I’ve been that person, you’ve been that person, and sometimes we might find ourselves still being that person. It can be a tough spot to be in, if we put us there.
If you ask me, I think sticking our nose where it doesn’t belong is a part of growing up. It’s a part of the journey to a destination, if you will. But some people never learn. Whether we’re being nosy, or constantly thinking we are needed in situations where our absence is desired, it’s ultimately going to produce the same result.
I’m obviously speaking from experience.
I want to help people. Bottom line. Therefore, it’s burdened me to believe at one point in my life that making other people’s business my business was actually helpful to them, AND myself. That’s nothing but a delusion. A delusion that I want to help others to stop believing.
Here’s what being in people’s business will do for you…
Their Problem Becomes Your Problem
That’s right. You basically adopt the problem as your own. Once you’ve allowed yourself to become immersed in saturated negativity (most of the time), you leave the door open forever to be the shoulder to cry on and the ear to vent in.
I can recall a time when a classmate of mine in college, whom I hardly knew, was sobbing in class over her boyfriend. He had just broken up with her but continued to string her along. I made one grave mistake after asking her if she was okay.
I asked her if she wanted to talk about it.
Needless to say, by month four of our course, I was still hearing about said boyfriend in detail. Like, “Wow you should probably speak to a therapist,” detail.
After a few years passed, I was able to move on from that relationship, and yes that included deleting her from my Facebook after she began outing to the world that her “lying, cheating boyfriend was a sex addict who should marry the strip club since he loves it so much.”
You Get Caught in the Middle
If there is any commotion between two people you are close to, I highly suggest pleading the 5th amendment. There can’t be anything worse than picking sides and then once the two people make up, you’re still on the outs with one of them because you chose the other side.
That’s happened to me before and it not only makes things awkward with the person you joined forces with, it eventually pushes you to swallow your pride and grovel for forgiveness.
You Become Collateral Damage
Let’s just say that you do take a side in an issue that’s not yours to begin with, and those people go their separate ways. Do you know what that likely means for you?
You’re written off by default. I mean, at that point, you can’t be trusted by the other party. Do we blame them for writing you off, too? I sure as hell don’t. Who’s to say you wouldn’t stick your nose where it doesn’t belong again, and ultimately make the same mistake twice?
I’ve had friendships end because I was associated with speaking about an issue that wasn’t mine to begin with. But because I entertained it and “gossiped” about it, I fully agree that the cutoff was warranted.
You Become Labeled
The more you’re known for getting into issues that are none of your business, you get stuck with a label. What’s that saying by Benjamin Franklin? “It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.” Don’t lose what you’ve built just because you’re a nosy Nancy or a curious George.
Being labeled as a “Gossip Queen,” or having a “big mouth,” it’s not a good look. It ultimately makes you sound like a bad friend, and untrustworthy. But that can be turned around.
If your actions change, so will your label.
You Stay Stuck
As harmless as it might seem to get involved in other people’s problems, it really hurts you in the long run, because you stay stuck in a place called immaturity.
As all humans do, we make mistakes. And the general idea is that we learn from those mistakes and try not to make them again. That is called growth.
Well, if you are constantly getting your nose into other people’s business and it continues to hurt others and yourself, but you keep doing it, then you stay stuck. You don’t grow, and you surely don’t mature.
Part of life’s lessons is to teach us to take accountability for ourselves. To be the student, always. If we can’t be accountable, admit our mistakes and grow from them, then we become stuck.
If you take nothing from this article, take this: If you can’t seem to stay out of other people’s business, understand that we’ve all been there. We’ve all done it, and we’ve all had to swallow our pride at some point in time and say, “I fucked up.”
We’ve lost friendships over it, and we’ve lost people’s trust over it, BUT you CAN recover from it and still be an awesome friend.
And if that still doesn’t work, seek therapy.