Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Meddling Tongue

I'm beginning to think that many of these overlap.  The chapter describes the meddling tongue as the one attached to the nosy person. I see meddling as not just asking impertinent questions, but also going the next step and attempting to do or fix a situation.

I know people, even extended family members, who are so sensitive to this issue that they absolutely do not share information about what is going on in their lives. With the extended family member, I learned early on if we inquired, we got the cold shoulder. As a result, even though they are close relatives and live in the same town, we know very little about what is going on in their lives, their children's lives, etc.  I wonder what will occur when those kids reach the wedding stage!  Will we even know?

Early in our relationship many years ago, we were motivated by wanting to get to know the person better. We weren't even egregious in our questions -- it was 'normal' conversation for us.  After years of the situation, we finally gave up and now just gratefully receive any scrap that they give us. People who behave this way were probably raised this way -- or worse, lived in the middle of a fishbowl and developed this defense mechanism -- but we are not going to be able to change it.

Because of this situation, I am VERY hesitant to ask questions, afraid people will see it as nosiness or untoward curiosity and take offense.  That often leaves me looking like I am not concerned about someone's need or that I don't care.  Ai-yi-yi -- where do we draw the line?  Prayer.  Prayer. Prayer.

Lord, help me to see needs, to follow your lead in asking questions when they are of you. Temper my tongue and help me resist the urge to fix things for other people.


quilly said...

I am reasonably good at deciding what is and isn't my business. Amoeba is very good at it. Gossip and meddling are two of my "run for your life" flags. I don't stay and participate.

SouthLakesMom said...

I agree -- although one time I meddled I introduced my hairdresser to a guy I knew and now they're happily married...but I know that that was an EXcEPTION!