Mind Your Business

9 Ways to Stay in Your Lane

Excessive Talking

(Photo Credit: Cheat Sheet)

When you learn to stay in your lane, your life will be so much better. The purpose of this piece is to offer nine ways to help you stay in your lane.                                    

1. Fix Yourself First. When you’re too eager to solve the problems of others, or too swift to make an unproductive generalization or analysis about someone else, pause and begin working on yourself. You have too many issues in your own life to address to devote time to the problems of others.

2. Recognize Your Own Inadequacies. Before you attempt to highlight the inadequacies of others, take enough time to eliminate your own.

 3. Stop Running Your Mouth So Much. Many people talk so much—never taking time to listen—that they fail to realize what they are actually saying. Excessive talking can lead you to commenting on phenomena you lack sufficient knowledge to discuss. Listen just as much as you speak.

4. Consider How Insignificant Your Comments Are. Most of what you respond to that doesn’t directly involve you will not be affected in any way by what you’re wasting your time trying to convey about it. Take a moment to consider this question: Who cares what I have to say? If your response is “all that matters is I said what I had to say,” then understand you’re simply being self-indulgent. When this is your frequent response, recognize that you’re self-absorbed.

 5. Understand the Harm Your Words Can Cause. When you get out of your lane, you increase the likelihood of communicating something hurtful or harmful. If you feel compelled to say something, at least take the necessary time to articulate it in a responsible way.

6. Respect the Differences of Others. Just because people don’t do what you do and don’t think like you, those aren’t valid reasons for you to involve yourself in their business. Give people the freedom to be who they are—just as you desire to have the liberty to be who you are. Don’t attempt to impose your values on others; your values are just that—your values.

7. Analyze your intentions. Investigate the real reason or reasons you feel it necessary to step into someone else’s lane. You may discover that your intentions are what need addressing instead of the issues others are confronting.

8. Keep a Private Journal. Instead of always involving yourself in the affairs of others, purchase a journal and record your thoughts. You will find journaling to be a healthy way to end your desire to get into other people’s lanes. Also, you will discover that journaling is cathartic and meaningful narrative therapy. A private journal is a safe space for you to collect your thoughts without hurting anyone, without getting into a lane you shouldn’t be in, and without having to experience negative repercussions.

9. Acknowledge You’re Not the Messiah. You don’t have all of the answers. You’re not always right. No one believes everything you say is the Gospel.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison          

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Sometimes It’s Best to Ignore People

When you know that you’re not going to be able to give a nice response back to something someone has said, then it may be best to ignore him or her.  People can really work your nerves sometimes, so just try to ignore many of the things people do intentionally and unintentionally to get on your nerves.  Sometimes people will get out of their place and try to get all in your business.  Now, one has the option to respond to nosy individuals in harsh ways or one can elect to say nothing to them at all.  There comes a time when you will not be able to hold back from going off on nosy people, and they need going off on many times, but you will find that you will affect those nosy people in greater ways by ignoring them.  How so?  Nosy people don’t like to be ignored.  They become frustrated, angry, restless, and etc.—things that simply going off on them will not necessarily be able to produce.  You’ll be the one who wins when you engender these emotions from nosy people.

Respect people’s privacy!  If people don’t have a desire to share something with you, then you shouldn’t be looking for them to share that something with you.  You certainly shouldn’t be feeling like they owe it to you to share their personal business with you.  Now, when a person usually shares almost everything with you and responds to almost everything you say, then it can be a little surprising to experience him or her not willing to divulge information to you.  However, when there are those certain moments when a tremendously open and transparent person doesn’t want to reveal things to others, then he or she shouldn’t be criticized for not being forthcoming.  Everything is not for you to know and everything is not for everyone to reveal, especially not publicly.  People can be so selfish and think that you should just promulgate all of your business to them for it to circulate in the public domain.

For you nosy people, have you ever considered that people might not want to unveil certain information to you because it could be a matter of safety?

What drives people to want to know everything about everybody’s personal business?

If nosy people would invest more time concentrating on their own business, then they might be much better people and they might make greater progress on pursuing their own goals.  Often if nosy people would just wait a little longer, people will disclose the information that they want to know.  What’s more interesting to learn, however, is what does learning the personal business of others do for nosy people?  Nosy people should go out and make their own news, live out their own dreams, and pursue their own interests and stop devoting their time to worrying about learning about what’s going on with other people’s private business.

When you don’t want to share private information or any other information with others, then don’t feel compelled to offer it.  Some moments and information must remain private—no matter how open and transparent a person you are.  Yes, you can be open and transparent but don’t be a fool!

People reveal personal information to you when they feel comfortable divulging that information.  Therefore, you may learn a significant amount about people’s comfort level with you when they are unwilling to disclose personal information to you.

Start pressing the “ignore button” more on your phone and metaphorically in your interactions off of the phone with nosy people.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison