I’ve been guilty of being a “busybody” on more than one occasion. I have inserted myself right smack in the middle of someone else’s situation, both for entertainment value and to throw my two cents in. I’m not proud of it, and at times I absolutely slip up and slide right back into old behaviors. However, as I’ve gotten older (and life has smacked me around a bit), I’ve learned a few things.
No One Likes a Know it All
I don’t know who said it, but it definitely rings true. No one wants to be around someone who knows something about everything. Even the brightest, most educated people know when to speak up and when to sit the heck down. Take it from me – just because you have an opinion (or know something about something) doesn’t mean you need to open your mouth.
Too Busy Being a Busybody
I was so good at being in everyone else’s business that I was busier than a one-legged cat in a sandbox. Who knows how much time I’ve wasted in my life sticking my nose into someone else’s business, worrying about who got fired or who got cheated on. By spending all my time focusing on everyone else’s problems, I was free to ignore my own. I could put my terrible (prior) marriage on the back burner. My worries about getting passed over for that promotion? Save them for later. And just ignore those extra pounds that were on my bathroom scale.
Mind Your Own Biscuits
It wasn’t until I became a mom (and the victim of unsolicited parenting advice) that I had an epiphany. Just because someone is telling you their problems doesn’t mean they’re looking for your opinion or a solution. Being a true friend is about listening and being supportive. It’s not about telling someone what you would or wouldn’t do, unless they ask.
Life is hard, and parenting can be even harder. Let’s agree to spend less energy being a busybody and more energy showing empathy to each other.