This is the third 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).
- Basic definitions of being nosy and being a put-down artist.
- Why being nosy and putting down others is bad for you.
- Understanding why people are nosy and mean to others.
- Handling nosy, cruel people. (Gossips and how to avoid them.)
- Ways to stop being a nosy put-down artist.
- How you can help others and yourself—beyond elevating the self.
Make no mistake, when you engage in intrusive and disparaging behavior, you are engaging in abuse. These are forms of emotional abuse against peers.
It is rare for anyone to enjoy thinking of themselves as an abuser, so feeling defensive is understandable. We don’t want to think of ourselves as anything but the protagonist in our own story, after all. But when you take on this role, intruding on others’ spaces and putting other people down, you are placing yourself in the abuser role.
As I was searching for support on why being an abuser is bad for you, I came across nothing that focused on the abuser. Instead, it talks about the victims and survivors and focuses on domestic abuse. But what we fail to realize is that our culture is steeped in abuse, even from peer to peer. Even as adults.
So I tried searching articles about bullying, because that’s what NPDAs are doing. I found articles about kids bullying other kids, and everything from a victim perspective.
This is a problem. Some bullies just don’t give a shit about how their victims feel, and they’re going to keep doing it even as the victim moves further into isolation. But what they don’t realize is that by doing this, they put themselves into isolation as well.
The connection we have as humans (primates) is strong. When you engage in NPDA behavior, you are severing a connection and building a reputation of being an asshole. The consequences of your actions may lead to no one wanting to help you in a time of need, people warning others about you and your behavior, and even losing your job or getting your employer sued for your hostility.
And not to get too fruity New Age here, but you set off a cycle of abuse that will eventually come back to your sorry abusive ass. People are fed up with bullies and bullying, and not just among children. Don’t be surprised when your victim turns survivor and turns the tables on you.
Is this a society you want to live in? Are these the consequences you’re willing to face? Do you want others to feel free to treat you the way you’re treating others?
These may seem like rhetorical questions, but they’re not. These are questions we all need to ask ourselves. What kind of society do you want to live in? What consequences are you willing to face for your actions? How do you feel when an NPDA goes on the attack after you?
Let’s say you go for your new haircut. It’s a little different. Maybe you decided to go for a new color. You look in the mirror when your barber or stylist is done and HEY! You’re looking great! You feel so good, so good-looking. You are ready to take on the world and stop traffic with your new ‘do.
You post your pic on Insta or Facebook. Compliments rush in, encouraging you, reminding you that you’re cute, beautiful, etc. All that yummy validation and ego-stroking that tells you what you already know—you are on point.
And then, one NPDA comes in and says, “that cut makes your face look fat and your color makes you look old.” Or, they post a picture of someone you find unattractive to tease you.
*cue needle scratch off the record*
Because of negative bias, you will focus on that one negative comment as “truthful” while all the other positive comments get thrown out as people just being nice or fake. This is a product of evolution. If our ancestors didn’t focus on the one bad thing among the good, then we wouldn’t be here today.
After this happens, you have to make a conscious effort to discard the negative and focus on the positive, or you wind up internalizing the criticism (which is the likely product of someone being an NPDA out of jealousy and spite rather than speaking the truth). This will often cause you, in turn, to spread that negativity to others. You may find yourself in the NPDA role.
Then, you begin to put others down, get intrusive into their business, and the toxic waste of NPDA gets all over you.
This is why being an NPDA is bad—because it perpetuates until everyone is dragged down. Being an NPDA doesn’t elevate you. It simply demonstrates your lack of maturity and ability to reason. You become diminished, and your words show how you are diminished.
So if it’s all bad, then why in the heck do people do it? Next, we’ll look at the reasons why people become Nosy Put-Down Artists.