Sunday, 12 July 2009

Mind your own business!!!

"There is so much good in the worst of us,
And so much bad in the best of us,
That it hardly becomes any of us,
To talk about the rest of us"
Edward Wallis Hoch

"It is just as cowardly to judge an absent person as it is wicked to strike a defenceless one. Only the ignorant and narrow minded gossip for they speak of persons instead of things"
Lawrence G. Lovasik

I've had enough of nosey people to last me a lifetime! It's not so much nosey people. They're just irritating. It's nasty, nosey people. I am used to this particular breed of person having been brought up in a small village where everybody knows everyone else's business. And if they don't they make it up anyway. Two and two makes five, you get the gist. Even now when I walk through the place where I grew up I can still feel suffocated. I can't help but notice the twitching curtains and hushed whispers. I used to think I was just being paranoid but even as a grown woman I still sometimes feel like I'm trapped in "The Trueman Show".
I remember feeling like I was breathing fresh air for the first time when I left home and moved to the big city. Life was anonymous. Nobody cared what time you came home or who you had in for coffee. It was so refreshing. Despite the geographical move it soon emerged that it was still impossible to escape the small minded people who, for some reason still found my life a source of curiosity. I have no idea why. It wasn't what they said, it was the way they said it.
"I see Hazel's at University now" was said in a way that implied something sordid or mysterious, with a raised eyebrow, suspicious nod and pursed lips - (Les Dawsonesque)
And when I became a single mum I think I kept the Post Office in gossip for at least a week. Until something more scandalous happened to some other poor unsuspecting victim. Nothing travels faster than light, with the possible exception of gossip in a small village. What's the saying? "A rumour without a leg to stand on will get around some other way"
Frequent intrusive questions are very frustrating. They're even more frustrating if they are directed behind your back at the people you care about because the noseybonks in question haven't got the guts to ask you what they want to know to your face.

Nosy people are notorious for asking questions to gather information, inspire a creative insult or to invent an occasion where they'll have some spicy news to share with their cronies. Some people give nosey people the benefit of the doubt and insist they are simply trying to connect and make conversation. Others excuse a nosy person's behavior by suggesting that nosy people are lonely. However, there are occasions when certain questions are seriously intrusive. Privacy is important to me. I am an intensely private person and only choose to share certain parts of my life with those people I truly trust. We all have things we would rather keep to ourselves or share only with with the special people in our lives. Certainly no one should have to tolerate questions that are annoying and unproductive. Rude behavior is a challenge. If inappropriate questions make you uncomfortable, employing techniques designed to help you communicate with a nosy person can help take measures to protect your privacy and peace of mind. Here are my top tips.

It is not your job to educate or enlighten people about their rude behavior
It is your job to notice when a person's line of questioning makes you feel uncomfortable. If you need to express your discomfort, share that you tend to be a private person and advise the individual that their question is inappropriate. If the response is anger, simply remember that rudeness is something a person has to work out on their own. You can't change people but you can change how you deal with them.

• Wear them out
Let them try to pump out the information they want while you share vague replies.

• Let your facial expressions do the talking
Often, one death stare is worth a thousand words.

• Keep your blood-pressure low
If you get angry, they have already managed to get under your skin. Easier said than done, I know!

• Redirect the conversation to a less personal topic
I always find "What nice weather we've been having recently, don't you think" works wonders for changing the subject, especially if it's been raining for the past week.

Without wishing to sound pessimistic I am just so sick and tired of negative, destructive behaviour. I know people don't ask about me because they are interested in my welfare or well being. They are simply prying and it's not on. Even something as positive as my writing a novel and getting it published doesn't always get the response it should.
"A book? How did she manage that? She must have had a lot of spare time on her hands"
Well, for your information (not that you deserve any) I utilised the small amount of time I did have as a single mum with a small baby. I grabbed any moment I could to write and to try and pull myself from a hole that would have been very easy to have stayed inside. It was hard work and my success did not come easy. I happen to think it is worth celebrating so don't even try to pull me down. I'm tired of people who have been so stuck in their ways of thinking for so long they can't see any other way to be but unconstructive and bitter. People who have nothing better to do than to concern themselves with the lives of others. Small minded individuals who make judgements about people based on the juicy wee snippets of tittle-tattle they hear at the bus stop or at the church coffee morning, where the philosophy is, "if you haven't got anything nice to say about somebody, come and sit next to me". A bit of advice for you. Minds are like parachutes. They're only useful when they're open. I am sick of irritating people who think they know you because they've heard one side of a very complicated story. Three words for you - Get -A - Life.
I am vexed that a couple of intolerant, narrow minded individuals have once again wormed their way under my skin and made me feel like this. I simply haven't got space for it in my life any more. I have met so many wonderful people over the last wee while who lift me up and leave me feeling like I'm floating on cloud nine. I have very good friends who do the same, who celebrate my successes and know when not to pry. I make a point in only surrounding myself with positive people now. I have absolutely no time for people who are like the "Dementors" from the Harry Potter stories - who seem to want to suck the happiness from you and sabotage your joy at ever opportunity. If those people in mind are reading this blog now then they will no doubt have enough information about me to keep them going for another wee while. And if you are reading this, a wee message for you - what you don't see with your eyes, don't witness with your mouth. Oh and mind your own business!

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