This is the second part of a series on increasing your happiness by keeping your nose out of other peoples’ lives. It’s currently in seven parts (if you include the introduction post).

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

In order to eliminate a problem in the journey of self-improvement, you first have to define the problem. In this case, it’s important to understand what it means to be nosy and a put-down artist. So let’s explore these terms:

Nosy: According to Merriam-Webster, “nosy” means “of prying inquisition or quality. INTRUSIVE.” While curious and inquisitive are not inherently bad, the definition includes “prying” and “intrusive.” These qualities are not typically positive. Being intrusive, well, intrudes on people and violates their boundaries. This is not the same as an expression of concern or care. Asking someone “how are you?” is not being nosy. Drilling down on a person and asking for all the details is. There’s a line, and nosy people don’t care about crossing it.

Put-Down: Another clear definition from Merriam-Webster, “put-down” means “an act or expression showing scorn and usually intended to hurt another’s feelings.” So a put-down artist can be defined as a person who has this down to an art form.

Essentially, a nosy put-down artist is a person who not only intrudes into other people’s business, they also have a penchant for putting others down.

Understanding this, and recognizing it in yourself, is the first step towards letting it go and learning how to better yourself.

Next week, you’ll find out why it’s necessary to let this go, and why being a nosy put-down artist is ultimately bad for you.