Nosy: (Merriam Webster) Wanting to know about other people’s lives, problems, etc.
(Urban Dictionary) Being up, or getting mixed up, in business or information that has no relationship to you whatsoever. Being up in the mix where you DON’T belong. Prying into the affairs and business of others.
What is the difference between being nosy and showing genuine concern for someone’s wellbeing? Intent is the difference. One of my biggest pet peeves is a person who doesn’t know how to mind their own business. Nowadays, technology makes it even easier for people to insert themselves in other people’s business. Sometimes we share too much on social media and therefore, that allows others to feel a sense of entitlement on commenting or sharing your business. I have been guilty of sharing too much on more than one occasion. I think at some point we all have done this. But it is the reaction of people that you may be in a relationship with that this post is about.
For example, a couple of weeks ago I posted a status update on Facebook regarding some things I was dealing with in my personal life. I had no problems being transparent and public about that situation. But what bothered me was the phone call from a close family member that I received very shortly after posting my update on Facebook. The phone call went something like this:
Family member: “Hey. I was on Facebook today and see that you posted something about ‘x,y,z’. What happened? What’s going on? Tell me!”
Pause. Let me go back to the beginning of this post when I said that the difference between being nosy and showing genuine concern is INTENT. Not at one point during this conversation with my family member did they 1). Ask how I was doing 2). Ask if I needed anything 3). Offer advice or words of encouragement. They wanted to hear a story. Not empathize. Not show concern. They just wanted to be nosy and hear gossip. What made me even more upset was that this family member knew exactly what had been going on because I had a conversation with them a few days prior and NOT ONCE since that earlier conversation did they call or text to check in on me.
Usually nosy people don’t bother me, but this time I was bothered because this “nosiness” was coming from someone who I considered myself close to. And they CLEARLY didn’t care. My family member calling me to be nosy was a definite turnoff and caused me to rethink certain things about my relationship with them. The problem with being nosy is that it usually leads to gossip, which creates rumors, which in turn creates a brand new “story” that is so far from the original or the truth. And that creates unnecessary drama. If you are concerned about what is going on with a loved one, ask. But make sure you are coming from a genuine place. If all you want to do is hear some juicy tea from someone, then you should definitely rethink your intentions. Your true intentions always eventually show and being nosy may end up costing you trust in your relationships.