My husband and I have discussed how people often confuse curiosity for nosiness. We both agreed that the two are different after I told him how they differ. Soon afterward, this conversation gave me an idea for a future blog post. However, I forgot about it because I was swamped with household duties, yard work, and other priorities.
Next, a fellow blogger and wonderful friend, Kym Gordon Moore, posted about the subject on her own blog. You can find her lovely and insightful post here.
what is the difference between curiosity and nosiness?
Simple. Curiosity doesn’t violate anyone’s boundaries. Whereas, nosiness does. This was my response during the above-mentioned conversation with my husband. And I didn’t have to elaborate on it.
In the words of Kym Gordon Moore, “Being nosy is prying into other people’s business, meddling, being intrusive, and snooping, oftentimes gossiping about what they find out,”
“…curiosity is more of a desire to learn something new that enhances one’s intellect and not about poking your nose in other people’s business for annoying reasons.”
Her statements were spot on, and I couldn’t agree more!
What does a Nosy Person and a Curious person do differently?
A curious person doesn’t invade others’ privacy. A curious person is more interested in educational information. They want to know more about how things work than they do other people.
On the other hand, a nosy person will pry into your personal and private business, trying to get some dirt on you. It’s all for the purposes of spreading it to everyone later. These are people who will listen and ultimately, make you look like a scandalous person. Moreover, a nosy person will snoop through your mail, your computer- heck! If they can get access to all your social media passwords, don’t think they won’t go there too.
Understand that bullies are such people, and they will be the nosiest of the nosy. Why? Because they’re always and forever on the hunt for damaging information they can use against you.
Nosiness is invasive. If a nosy person asks you a personal question and you refuse to answer, they will accuse you of “having something to hide.”
nosy people will claim you have something to hide if you don’t give them answers.
Moreover, this is how bullies trick their targets. They will use the “having something to hide” line to coerce their targets into giving up the details. Moreover, many targets will feel compelled to give it up even if they know it’s better to keep it private!
When bullies make this accusation, targets will cave in and go against their better judgement. Some will answer the bullies’ questions, just to prove that they don’t have anything to hide. Consequently, they get themselves into trouble.
If you ever find yourself in this predicament, I want you to understand that your refusal to answer isn’t about having anything to hide. It’s about some things just not being anyone else’s business. Realize that you have just as much right to privacy as the next person.
Additionally, I want to mention that bullies will also accuse you of being nosy when you’re clearly trying to learn something new. This has happened to me and, being a young teenager, I fell for the lie and let it have a negative impact on my learning.
Responding to a Nosy Person
Therefore, it’s so important to learn the difference between curiosity and nosiness. Knowing this difference will make you able to counter busybodies with confidence. Also, you’ll be able to confidently defend yourself any time some snake accuses you of being nosy when you’re only trying to learn and educate yourself.
So, in closing, I’ll again give you the short and easily digestible explanations of curiosity and nosiness.
Curiosity- a desire to learn something new that enhances one’s intellect and broaden one’s education. It includes reading, researching, studying, observing, and listening for information that can make you more intelligent and help you grow. Curiosity is non-invasive and non-intrusive. It does not seek to violate personal boundaries or to cause harm.
Nosiness- prying in other people’s personal business. It includes meddling, snooping, asking personal questions, and eavesdropping on other people. Nosiness is invasive and intrusive. It seeks to violate another’s personal boundaries and to cause harm to them.
Learn these differences by heart and you will be better able to counter bullies in any of the above-mentioned scenarios.
With knowledge comes empowerment!