Know your place. Stay there – Ololade Ajekigbe
Today, I am taking no prisoners. I am saying it as it is. In this part of the world we don’t mind our business, and even though I have no empirical statistics to back it up, I am convinced this is true. Oftentimes it beats me how people find it difficult not to meddle in matters that don’t concern them. Some people thrive on meddling in other people’s affair, and beyond being annoying, it is disgusting! What absolutely irks me is when someone who is not in any way close to me feel that they are entitled to some “juicy” information about what’s going on in my life. For the life of me I don’t get it. Never have. Never will.
I know of friends who got married and a couple of months down the line certain acquaintances began to ask if they were pregnant (as if pregnancy can be hidden) and even suggested ways of achieving conception on time! It’s puzzling how we think it’s alright to interfere in other people’s business when we are not invited to do so. Personally, as soon as someone who isn’t close to me asks what I consider to be a personal question, I automatically clam up. There’s no way they are going to get anything tangible out of me because I instantly see them as just being plain nosy. It’s that simple! If you are an old colleague or friend who hasn’t seen me in quite a while and the very first question you deem fit to ask when we meet is “Are you married now?” then there’s a problem. The best you would get out of me in that situation is a fake smile.
The unwritten rule is: If you are not a person’s parents, sibling, lover, mentor, or REALLY close friend, It only makes sense to be aware that they may not appreciate you poking your nose in their affairs. If they don’t invite you to their wedding or party- it’s because you are not wanted there! (If it was an oversight, trust me you will get an apology later without needing to mention it). If they don’t go out of their way to discuss certain issues with you- it’s because they don’t think it is necessary for you know! If they don’t ask for your advice- It’s because they don’t want it! See? It’s not rocket science! It really is that simple! Some people even jump into someone else’s timeline on social media, dabbling into issues that in no way concern them or worse still insult a celebrity who doesn’t know they exist. And when they are given a dose of their own medicine, they begin a campaign of calumny against the person. As if celebrities are not human also. What happened to minding your own business?!
There are a thousand and one ways to know someone or something about them if you really must without being seen as a “monitoring spirit” (like some of my colleagues would say). Learn the art of having a good conversation. When involved in a discussion with someone or group of people, there are so many things you can learn about them without necessarily asking directly. I love good conversations and for me, once I am comfortable with who I am talking to, there is the tendency to even divulge what I would not normally have if I was asked pointedly. So, for example, instead of asking about the relationship status of the other person, talk about yours! (Guys, I just might have given you a tip on how to go about wooing that girl). They may decide to let you in on something since you are being open (the operating word here being “MAY”)…if they don’t, please don’t push it! It’s even easier nowadays, if you need to do a background check on somebody, Google is your friend.
People hardly ever get into trouble while minding their own business. This is not to say, don’t help when you know you can. My message is for those who think they have the right to be involved in everyone’s affair just for kicks. Don’t ask why a woman is yet to have child after 5 years of marriage( do you honestly she is happy about it?). Don’t ask why a lady is not married at age 40(for all you know, she may not even want to be married). Don’t ask why a man doesn’t have a job 10 years after leaving school (If you have an employment opportunity for him, just say so!). Bottom line, except you are convinced you can be of help, by Jove! STOP ASKING SILLY QUESTIONS! In the words of Ann Landers, “Make somebody happy today, mind your own business.”