looking for a word to describe a conversation that seems like one side hassling the other to do something even though that wasn't the intention.

the word I made up on the spot was "hassly"

I'm acknowledging that you think it is a hassle. but I want to know how to change things so it's not.

  • It seems like a form of passive aggression. This is a psychological defense mechanism used by the aggressor to get their way by being negative and contrary. It is ego syntonic, meaning the aggressor is mostly unaware they are acting in such a way ("I wasn't trying to tick you off"). It is not a hassling per se, but the end result is the same.
    – Stu W
    Commented Feb 23, 2016 at 0:17
  • How ’bout hostile Sorry if the conversation became hostile- that was not my intention.
    – Jim
    Commented Feb 23, 2016 at 0:36
  • "I'm sorry if the conversation has become such a hassle"
    – Mitch
    Commented Feb 23, 2016 at 3:45
  • @Mitch- I think that means something else. “become such a hassle” means bothersome, OP, I think, is asking about a conversation that becomes confrontational- i. e. One participant starts hassling (giving a hard time to) another.
    – Jim
    Commented Feb 23, 2016 at 20:39

2 Answers 2


Nagging was the first word that came to mind. Bugging has a very similar meaning as well and could be used alternatively.

Pestering, hassling and harassing have similar meanings. Pestering is more of a mild annoyance rather than harassing, which implies a more aggressive manner.

Pestering: "trouble or annoy (someone) with frequent or persistent requests or interruptions".

Harassing: "subject to aggressive pressure or intimidation".

Nagging: "harass (someone) constantly to do something that they are averse to".

When someone is being pestered, they might say "Get off my ass" or "Get out of my ass" or "Get off my case" which all mean, in simple terms, "Leave me alone" or "Stop nagging me".

So the phrase getting on someone's ass could mean nagging them about something, although this typically implies pressuring or urging them to do something. Harassing would be a better definition in this case.


A bothering person/conversation.

"Bother" definition: to give trouble to; annoy; pester; worry, as in " His baby sister bothered him for candy".

For example: How to block a specific person in a chat group? Naturally, the bothering person is not on my contacts list and never will be.

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