Dealing with Excess Curiosity
By Michelle Liew Tsui-Lin
All Rights Reserved
How to deal with a nosy neighbor
A slight affront with a woman who sells drinks at a nearby coffee shop left me feeling unsettled.
The woman, who makes the lives of every customer her business, asked me a few personal questions. Appalled by her intrusiveness, I snapped.
My outburst led to me being named a Tigress by the coffee shop staff. The somewhat comic incident nettled me, but also made me ask if I had a part in contributing to the little fiasco.
Fortunately, this was a minor quarrel. But mishandling the questions of busy bodies such as this woman can lead to more uncomfortable consequences, in environments where you spend most of your time.
Certainly, avoiding those who ask inquisitive questions in the workplace or the neighborhood is impossible in the short-term. A little know-how about managing relations with them is always helpful.
People are too curious because of.....
2. Feeling left out.
4. Need for control
5. Ignorance of boundaries
Dealing with a nosy neighbor
What makes people overly curious?
Dealing with the too curious begins with knowing what brings out the insatiable desire to know everything about others. A nosy personality evolves gradually.
1. Inquisitive people have feelings of insecurity.
The busy body develops annoying, overly inquisitive traits out of a need for security.
Most of them feel uncomfortable not knowing about others. They need awareness of where they stand with everyone and want to impress.
2. They feel left out.
Their curiosity may also stem from not feeling as though they are part of the group. Nosy Parkers ask questions for fear of being excluded.
They fear being left out of important loops if they do not have first-hand knowledge.
3. Inquisitive people are highly competitive.
Besides the fear of exclusion, those who ask very personal questions do so to stake out the competition.
This is true in the workplace. Those who ask us personal questions want to know if we jeopardize them professionally.
4. They have a need for control.
Hence, their questions are a control mechanism. Knowing as much as they can is a way of staying on top of things.
If nothing else, the inquisitiveness makes you aware that they are present.
5. Ignorance of boundaries
Finally, the constantly curious person may simply be unaware of what boundaries are.
He lacks the empathy to understand that there are limits to the questions one can ask.
The Effects of Excess Curiosity
1. Is stressful
2. makes you feel violated
3. is frightening
4. makes you feel unsafe
5. is toxic
Excess Curiosity and Negativity
Asking too many questions produces a number of negative effects. Insatiably curious people, unwittingly, create an uncomfortable atmosphere.
1. Constant curiosity causes stress.
The first of these is distress. Annoying, personal questions make you defensive.
Consequently, you feel the pressure to always be on guard. The feeling is draining, especially if you are in a Nosy Parker's company every day.
2. You feel intruded upon.
Extreme curiosity is invasive. You feel as though your every move is under scrutiny.
The inquisitive questions are a tame violation of privacy.
3. The questions are discomfiting.
These questions are also akin to stalking. People ask them because they have been watchful.
It simply does not make anyone comfortable to realize that another person is so concerned about your activities.
4. Excess curiosity is toxic.
Obviously, nosy questions with a negative agenda create toxicity. They sabotage relationships and are unsettling.
It is no surprise that the Nosy Parker is on the list of toxic people to avoid.
To deal with the insatiably curious...
1. Think about what questions you are willing
2. Don't be aggressive
3. Ask why they want to know.
4. Be honest
5. Be consistent
Dealing with the constantly curious
Unfortunately, evading him is impossible. So how do overcome the questions of the constantly curious?
1. Think about what questions you are willing to answer.
If a Nosy Parker is constantly in your midst, it is worth taking the time to think about the questions you are comfortable answering.
Tolerating the Nosy Parker is a necessity, but you are certainly not obliged to answer all his questions.
2. Don't be aggressive.
You do not have to answer questions that intrude on your privacy, but denying them aggressively does not work in your favor.
Being combative has negative consequences at the workplace, so it is better to find other ways to deflect his questions.
3. Ask why.
A better way is to ask why he wants to know. This sends a signal that he should avoid questions of a personal nature.
This also allows you to discover the reasons behind his probing and, if necessary, address important concerns.
4. Be honest.
It also helps if you answer curious questions as honestly as you can. Let the Nosy Parker know if you are uncomfortable answering his questions. That usually discourages any further inquisitiveness.
5. Remember consistency.
When answering curious questions, reply consistently. Always answer in the same way.
Any deviation leads to more unnecessary, inaccurate speculation.
How do you deal with rude comments?
Insatiable curiosity is annoying and tenses you up. But it can still be tactfully dealt with.
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