Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also busybodies who talk nonsense, saying things they ought not to.
--1 Timothy 5:13
NOTE: Here are two excerpts from two separate reports, each addressing the subject of busybodies.
Over time, my outrage with busybodies has grown to the blood-boiling point, and I have reached a level of ZERO tolerance; I have had to walk away in certain cases, just to preserve peace in my life.
So, I have only a couple of additional comments to add, regarding my (continuing) personal experience with the constant violations of privacy and meddling by these unrepentant intruders:
1) Mind your own beeswax, busybodies, and leave me and mine alone!
NOTE: This is the last segment of my report, Privacy: The Final Frontier, posted as a separate piece.
For the entire report:
The government and the criminals (who hardly fall into mutually exclusive categories) --the two types of violators of personal privacy-- have been covered already. And good riddance...
Now, here's my generic assessment of the busybody. All I can say is that, unlike the government and the criminals, for the garden-variety busybody, there is hope for redemption. Most of them are good people. They only need to learn to recognize and respect the privacy and the personal boundaries of others. In fact, I've seen remarkable transformations happen when they are confronted firmly by friends and family, not with anger, but with honesty, fairness and Christian love.
February 28, 2010
INVASIONS OF PRIVACY & MEDDLING: GARDEN-VARIETY BUSYBODIES
For those of us truly concerned about protecting our God-given right to privacy, it's not just criminals and the government we have to be wary of. The issue of the Busybody comes immediately to mind. Because they're out there, and they want to know YOUR business. The Busybody could be just about anyone: the nosy, meddlesome neighbor, co-worker, professional colleague, even a friend or family member.
In my experience, the garden-variety Busybody may sometimes be even more difficult to deal with than corporate or government invaders of privacy, at least in the cases where the person appears to "mean well"; and especially if the Busybody is a friend or relative, someone I care about. In some cases, maybe they are really just trying to help, but "help" of that kind, I don't want or need.
But be that as it may, the core issue is still the same: You have the right to protect your privacy and establish your personal boundaries. Only YOU can decide where those boundaries lie and who is overstepping them. And no one has the right to cross your line in the sand.
For me personally, it's all about RESPECT. Respect for the Inviolability of Personhood, and is certainly a matter of honor. I make no secret of the fact that I am a very private person. In fact, I am a recluse, and far more reclusive than anyone I know. I avoid, as best I can, any dealings with "society" and eschew worldly pursuits. I hate noise (including motorcycles, the blasting of loud stereos --what passes for music these days, blaring TV sets, etc.) and crowds. And I avoid loud, aggressive people like the plague.
I don't get involved in politics (I haven't voted in over thirty years); don't join groups, and do not embrace any form of political or religious orthodoxy. I have no worldly ambitions. These trappings of "civilized society" hold no benefits for me, nor enhance my life in any way. Because in every case, engaging in these pursuits necessitates regular dealings with groups of people, and worse, becoming embroiled in a shallow, decadent culture which is anathema to me.
On the other hand, I enjoy peace and quiet, solitude and (for the most part) I prefer the company of those of God's creatures who are other than human. I spend as much time as possible outdoors, especially in my favorite peaceful natural settings (just the way God made them!) near the ocean and in the mountains. I am in the world, but certainly not of it. The spiritual world is more real to me than the discord of the physical plane of existence, though, like anyone else incarnate on this earth, I obviously must deal with it.
Nevertheless, I deal with "the world" as little as possible. I would even say I am "antisocial" -- certainly not in the pathological sense-- but in the sense that I tend to avoid "socializing" and "society" whenever possible! Society is nothing more than a hot-bed of Busybodies.
All my associates, friends and family are well aware of my reclusive nature and my position on privacy, and they all know that I expect others to respect my privacy and personal boundaries, just as I respect theirs.
Unfortunately, there are those who simply do not listen, no matter how many times I make my position clear. True, I may be more concerned with privacy and defending my personal boundaries than most, but nonetheless, that is my prerogative. If others find me extreme in the position I have taken (and many have done, usually the Busybodies), so be it, but that is not my problem, nor will I allow others to make it my problem. I am not concerned with "what people think", as long as they don't try to impose their personal beliefs on me or interfere in my life.
When someone oversteps his/her bounds by showing a lack of respect for my personal boundaries, I confront the person and let him/her know that this behavior is inappropriate and unacceptable to me. Since I am plainspoken and blunt, I leave no room for doubt, but I do try to be polite and I do try to offer an explanation, in the hope that no misunderstandings will cloud the issue.
If the offending behavior persists, and the Busybody repeatedly disregards my wishes re privacy or personal boundaries, I usually have no choice but to break off the relationship, as painful as this may sometimes be. I have lost quite a few friends over this issue, and the reason was always the same: The Busybody persisted in the offensive behavior, completely disregarding my wishes about privacy, personal boundaries and confidentiality.
This has been most hurtful when I know the Busybody to be a basically decent and kind person, because many of them are. But unless (and until) they learn to treat others with a respect for the Inviolability of Personhood, I simply can't handle the stress and trouble they bring into my life.
ARCHETYPE OF THE BUSYBODY
For the purposes of this report, I believe it will be useful to provide a character sketch of what I call the Archetypal Busybody. Since the inherent nature of the Busybody is somewhat universal (they've been around for thousands of years, and are cited even in the Bible) I'm sure at least those discerning persons who have had dealings with the Archetypal Busybody (hereinafter referred to as AB) will recognize the character traits of the archetype.
This is not to say that ALL ABs share ALL the traits I will outline here. But I have found, in my observations over a period of many years, that more often than not, the AB will be defined, at least in a general sense, by certain penchants and proclivities; and by a pattern of behavior which is consistent with the archetype. But read on and decide for yourself.
[Note: I have used the feminine pronouns "she" and "her", simply because most of the ABs I have known are women. Not all, mind you, but most. I have my theory on that, but it is certainly not of the sexist, misogynist or male-supremacist mindset, and in any case is beyond the scope of this report.]
1) First and foremost, here is the core of the issue: The AB does not respect (nor sometimes even acknowledge) the personal boundaries of others. This, of course, includes the right to privacy. And from this stems the intrusive and aggressive behavior that causes endless trouble for others.
2) The AB is nosy as hell. She believes everybody's business is her business. She will ask intrusive personal questions; snoop around a person's home/office; and like a vacuum cleaner, will generally try to suck in as much information as possible about friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc. She'd just "love to be a fly on the wall."
3) The AB lacks discretion. She will often blurt out inappropriate comments and make personal observations which make others uncomfortable, or which others consider intrusive or insensitive, while overstepping her bounds. Thinking out loud, so to speak, and not thinking before she speaks, thus showing insufficient consideration for others.
4) This lack of discretion often makes the AB a gossip and "town crier". Not only does she believe that "Everybody's business is my business". Everybody's business is proclaimed far and wide, by burning up the phone lines; by hammering out e-mails, and whenever the opportunity presents itself, in person.
For the AB, Anybody's business is Everybody's business. She particularly likes cell phones, because the gossip can flow non-stop, while shopping, driving or rushing around from place to place on her numerous errands. She may also have a penchant for "conference calls" with at least three people on the line. The more the merrier! There is more often than not a sense of breathless melodrama when the AB reports the latest gossip. She enjoys being the center of attention, as in: You heard it here first!
5) The AB does not respect personal confidences. If you entrust the AB with personal/private information, even in the strictest of confidence, sooner or later, you will "hear through the grapevine" that your personal/professional business has been put "in the street", when the rumors (by this time usually twisted beyond recognition) start to fly.
6) There is often a "consensus" mentality held by the AB. She will endlessly discuss her problems (as well as those of others) with every Tom, Dick and Harry who comes down the pike. She has trouble reaching conclusions (either by logic or intuition) or making decisions on her own, so she asks others, What should I do? --and then falsely assumes that others have the same problem, projecting her lack of mental and emotional clarity onto others.
She will drag in third parties where they are not wanted and don't belong and then solicit their opinions (often about YOUR business) all the while analyzing a situation to death, focusing more on the minutiae than the main issue. She will repeat the same comments over and over (usually meaningless platitudes) and will also commingle issues that are not connected in any way. Let's vote on it!, she will say, even if the issue is non-negotiable for another individual and/or invades another's personal boundaries.
The AB cannot simply "agree to disagree". She must instead waste time and energy trying to strong-arm others into a consensus position. We must ALL agree! It's enough to drive you nuts and would try the patience of a saint!
7) The AB (in case you haven't noticed by now) is a non-stop talker, a motor mouth. She wakes up talking, talks morning, noon and night, and is probably still talking when her head hits the pillow. Too, the talking is usually loud, which creates a discordant environment for those sensitive to noise or trying to concentrate on anything else. Much of the talk is gossip, but she is also given to mindless chatter and blathers on about anything and everything under the sun.
The AB seems to feel uncomfortable when NOT talking, and if no one is responding, will sometimes replace the talk with sound effects, such as humming or clucking, or by turning on a TV set --anything to break the silence.
In conversation, the AB constantly interrupts others when they are speaking; and often suddenly changes the subject, thus derailing you from any point you wanted to make. And although she loves to talk, she usually lacks the capacity to really listen to others, which is one reason you could tell the AB repeatedly that you've been a strict vegetarian for forty years, but she will still show up at your door with a pot of chicken soup. Eat it, it's good for you!
Another problem stemming from the AB's failure to listen is that she (not having heard you the first time, or the second, or even the hundredth) will repeat the same questions over and over. (So, tell me, are you a doctor? A lawyer? An Indian Chief?)
8) The AB is a meddler. She not only TALKS about the business of others, but also INTERFERES in the business of others. She engages in social engineering and replaces moral absolutes with situational ethics, whatever it takes to convince herself that she is "doing the right thing." She will appoint herself (without your permission and often without your knowledge) as an intermediary; a conduit; a spokesperson; a matchmaker. She will not only talk about the private business of others, but often presumes to speak FOR them, trying to "broker deals" with third parties, without your knowledge or consent.
When trouble invariably ensues, she'll say, Well, for heaven's sake, I was only trying to help!
9) The AB dishes out unsolicited advice to most everyone she knows (and even total strangers), on any subject you care to name, from finances to affairs of the heart; and even goes so far as to foist unsolicited amateur "medical" advice or amateur psychoanalysis on the hapless recipient. Yet most often, she has no professional expertise on whatever she is "advising" you about, and/or doesn't have a grasp of the basic facts of any situation, either because she hasn't bothered to listen; or because you have (wisely) chosen not to share with her more than a general overview of the issue.
But that doesn't stop the AB from trying to advise or interfere --she is a know-it-all, eager and willing with free advice for all and sundry. And she's pushy about it too. No matter how many times you say, No thank you, I know what I am doing and if I need advice I will consult the professional of my choice, she will continue to accost you and lay on the pressure with unwanted advice. She will hound you and wear you down until you say, Enough already! But it's only a suggestion, she will say. I have the right to make suggestions!
10) The AB often has a "Mommy complex." She flaps around like a mother hen, clucking over her "children" (who happen to be adults); advising; admonishing, attempting to "organize" every aspect of their lives and trying to manipulate all the people in her life through "smother love". It's because I care!, she will say tearfully, when confronted by someone who can't take anymore. The AB seems shocked when people have had enough and walk away. After all I did for you! she will weep. Then, she will complain about the "ingrate" to everyone who will lend an ear.
11) The AB engages is overly familiar behavior, even with strangers --anyone from the supermarket clerk, to the gas station attendant, to the waiter at a restaurant. She is a "touchy-feely" type who will invade the personal space of others with impunity, without even realizing that this is offensive to others. She may also be flirtatious. Again, the lack of respect --or even recognition-- for the personal boundaries of others.
12) The AB is prone to jump to conclusions and make assumptions on any number of subjects, including about other people's lives. This is an example of the old saying, A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. She doesn't seem to regard people as separate, unique individuals, but rather as part of some collective or group. She also tends to make blanket statements, such as, Well, that is just the way men/women/older people/rich people/fill-in-the-blank....are. The individual gets lost in the collective and is not seen for who he/she truly is.
13) The AB has a habit of frequently "checking in" by phone calls, asking for all the latest details of your life, and also telling you more than you ever wanted (or needed) to know about hers. If the AB can't reach you by phone or e-mail, or if you do not respond, the AB is likely to just show up at your door, even driving long distances in order to "check up" on you.
14) If the AB is confronted (and sooner or later, she usually is) and told that she really needs to mind her own business; that her meddling and snooping and pushy behavior are inappropriate and offensive; rather than apologize and acknowledge that she was in the wrong; that she has overstepped her bounds, she is likely to become angry at you and explode. She will then try to shift the blame for the situation she has created onto YOU, when all you did was tell her to stop interfering in your life, which you had every right to do.
But even if you clearly and bluntly explain that you will not be tolerating this behavior in future, and break off contact with the AB, the snooping and meddling won't stop. If you don't return her phone calls or respond to her e-mail, she will call or e-mail your closest friends and your relatives, trying to extract information about you. She will say she is "concerned" about you; worried that she has not heard from you; and will probably tell the third party that she "doesn't understand" how you could fail to see that she was the best friend you ever had!
And so it goes...I'll bet everyone reading this (with the probable exception of the ABs themselves) recognizes the behavior pattern. As I mentioned before, the Busybodies are often basically decent people, and "mean well". But meaning well just isn't enough.
Most seem to be approval-seekers and people-pleasers, which is always a losing proposition. Because when you care so much about what others think; when you concern yourself more with the business of others rather than with tending to your own affairs, your own life, your own Spiritual Integrity and Inviolability of Personhood, you don't end up pleasing anyone, least of all yourself. You don't gain the approval you seek from others, but lose it.
Respect the privacy and personal boundaries of others. Protect your own borders and leave others to protect theirs. Privacy is sacred, your God-given right. And it is the Final Frontier.
Barbara Hartwell Percival
Sovereign Child of God
August 29, 2008
For entire article:
The Busybody: A Tale of "Christian" Warriors and their Valiant Battle Against CIA Satanists
For entire article:
The Busybody: A Tale of "Christian" Warriors and their Valiant Battle Against CIA Satanists
THE ARCHETYPAL BUSYBODY
Busybodies very simply do not respect the privacy and personal boundaries of others and that is where the trouble always begins. By extension, they do not respect the God-given rights and liberties of others. They are snoops, gate-crashers, meddlers and gossips. Their mentality is that of the collectivist, rather than the Individualist. Draw your line in the sand and the busybody, guaran-damn-teed, will cross it!
During the course of my life I have known dozens and dozens of busybodies, most of which I have avoided like the plague. However, some have come into my life offering their 'support' and 'friendship', usually at the times I was most vulnerable (for one reason or another) and because they seemed sincere, I let down my guard. And unfortunately for me, there was always hell to pay.
Because I've been trained to analyze intelligence (as well as people --better known as 'psychological profiling') I have developed a basic profile of busybodies, based on my observations and personal/professional experience, over a period of many years. I call this profile the Archetypal Busybody --and just see if it doesn't fit like a glove in reference to someone you know --a coworker, a friend, even a family member.
Firstly, busybodies lack self-esteem. Consequently, they look to others for validation and ego-gratification; lacking basic personal integrity and healthy ego-strength, they become approval-seekers and people-pleasers. They are desperately seeking attention from others --in a nutshell, they want to "Be Somebody" in the eyes of the World.
Busybodies often feel 'empty' inside, so they seek to fill their own emptiness by 'vampirizing' the energies and the substance of those around them. For this reason, busybodies are often overweight; food becomes a substitute for the esteem they cannot seem to win from others, no matter how hard they try. This is a futile and self-defeating pattern, but no matter how many times they fail, the busybodies keep running around in circles, hoping something will turn out different, though it never does. Nobody worth their salt can respect a busybody, as they don't respect themselves --and it shows.
Busybodies are envious of others, whose strength, intelligence, talents, or accomplishments they covet. But instead of working to develop these qualities in themselves, they tend to merely imitate those they envy, as well as attaching themselves to these individuals, as supporters or promoters, hoping that by association, they will be noticed and gain the approval they seek. They are coattail riders and name-droppers.
Busybodies, lacking spiritual/intellectual discernment, become followers of prevailing social/political/religious trends, rather than thinking for themselves or acting on principle. Rather than recognizing the ultimate truth of moral absolutes, busybodies are morally ambiguous and employ various "approaches" such as flattery, manipulation and "social engineering" to achieve their ends. To a busybody, the ends justify the means.
Busybodies traffick in gossip and hearsay (he said, she said...then he said, then she said...blah blah blah....) parroted from others, rather than seeking facts and evidence from which to draw solid conclusions.
Busybodies are ruled predominantly by their emotions, rather than by reason or principle. Because they do not even ACKNOWLEDGE (much less respect) personal boundaries, they tend to project their feelings (good or bad), their shortcomings, their character flaws, onto others. Consequently, they often falsely accuse others of what is true of themselves, and/or falsely assume that the motivations of others are the same as their own. Because they feel empty inside, and live in constant fear of what they lack (which they are looking to others to supply) they become fear-mongers, "Chicken Littles", who glory in being the Town Crier (Look at me! You heard it here first!) whenever they perceive that the sky is falling. And in the twisted psyche of the busybody, the sky is ALWAYS falling.
Because their focus is predominantly on the affairs and business of others, and "ministering to" or "taking care" of the needs of others, rather than seeking a true vocation or profession of their own, busybodies tend to gravitate to certain types of jobs where they will be expected to "organize" certain areas of others' lives, "assist" or "support" them in various ways. Busybodies are seeking "credit" for "getting things done."
From my observations, busybodies often become secretaries; home health care aides; insurance, real estate or travel agents; social workers, etc. etc. (FYI: I am not denigrating these lines of work per se; I am certainly not implying that everyone involved in them is a "busybody"; I am only stating my general observations, for cause.)
When confronted with their inappropriate/unacceptable behavior (which happens sooner or later) busybodies will usually become angry, defending their actions (which are indefensible by any reasonable standards) rather than acknowledge that they have done something wrongful. If they can't even ACKNOWLEDGE that they have overstepped their bounds, it follows that they will continue the same offensive behavior... that is,until such time that the offended parties have had enough, and walk away. Then, the busybody will attack the offended person with gossip and slander...."After all I've done for him!.... "After all the sacrifices I made for her"...,etc. etc.
Busybodies often see themselves as "do-gooders" and make excuses for their meddling, their invasions of privacy, their relentless dispensing of unsolicited advice, their violations of confidence, claiming that they "are only trying to help."
But make no mistake: The root of the busybody's inappropriate and unacceptable behavior is AGGRESSION.
The psychopathology of an aggressor is simple: Only an aggressor will show up on your doorstep unannounced and uninvited, or crash a gate; put pressure on others to conform to certain beliefs or agendas; snoop into the private affairs of others; interfere where they have no business; presume to "decide" for others or become an unwanted mouthpiece for others; become an unwanted intermediary or matchmaker, a talebearer whose indiscretions always, always do harm rather than "good".
As far as I am concerned AGGRESSION is the root of all evil. And aggression is a slippery slope.
The extremes of aggression are tyranny, stalking, torture, rape and murder. So when I rant against the injustices perpetrated by busybodies, I mean business!
Barbara Hartwell Percival
Legal Defense & Research Trust
PO Box 22
Old Orchard Beach, Maine 04064
Barbara Hartwell Vs. CIA