A couple weeks ago, I had a kind-of-once-was-a friend over for the evening. She’d been having a rough go of things lately and I wanted to show her a fun night away from all the stresses and craziness of life. Seems easy enough, right?
The problem was, every two minutes she was bringing up something that was driving her nuts. She ranted and whined about her sister, and her mom, and her best friend, and the guy she was crushing on, and the guy she was crushing on, and a couple different co-workers, and her sister again, and some old woman at her church who just thought she was so this or that or aaaggghhhh.
And nothing she was raging about was anything that was any of my business. And it wasn’t any of her business either. Looking at her from the outside it was so easy to see why she was so miserable.
I wanted to take her by the shoulders and scream, “get your nose out of the places it doesn’t belong! You’ll be so much happier!” Instead I finally and politely said, “don’t you think that you might be a little less annoyed with everyone if you worried about you and not about the things that really have nothing to do with you?”
Ummm… yeah. That night I learned that people who have their noses completely buried in other people’s businesses, don’t like it very much when people like me tell them to pull out. She looked at me in disbelief, then burst out, “and this is coming from a guy who likes other guys.”
Okay, I lied. That was the G-Rated version of what she blurted.
Maybe I’m a jerk, but I saw no point in carrying on the evening, so I invited her to use the door after that. I’m sure she’s telling others about that half-gay heathen that bla bla bla right about now. Haha. Anyway, the next day I sat down and I wrote this list. Half of it, at least, came from my conversations with her that night. The other half came from either things I’ve caught myself doing, or that have annoyed me in the past.
20 Things That Ain’t None of Your Business
Love this list. I wish more people today would follow this. Sadly, too many people are more worried about what others are doing rather than their own lives.
As a mom who formulas fed BOTH of her babies, I truly appreciate the parenting one! Genius! Unless I am not feeding my child AT ALL, it's none of your damn business whether I am feeding her breast milk or formula! I wouldn't ask you about your boobs, don't ask me about mine.
And you know there are so many people reading that and going "But, but, but" because they all think they know best. You don't know WHY I am choosing to do something, because you are seeing it from the outside...and I do not owe you an explanation. (To anyone who has never been in this situation, you may be shocked to find out how many people, including complete strangers, think you owe them an explanation for why you aren't breastfeeding, even though to a lot of those people, no explanation would ever be good enough anyway, even if I had some medical condition in which my boobs fell right off my chest or something.)
Here's a thought...you do your thing, I'll do mine.
Oompah Loompah, people have the right to feed their kids what they want. If they want to give them McDonald's twice a day every day, it's their right to do so. I agree with you...it's crap food...and there will be consequences for it, but unless it's putting the kids in danger, people will be told to butt out and mind their own business. Families have been reported for more important things than that, and the DHS doesn't do as much as I think they should. They wouldn't trifle with something like that.
Also, just because someone leaves the door open for comment about something (itchy butts, health issues, etc.), does not make it expedient for you or others to take the opportunity to jump on it. You can, and should, ignore it. That's called showing maturity and using good manners....something everyone in our society desperately needs practice on.
If you don't want folks commenting on your illness, Dan..... don't complain about it, share it, or mention it. Keeping it to yourself? Kudos. Putting it out there that you have an itchy butt, or a headache, or whatever; you brought it in as a topic of conversation. Don't get your panties in a bunch if people respond to your comments about your health. If you don't bring it up, then bang on... none of their business.
Yes, we do have a right to discuss your parenting under certain conditions, including ones that you have listed in your post. If you keep them up at night to a point where they cannot function as kids need to the next day because they've not had a decent amount of sleep. If you deprive them of love, care and the necessities of life (and yes, the state does have a right to determine what the needs of children are in this regard), if you provide them with 'crap food' etc. Then society does have a right to tell a parent to get his, her or their act together, because they are being negligent as a parent/as parents.
Your other points are legitimate. Screwing up a kid's life with a false sense of 'ownership' and the 'Don't tell me what I can or can't do with my kids'???? Nope. You couldn't be more wrong. Any more that if I tried that philosophy with my own kids.
At some point we need to stand up for the children that cannot speak for themselves. Don't feed your child shit food. It's not fair to them. If you start them out with bad eating habits they will likely continue that trend, or it will be hard for them to change. Of course, I feel strongly against spanking too, but know that one is a hot topic...
You are so right on target! However, being human we all know easier said than done! But worth trying!
I was in a really bad mood before I read this, and now I'm looking at my current situation with a lot more humor. :) thank you!
Love you Dan but I do have to disagree with the sicknesses post. If I had relied solely on most of the doctors I went to for my thyroid and adrenal issues, I never would have gotten better from them. Doctors these days are not trained to cure diseases, only to treat symptoms so that you have to come back later OR to tell you that "nothing is wrong."
Of course, I agree with most of this post. But I will say there are circumstances for some of them. One that stood out was "8) GET YOUR NOSE OUT OF OTHER PEOPLE’S PURCHASES."
I have someone in my life who spends their money on unnecessary items, then asks me for financial help. This person is not someone I can *not* help, so as much as I try to stay out of it, it's hard to swallow your comments when a request comes as, "I can't afford to pay my bills, can you spot me some money. By the way, I'm gone most of next week on two vacations."
Amusing post - and actually I guess I rarely come up against this (or as my daughter has pointed out to me, I sometimes don't care about people being snide to the point that it simply fails to register with me - blissful ignorance, I suppose).
Just the "witch cures" one. I try to keep my mouth shut, but I worked in the natural health field for some years. Some of it IS pretty "witchy" but I do know of natural solutions that work, and work very well, for some common problems. It's hard when someone I care about complains of an ailment I know that I could most likely help them with.
Rather than say "You should try xyz" I will usually try to say something like "we had a lot of clients with that problem" and then if they WANT my input, they can ask for it.
But for someone who has seen a lot of good results and healing in some pretty severe cases, it's hard to watch people suffer and say nothing when you know you can probably help.
Thank you so much for the laughs and saying pretty much exactly what I have been saying all my adult life. Other people's religion, sexuality, money matters, parenting, relationships and style is NO ONE one's business.
It is like when my parents would say "You do what what you want when you are paying the bills. Until that time you life under our rules."
So then I move out and am completely supporting myself and they still felt they could dictate my life. Wow was I ticked.
And that is one of the reasons I try to not dictate nor judge anyone. You want to tell me you you got drunk, get naked, rode a pony and then had sex with the stable boy who you cannot remember the name of? Okay. Does not affect my life, so feel free.
Just love the hypocrites who tell me these crazy things they have done and when I share a rather mild in comparison story they then judge me. Wow just wow!
Anyway, thank you again for the fabulous time spent reading this article. I loved every moment of it.
I totally agree with everything you have shared in your list. I want to take a moment and tell you that when I read your blog, I am reminded that there are still good people in the world and it is ok to be and think differently. I come here and read your blog whenever I need to be cheered up. The way you deliver thoughts is ingenious. You make me laugh daily. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and life with me.
The article is spot on. If it does not involve you directly or the person in question has not asked you for advice or opinion, stay out of it. As for bad habits and say smoking? I have never witnessed any smoker approach a non smoker and blow smoke in their face. (unless looking for a fight) Smokers already have to move down the street and around the corners to smoke.The majority og smokers I have ever encountered have been very respectful. If I am walking to a destination and I walk by people smoking I don't expect them to scurry off or do anything. Smoke! I can walk another way. If you have issues with smoke there are PLENTY of places to go. I have severe perfume allergies, but I don't expect the world to stop wearing it. I take care of it the best I can. Her only response to your suggestion was in reference to your sexuality? Weird!
Yawn. You're not even part of a society, this way, Mr. My-Decisions-Are-So-Perfect-They-Must-Be-Above-Judgment. Go move to an island, why don't you? You obviously don't want to interact with humanity.
And what difference did it make if you like guys or girls? That was a stupid reply from her, and her saying that shows she's no friend of yours really anyway.
I certainly agree with the essential nature of your post. However, I live in a buttinsky culture (Israel), where butting in is understood to (usually) come from a place of caring. Yes, caring while I'm publicly barking at you to put a hat on your kid, don't you know it's freezing out? But anyway, I would say that with bad/dangerous habits, I think it is ok, even more than ok, to express a) respectfully, b) ONCE, your concern. "Friend, I know it's a b**** to quit smoking, I just want you to know that I love you and am worried about your health." And leave it at that. Same goes for relationships that are really out there, like affairs with married/involved people. "I'm worried this can't end well."
I have only one comment and that concerns the bad habits. Yes, it is none of my business if someone smokes or drinks to excess or binge eats or whatever. However, if that bad habit ever infringes on my right to health and wellbeing, I maintain that I have the right to speak up and say that I don't want some person blowing cigarette smoke in my face. In my case, I'm allergic and have asthmatic reactions to cigarette smoke. It can be scary. My mother has this worse. If someone lights up around her, I will knock the cig out of their hands. One whiff will shut her airways down completely and she might die.
With drunks I don't care if they're blind drunk, but, if they get mean when they are drunk, I'll be calling the police, even if they are a relative.
I agree that people should be allowed to live their lives as they wish BUT, if their choices could potentially harm me, I'm not keeping my nose out. I'd also probably challenge their choices if it would endanger a kid. That's just me.
The older I get the more I tend to get judgey about what other people do. But at the same time I am learning to stay out of it all. So what that means is that I am in a near constant struggle with myself and I never know which me is going to win.
I have a problem with number 11. I think if anyone does what the mom did when she started stripping onstage at her kids elementary school....her wardrobe should be criticized Or rather her ever decreasing wardrobe. But I think that might be about it.
This was fun to read. As a mental health therapist, people bring these very issues to me ALL THE TIME, often in the form of questioning themselves based on others' questioning of them. The top ones seem to be belief in marriage, belief in having kids (or not), how to parent them, and the general idea of keeping up with others (money, time, beliefs, etc). We are so over-nosy as a society that we find ourselves lost, so wrapped up in others that we're not even aware of what WE ourselves actually want. Great post.
This is great! For years I always found myself worrying about other people's business out of my own securities. Then I realized I have my own life to worry about and to make sure it's what I want it to be. I just wish everyone else would have this ah-ha moment also.
In defense of nosiness, noticing things about your family, friends, and acquaintances isn't a bad thing in and of itself. It's pretty much inevitable, and has a lot of positive uses. The problem is judging people for those things, and gossiping about that information or otherwise betraying the trust people place in you.
I'm late to the game on this but sheesh... This makes me think of my mom somewhat. She is often complaining about people and the things they do and it drives me nuts. I am now paranoid of becoming my mom and I used to be more like her until I realized that bitching and moaning over other people's decisions in life was a waste of time and made me feel miserable. It makes me miserable when my mother does it and I feel sad for her. She often tries to drag me into the discussion too and it's hard to spend time with her sometimes when she is in that mode because I don't want to participate and she gets her feelings hurt so easily.
THANK YOU!!! I want to email this list to my in laws and ask them to please read it every day when they are up at 5:00 a.m. and are finding new ways that my husband and I are bad parents for letting the kids sleep in on weekends and stay up past 8:30. Now my 16 year old daughter is giggling and telling me she is going to wear her grunge clothes to the big family Easter Extravaganza and talk about getting things pierced just to make me laugh uncontrollably instead of hiding a bottle of booze in my purse and chugging it between lectures and chicken and dressing. Somewhere along the line, everything has become everyone else's business and I appreciate someone stepping up and saying enough! Love your blog and think you are fairly awesome. Keep up the good work and stay happy. :) BTW.....I have to tell you, as a school employee at an elementary school.....well, the speedo and army helmet would be an interesting change from some of the crazy outfits we see come in some days. I always appreciate it when someone makes my day a little brighter at school.
Dan ~ I think you're brilliant! I LOVE this list and you are SPOT ON with every one. I try to not read other people's comments about things because some are worthless (e.g. "This is stupid") or so judgmental that it makes my head spin. I think that intelligent responses are great, but the others are a waste of my time and often make my blood pressure rise. I hope that many people read this and recognize themselves where they should. I recognized 2 things I do wrong in my relationship with my daughter and I'm going to fix that right now. I try to be courteous, kind, non-judgmental and respectful of others, but being human there is always improvement to be made. You are really brilliant and hilarious; what a fantastic combination! One thing though... I have this picture in my mind of you in a Speedo, wearing boots. Arrrrgh! Big hug...
@JKRUSCHKE AMEN!!!! I too, formula fed. I had strangers tell me how their [aunt/mother/grandmother/best friend's mother's aunt, etc] were wet nurses and how I had no reason not to be breast feeding. I remember cringing when taking a (gasp!) bottle out of the diaper bag, just waiting for comments. So nice to know there is someone else out there....I did not love my kids less than the breast feeder, not at all. But it was not their business to know why I made my choice.
@SeattleTara I'm thinking there is a big difference to asking for someone to account for money you gave them for a purpose (like "why did you buy $400 shoes today when I gave you $400 to help with your rent yesterday) than there is asking someone whose lifestyle you aren't funding why they dared splurge on something.
@Earth2U did we read the same article? or perhaps we just define desirable human interaction differently. thank the gods.
@GingerMannPierce Most smokers won't blow smoke in your face and if you just politely ask them if they'd move away (if you're somewhere that you can't walk away) because you're allergic, they will, especially if you catch them before they light up.... I have a friend who's daughter is allergic to cigarette smoke and I move away from their front door when I go outside to smoke so there's no chance of the smoke accidentally going in the house... Just so you know not all of us smokers are rude enough to smoke around someone who is allergic to smoke if asked to move away....
Oh side note: I had a great mental image of you in nothing but tighty whities (or however you spell that) doing a really bad stripper thrust with dollar bills sticking out. Awesome lol.
@KaraDokos I feel you. My mom does this too. And when I tell her not to mind their businesses so that she won't become stressed or bothered, she gets angry with me. I hate it that she has to be a running commentary on what everyone else is doing wrong.
To SDL, THANK YOU for this post.
@KimBakerVidasDavey-Irvin Not caring what other people think -- and not caring what other people do -- is sociopathic behavior.
There's only one God, by the way. Are you an ancient Roman?
@Earth2U2 @KimBakerVidasDavey-Irvin God said don't judge and to love everyone. You being rude and condescending isn't very Christ like. Also judging is a sin. Before you preach to others, fix yourself. You aren't part of society either by your attitude. You are simply one of those people no one likes and prefers would just go away.