As many of you know, I’m first and foremost a horror writer. It’s what I do. I like to make characters who die horrible deaths at the hands of cosmic terror, evil people, and make characters suffer for their actions.

In real life, I am a kind person. I don’t like to be classified as “nice.” Nice is for people without a backbone.

If you know me in real life, you know I’m not nice. I am kind. I have a backbone. I am generally good-natured. But I have limits and boundaries, and one of those boundaries is that I am glad to tell nosy people to piss off.

It will be done with tact in most cases. I believe that boundaries can be set with an amount of grace and couth. But nosy put-down artists (NPDAs) test my patience.

Because of my background in psychology and counseling, I understand why people are nosy, and why they feel the need to put others down. The reasons are various and abundant, almost as abundant as people themselves.

But I don’t relate to it. I don’t get off on making a person feel bad or making fun of them for licking the lid of their pudding cup. I don’t think it’s funny that a person eats their salad dressing with a spoon. It’s a gross display of jealousy, witnessing a person put down another person for the way they wear their hair or if they tuck their shirt way into their pants. It’s not humorous to me that a person has sagging breasts. I understand that the person who pokes fun of these things has a limit—either a limit of intelligence, maturity, or self-esteem, but again, I don’t relate to it.

It’s not because I think I’m better than anyone else. I’m not. I pick my nose. I make mistakes. I can’t do simple arithmetic at times. I struggle. I sometimes eat barbecue sauce as a snack right out of the little packets from fast-food places.

I’m willing to bet that NPDAs do some of these things too. I bet they do things that others would think are gross. I’m even willing to bet they’re really awkward in conversations with people. That they are far from perfect. That’s a no-brainer. But that’s beside the point.

They make fun of others as a defense mechanism. That’s one of the top reasons NPDAs do these things to others. But there are other reasons, too, equally as sad. They don’t feel worthy. They get envious. They don’t like it when people act “outside the norm” defined by their subjective idea of what “normal” should be.

It’s a toxic way to be. It’s not good for you, and it’s not good for others.

I will be writing more on this later, going into a series of how to elevate yourself so that you don’t stay in the toxic waste dump of being a Nosy Put-Down Artist. Consider it a series on enlightened self-interest. The series will include:

  1. Basic definitions of being nosy and being a put-down artist.
  2. Why being nosy and putting down others is bad for you.
  3. Understanding why people are nosy and mean to others.
  4. Handling nosy, cruel people. (Gossips and how to avoid them.)
  5. Ways to stop being a nosy put-down artist.
  6. How you can help others and yourself—beyond elevating the self.

If you find yourself feeling defensive about anything I’ve said, I encourage you to keep reading. I do not believe for a second that NPDAs are bad people. I do believe, however, that they are engaged in destructive behavior and attitudes that tear us all down, including themselves.

And it needs to stop.