The Noseys – The noseys are those people that always trying to be in your business. There two types of noseys – direct and indirect. The direct noseys are the ones that straight out ask about your business. For example, my neighbor asked me yesterday why there was a plumber coming out of my unit the other day. Really, if I wanted you to know about the plumbing issues escalating in my bathroom, I would let you know. I sure as heck would not wait for you to straight-out ask me. Indirect noseys try to beat around by trying to share useless information with you, like why they had a plumber visiting their home. Sometimes, they will flat out share their business with you in hoping you will no longer contain yourself while they tell you about that gross wart they discovered in the most unusual of places on their body. Whichever type of nosey you come across – they always have only one goal in mind. That would be your business. Now the simple thing to do would be to ignore them, but that is definitely not my approach.
Here are some options for dealing with nosey people.
1. Humor – Make a joke out their question. If you are asked “How much did you lose any money on the value of your home when you sold it?” Offer a response such as “Why? Are you giving me an offer that would make up that difference?”
2. Honestly – If you are asked “How much is your monthly mortgage payment?”, you can respond by saying “I prefer not to discuss my finances with anyone.”
3. Turn the tables around – Ask “why do you ask” or if they ask you if you dye your hair, ask if they dye theirs.
4. Boundaries – Body language can be used to express boundaries. Give them the “none of your business” look or cross your arms in the “don’t go there” way.
5. Change the subject. That is self-explanatory. Feel free to try any or all of these methods – whatever gets your point across the clearest.
The Whinys – These are negative people who complain all the time. They tend to be pessimistic and being around them can be very toxic. I highly recommend that you distance yourself from them as their constant whining may set your brain in overdrive and even up your blood pressure. However, there are times when you are stuck dealing with these black holes and thus, your options are limited.
Here are some suggestions:
1. Spread your positive energy. You can do this by smiling, talking about what a beautiful day it is or even suggesting ways to get through a tough day.
2. Don’t let them ruin your day. Remember David J. Pollay’s Law of the Garbage Truck. “Many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they look for a place to dump it. And if you let them, they’ll dump it on you. So when someone wants to dump on you, don’t take it personally. Just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. Believe me. You’ll be happier.”
3. “Tell me something positive” – When they tell you something negative, ask them to tell you something positive.
4. Encourage them to stop their constant whining. You can tell that “Whining is for sissies” for all I care. Just find ways to encourage them and make them feel better about themselves.
5. Remember, it is not your job to fix these people. If none of these options works for you and helping them seems out of your reach, find ways to avoid them. If you are required to, for example, work with these people, talk to a supervisor and hopefully, they can take a stab at changing that person’s behavior.
Now in my case, when a certain annoying female attorney whines about how bad her wrist hurts, the same wrist she sprained two years ago while playing tennis, I will try not to scream out “Look lady – I have RA. I am in pain every single day of my life so stop whining about your godforsaken wrist and get over it all ready!” (God, I hate whiners. Don’t you?) The most important thing to remember is that whiners are going to appear in all aspects of your life. All you can do is learn to deal with them or else they will suck all the good energy out of you without your even realizing it. I am sure that you have whinys and noseys in your life as well. Please feel free to comment. I would love to hear about them. (I apologize in advance if you think I am being nosey – wink-wink.) We all need laughter in our lives.