Genuine Concern Or Just Plain Nosy that is the question.

Are you genuinely interested, concerned or just plain nosy about other people?

I enjoy reading my friends and also other people’s blogs. Love blogs about homesteading, family life, christian living, hobbies, farming, and house renovation stories. So is this out of interest or is it plain nosy? Well… I think anyone who blogs publicly is more than happy to share their stuff even if you don’t know them. They want people to be interested in them. So nope I don’t think that is nosy at all, it comes down to motive.

When we went into Ministry I learn’t the hard way that some folk are just plain nosy. Some folk would question my children to find out information about our family, ministry or other people in the church. Of course some folk were genuinely and sincerely concerned. And then there were the others that just wanted to be nosy and have the latest gossip.

There were many times I had to stop speaking in mid sentence because I couldn’t share information. Even simple questions like; have you seen such and such, how is such and such? Often they were loaded questions. For example if I had seen… say, a recently young married couple then people would leap to thinking their marriage was in trouble. Or if I had confirmed that I had visited someone in hospital, then they would know such and such was sick. Many times I would stop mid sentence and say something like “ask such and such next time or aren’t they lovely or such and such makes a fantastic curry.” I had to refine the art of changing the subject and quickly exit without answering their questions. It is difficult not to offend someone when they ask you a direct question. Even if they shouldn’t be asking that question in the first place. Nothing can be more horrid than unwanted nosiness.

Magazines and Television are full of stories about the rich and famous. We don’t know them so in those cases we are being nosy. It is part and parcel of being a Celebrity. They need the media to further their careers and they want people to be interested in them but there is a fine line for them and for us too. Nine times out of ten it is nosiness that is motivating us to want to know what is going on in their lives.

And then there is Facebook. It is a great way to keep in touch with friends in one single profile update rather than phoning or emailing each individual friend. However it can also be a trap or source of information for those nosy friends of friends.

I think a good way to work out the difference between being genuinely interested in someone else and their life is to check your own motives. Do we think, pray, have concern or feelings for the person we are interested in? Do we see that person or have a friendship with them? Do we have contact with that person on a regular basis? Are we wanting the best for that person and their family? If we know they are going well in life are we genuinely happy for them? Or if we know they are struggling are we genuinely concerned? Or are we wanting to compare and contrast their lives, homes, clothes, job or family to our own? Are we wanting to feel superior to them? Or do we have no real feelings for them at all and simply want information about them out of nosiness?

My life is pretty much an open book. In saying that, I do value my privacy just as the next person or blogger. There are things that are only known between Jesus and I. There are things that only my husband will ever know. I have friendships that I value that are over 35 years old and some are as new as a few months old. When we live in community it is normal to develop friendships. There is information shared which is part of getting know someone. There is give and take in sharing our lives with each other. That is not being nosy that is friendship. Having friendships and being a friend can be scary for some people because they can’t hide when they let someone get to know them “warts and all.” When we choose to trust a friend that is a precious gift. Trust can be easily broken but not so easily repaired. So I reckon it is a good idea to look at our motives from time to time and check as to whether we are genuinely concerned for someone or if we are being just plain nosy.

Anyhoo… that’s MTCW (My Two Cents Worth) for today :o) I hope you have a un-nosy and super blessed rest of your day ! ! !