Curiosity Killed the Cat: The Dangers of Unnecessary Snooping
Your partner asks you to grab their phone from the other room. You see an unwelcome name or number on the screen. A text, a call, a private message. Perhaps its that flirty colleague, the ex-who-never-goes-away, or a complete stranger. What will happen if you look? Or worse, what will happen if you don't? You're overwhelmed with a crippling sense of curiosity.
Your kids are at a sleepover. Alas, you can finally deep clean their rooms and find all the missing socks that seem to have faded into thin air. Your son left his iPad unlocked. Your daughter left her beloved journal behind. A parental instinct to protect kicks in; you have an urge to look. Are they okay? Is Ashley from homeroom the bad influence you suspect she is? Curiosity gets the best of you.
You've swiped 1000 times. You've Bumbled yourself humble. You've conjured up an image of the perfect lover: a broody type with a cute dog and nice eyes. You finally meet this human. A lovely date ensues. In the days following, you feel overzealous to know more about this oh-so-intriguing enigma. A looming curiosity rears it's ugly little head. Instead of organic patience, you transform into an espionage social media specialist. You've triple checked their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin and somehow you know that his sister's boyfriend's mom is a Gemini.
We've all been there, in some way, at some point or another. As the old saying goes, “curiosity killed the cat.”
One of the earliest known references of this proverb is from a 1598 play “Every Man in His Humour” by British Playwright Ben Jonson. The play was first performed by Shakespeare. That's right, William Shakespeare! This concept has been around for a very, very long time.
Curiosity has a strange way of morphing into a deep pang in the pit of our bellies. At the very least, it can make us feel insecure or worried. On the extreme side, it can prompt us to invade the privacy of another. This is what we call “snooping.” Invasive behavior is not only wrong, but hurtful to everyone involved.
When curiosity goes wrong...
Broken Trust. When someone realizes you've put your investigative claws into their privacy, its unlikely that they'll be able to trust you again.
Peace of Mind. If you don't find anything, you'll be thinking of trying again. If you do find something, it will consume your mind.
Anxiety/Depression. What you find can drastically change your life, relationship status, and spin you into an unexpected depression.
Heartbreak. Your heart may break under certain circumstances. Perhaps the truth crushes you, or the other person exits your life due to the snooping.
Narcissism. One key trait of narcissists is believing they have the “right” to invade personal space/belongings of others. If you're not a narcissist, you'll run the risk of being mistaken for one.
Unhealthy Behavior Patterns. Once you realize you can get away with something, you're likely to try it again. Snooping can carry over into all of your relationships, present AND future.
It’s not hopeless...
Curb the Urge
Look Within. If you feel a need to snoop, ask yourself if there's anything YOU are hiding. A guilty conscious could be living inside of you, causing suspicions to arise.
Communicate. If you feel something may be off, you should try to communicate openly. You'd be surprised how much a person in a trusting environment will share freely.
Check your insecurities. Snooping has a reputation of stemming from our own insecurities. Do you feel inferior in some way? Do you feel inadequate? Have you been lied to in the past? Insecurities can play games with our minds, and we should be aware this.
Know Your Worth. Understand who you are – good and bad. In relationships of any kind, it's imperative to know our worth. We are all special, beautiful, and worthy of trust. If someone really is keeping something from you... is this a person to have in your life?The answer is NO. You deserve better, and better is waiting for you. In regards to parenting, get in touch with your parenting style. Have faith that your approach with your children is enough, and you don't have to snoop to find answers.
Trust the Universe. In other words, allow things to run their natural course. Respect and trust that there is a Divine blueprint for all of us. Karma is alive and well, and the truth always finds it's way to home to us. Your energy is better spent on love and self-love than snooping and investigating suspicion.
Remember: If it comes, welcome it. If it stays, allow it. If it leaves, let it.
By: Raquel Reyes
Raquel Reyes is a Writer, Reiki Healer, and Spiritual Enthusiast. She currently teaches Writing Workshops for Women and resides in Los Angeles. In her spare time, you can find her practicing yoga, enjoying foodie life, or hiking with her dogs, Abby & Morgan.