How to Mind Your Own Business


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Have you ever had a family member or friend stick their nose into your business without being invited? This can be disruptive, especially if you’re trying to get your life together. They mean well but sometimes you wish they’d stay on their side of the road. For example, I have an aunt who calls my mom and gives her a ‘play-by-play’ update of her 40-something daughters lives. My mom is tired of this (she has her own family issues) but doesn’t want to say anything because she’s afraid of hurting her sister-in-law’s feelings. Instead, my mom gets aggravated; it usually spoils her day. This is no way to live.

Do well meaning people give you advice without asking you if you’re open to receiving it? Do they tell you what’s wrong with you or your situation and how you can fix it? Sometimes, family and friends do this because they want to feel needed or wanted. Or, they want to ‘fix you’ so they’ll feel better. Don’t enable them by accepting their advice when it’s not wanted. You’ll become resentful and dread speaking to them or being around them.

It’s like rehab — the entire family doesn’t go with you. You go away to become clean and sober; to learn about yourself. You learn about your self-sabotaging behavior so you can shift it.

Sometimes people can’t help but dispense their words of wisdom. Sometimes family and friends can’t help but stick their nose into your business because they’re lonely, but they don’t want to admit it. Take a deep breath and nip it in the bud. The longer you allow someone to infringe upon your privacy, the longer negative emotions will build up. One day those emotions will come to the surface and it won’t be pretty. Gently tell people to mind their own business. Don’t be afraid to speak your truth and be authentic.

How to mind your own business

1. Refrain from giving advice. This may be difficult if you’re a parent, grandparent, sibling, or best friend. If you’re asked for your advice, give it. If not, keep your mouth shut. Nine times out ten, the people in your life want you to listen to them. They don’t want advice because they’re not ready to ask for it — they’re not ready to receive it.

2. Live and let live. You may not like the fact that your best friend allows her boyfriends to use her but it’s her business. She obviously has some self-esteem issues. You can’t tell her what to do, and she probably won’t listen. If she complains to you how these men treat her, ask her if she’s open to hearing your ‘theory’ on why this happens. If she throws you a “don’t tell me what to do look,” keep your mouth shut. Eventually she’ll figure out her self-defeating patterns and ask you for help.

3. Think about how you would feel. If you constantly stick your nose into other peoples’ business, think about how you’d feel if they did this to you.

4. Join groups. You could be getting involved in other peoples’ business because you’re lonely. There’s no shame in this. The good news is you can join groups and meet new people. Check out local groups in your area or find them on

5. Why are you a “buttinsky?” What’s lacking in your life? Are you avoiding your life? You may not be aware that you feel ‘lack’ in your life or don’t want to live your life. Work with a therapist to get to the ‘root’ of these issues. You want to hire a life coach who can help you move forward in life.

There’s nothing wrong with taking an interest in people, but if you take it too far, you could cross a line. Be respectful of people’s privacy. This sounds like an oxymoron considering all of the social media websites available, but some people still value their privacy. Also, allow people to find their own way in life. They may have to stumble and fall a couple of times before they find their footing. Don’t take these learning experiences away from them. They have a right to find their own in their own time.


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