There is a simple secret to finding a greater sense of joy, peace and enlightenment in our lives and relationships. It’s a secret that eludes each and every one of us: minding our business and our business alone.
We’re all guilty of gossiping and putting our noses where our noses aren’t welcome or needed. But every second we spend focusing our energy on somebody else’s life is a second that could’ve been spent bettering our own. What other people do or don’t do is nobody’s business but theirs. We build unnecessary walls and create unnecessary drama by forcing our way through closed doors and getting involved in parties we weren’t invited to. More importantly, gossiping and failing to mind our own business is futile and baseless when you take into consideration the fact that you can’t truly understand the position of another person unless you’ve been in their shoes.
If gossip, judgment or nosiness is currently having a negative effect on you or an important relationship in your life, set aside a few minutes to ask yourself the following questions:
1) Do I truly understand this situation?
How deep is your understanding of this situation? You may think you know every facet of what there is to know, but do you really? It is never fair to judge something you don’t understand, and it’s important to keep in mind that if a situation doesn’t involve you, you’ve probably only gotten certain bits and pieces of the story. The bits and pieces that have yet to be told could very well be the bits and pieces that will embarrass you and expose you as small-minded for judging the person or situation in the first place.
2) Do I have a right to get involved?
The answer to this question is usually no, but if the well-being of someone you love is at stake, that usually warrants a right. Just keep in mind that the choices of that person are still theirs. You can’t force anyone to do anything. You can only offer your input and hope for the best.
3) Will my input or gossip have a negative effect on my relationship?
Will your unsolicited opinion cause anger, pain or upset in your relationship? If the answer is yes, steer clear. It’s not worth it.
4) Will my input or gossip have a negative effect on the situation?
Will your involvement potentially make the situation even worse than it already seems to be? Chances are, it will. But if you’re faced with an opportunity to truly make something better, go for it.
5) Does it matter?
Better question: does half the stuff we focus on matter?!
6) Does it have anything to do with me?
Don’t give some lame answer to this. You may think a certain factor makes it okay to say that a situation has something to do with you, but it actually might not. For example, if you’re trying to get in between a relationship between two different people, that relationship doesn’t have anything to do with you. It has everything to do with the two people who are in it. Our egos may tell us that we have a right to get involved in certain things, but if we challenge our reasoning behind that, we will usually discover that it’s flawed.
7) How much do I accurately know?
Similar to questioning whether or not you truly understand a situation, it’s important to question how much of the information you have obtained is accurate. Be extremely wary of misconceptions, highlight reels that cover the outtakes, the rumor mill, and the “he said, she said” game. Unless and until you have the cold hard facts, stay out of the situation entirely.
8) Will my focus on this situation harm my state of mind or level of productivity?
Probably so. Just imagine how much you would accomplish if that energy were directed towards your own life!
9) Why do I care so much anyway?
When it comes to endeavors that have a negative effect on our relationships or overall mental states, we often fail to ask ourselves why we care so much. Never fail to ask yourself that. You just might eliminate a lot of unnecessary noise and stress. Better yet, you just might have the time and energy to strengthen your relationships and create a drama-free life.
By honestly answering these questions, you should be able to determine whether or not it’s your place to get involved in something that may or may not be your business. If you still believe it is your business, then I suppose you are welcome to go nuts. But if it’s not your business, buzz off.
Be happy. Live your own life. Preserve your relationships by reserving your curiosity.