Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I usually tend to see the behavior in which someone takes an action, and people criticize, and even suggest what they should have done, yet when they take that same suggestion people still criticize.

For instance: I'm slim; when I eat with my family, everyone exclaims at the amount of food I'm eating. When I eat normally, they ask "Don't you know, you should eat more so you can grow better?" When I don't eat, the same shouting takes place. So in other words, is there a word I could use to describe them or their behavior in this regard?

share|improve this question
    
You may find that the appropriate word will vary depending upon whether the person complains over everything a particular person (in this case, you) does or over everything everyone does. Can you refine your question? –  Fortiter Nov 17 '12 at 9:11
add comment

7 Answers 7

up vote 3 down vote accepted

If the question is what to call the "behavior" of a nag or naysayer, I would suggest "hyper-critical" to be downright literal, but I would also consider calling this type "oppressive" in the sense that they weigh you down psychologically, or "overbearing" in the sense that they violate your comfort zone to criticize you.

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks, hypercritical is exceptionally useful. I think such behavior or people can be correctly described as hypercritical... –  Chibueze Opata Nov 17 '12 at 20:06
add comment

A fusspot is someone who often complains about unimportant things.

share|improve this answer
add comment

I prefer the expression carping to hyper-critical as it's more negative. A hyper-critical person could be interpreted as someone who is a perfectionist, acting in a demanding or exacting manner, whereas carping suggests someone who constantly complains, is never satisfied and finds fault in everything you do.

"Pedantic and hypercritical, meddlesome and fault-finding, he was a terror to the clerks under him, whom he worried in their work, enforcing the rules rigorously, and arriving himself with such terrible punctuality that not one of them dared to be a moment late."

"I judge a man by his actions with men, much more than by his declarations Godwards—When I find him to be envious, carping, spiteful, hating the successes of others, and complaining that the world has never done enough for him, I am apt to doubt whether his humility before God will atone for his want of manliness."

share|improve this answer
add comment

Complainer could be used in some context. Also an interesting word i think is Naysayer, you see it's made of nay+say+er. :)

share|improve this answer
add comment

I think the word you are looking for is Denigrate as in a sentence:

I didn't intend to denigrate his achievements.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Since you brought up family, I think the most appropriate words would be judgmental and nag. They judge your actions and then nag you about what you're doing wrong. Nag is probably more specific to the family dynamic.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Sometimes spaz is used to represent someone who reacts in an extreme way to any normal situation.

A worrywort is "a person who is inclined to worry unduly".

"neurotic" or "paranoid" would also be apt descriptors for persistent, excessive concern. Especially in the pop culture of marijuana use, someone 'acting paranoid' imagines worrisome scenarios to nearly every mundane situation.

share|improve this answer
add comment

protected by RegDwigнt Nov 19 '12 at 11:12

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality answers, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site.

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.