.

Recognizing yourself as the ‘nit-picker” is the crucial first step in improving yourself and eradicating the habit.

(Note to the ‘nit-picker’: these tips aren’t intended for situations of productive, constructive criticism or assistance, but are strictly meant for nit-picking situations.)

Here is relationship advice on how to manage the urge to nit-pick your partner:

  • Firstly, learn to separate the necessary and the inconsequential, and try not focusing on the little things.
  • Divert your attention– if your partner is doing something that bothers you, but is ultimately harmless, don’t watch. Ignore it and distract yourself with an activity or task.
  • Consider whether comments that might upset and annoy your partner are the solution to your frustration– Acknowledge that your partner’s way of doing something works for them, even if it isn’t exactly “your way.”

It may not be easy to be aware of when you are ‘nit-picking,’ but ask yourself the question in each situation and if you  answer ‘yes,’ then you know that you’re ‘nit-picking’.

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