Gossips, Buttinskies, and Busybodies

Whether it’s the nosy classmate who’s never short of personal and intimate questions about your private life, the workplace gossip who never shuts up and always seems to know your business before you do, or the spying neighbor across the street who forever peers through her window to spy on the neighbors outside, these kinds of people can be a real hemorrhoid to those of us who only want to be left alone and allowed to live our lives in peace.

I even had one woman ask me how much I got paid and how much I paid in rent or mortgage? I know. The nerve! Right?

After the shock wore off, I politely told her that she was getting too personal and that I didn’t share such private information with anyone, not even my family members. Oooeee! She didn’t like it.

These types often leave you shaking and scratching your head because you just can’t believe anyone would have the chutzpah. Especially if you were raised to mind your own business like I was.

Understand that these people can be bullies too and their gossip, butting-in, and having a constant nose stuck in your life can be a form of attempted control. Bullies will often ask you these kinds of questions to embarrass or humiliate you.
And anybody who openly asks you such questions has no respect for your privacy, and you should deal with them accordingly.

But! Because they can’t seem to control their own lives, they wish to control yours, even if it’s nothing more than to cause an annoyance or embarrassment.

Though the years, there was always that one neighbor who would sit on their porch all day and watch not only my house but the other houses in the neighborhood as well. So, on a good note, I can’t say that I was left out but was in good company with most of the other neighbors in my community.

Many of the others in the community weren’t short of complaints about the lady and we had a nickname for her- “Mrs. I-Spy.”

Nevertheless, although I’d get annoyed by her a few times, I couldn’t get angry with her like many of the others. Mrs. I-Spy was disabled and could barely get around. All I could feel was bad for her because I knew she wasn’t a happy person. Who would be if their health were deteriorating to the point of barely able to perform activities of daily living? And home health was scarce back then.

And on the days when she couldn’t get outside, she’d have her grandchildren watch the neighbors then go back inside and give her a report of the goings-on in the others’ yards and the traffic in and out of their houses. It’s hilarious when I look back now.

I can honestly say that if there were a burglary or trouble nearby, she’d have been the first to see it and call the cops. So, there’s a silver lining to all this. Thank God for nosy neighbors because they do serve a great purpose!

My classmates in high school, not so much. I had very little respect for them because most of them were nosy as hell! They would watch me closely and eavesdrop on any of my conversations. They always had an ear cocked. At Oakley High School, the walls had ears!

Always in my business, questioning me on things that were so trivial yet to them was a huge deal. They would even ask me the most personal and embarrassing questions.

“Have you started your period yet?”
“Are you a virgin?”
“How is your boyfriend in bed?”

These kinds of questions made me cringe! Naturally, it upset me back then and I’d only storm off. But if one of them had the audacity to do that today, I’d only laugh, make fun of and humiliate them. And I’d enjoy humiliating them.

Hell! Today, I wish they would and give me the chance to show them I’m not as slow as I used to be and almost nothing shocks me anymore. Understand that when you’ve been bullied, you learn quick wit very quickly because it’s essential for survival.
I’ve known other adult survivors of school bullying and we’re the most quick-witted people in the bunch! We had to be!

With that said, you must realize that even in the adult world, you’re going to have people who have more nerve than a bad tooth- those who will pry into your business and openly ask you personal, even embarrassing questions. You might as well prepare for it now because they’re everywhere!

Many of these people had parents who were the same way- mothers and grandmothers who would tell them to watch others and report back to them. I know this because of watching Mrs. I-Spy do the same many years ago. So, it’s safe to say that nosiness is a generational thing with many. About ninety percent of my classmates also came from nosy and overbearing families as did many coworkers I’ve worked with down through the years.

And it’s these kinds of people you should blow off and wave away like that pesky little fly that keeps buzzing around your face.

Don’t get angry with them. Just shake your head and pity them. Because it’s those types who really need to get a life and often don’t have one. Or, if you’re a smartass like I am, take the opportunity to have a little fun with the person- catch it, throw it back at them and shame them with it.

And why not? They asked for it.

8 thoughts on “Gossips, Buttinskies, and Busybodies

  1. The Mrs I Spy are everywhere in Egypt, stalking is a common practice and with the mobile phone, they phone each other to say you have just walked passed and what you were doing, wearing, or buying. I actually caught one man walking behind me I could hear his conversation on the phone and spun around to face him. I threatened to call the police if I saw him again stalking. He ran off.

    When you know people like to gossip especially where I live and they know nothing about me. I feed them lies and stories. I feed the right people with stories to pass on to those who are spying on me. I learned how to turn it around. I am constantly stalked everywhere even in the bank nothing is confidential. People are just so gross.

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