I am an eavesdropper.
I can't help this about myself. I'm naturally curious. If two people are having a conversation nearby and I can hear every word of it, unless it's something I feel uncomfortable hearing, I don't try to tune it out. I'm interested in other people's lives. Not boring stuff, obviously. But interesting stories. And I'm especially interested in hearing about other people talk about people I know. I guess I'm more interested in that than in random people's lives. It's people I know who I love hearing about. Like, there was one time in high school when I was sitting in the library and a group of girls nearby started talking about my brother. I listened to every word.
It isn't like I go out of my way to eavesdrop. It's just that I don't go out of my way not to. I know that doesn't make it any better, but if I wanted to rationalize it, I could always point out that if they're not being careful about where they're talking or how loudly they're speaking, it isn't my fault I overheard, right?
I know, I know, that's the wrong attitude. I should be more careful, more considerate, more thoughtful. It is one of my weaknesses. I am uncomfortable speaking lashon hara, but I am not as uncomfortable hearing it. I wish I was. I wish I had better self control about these things. I don't like to gossip. I think gossip is a revolting sport. But some part of me enjoys hearing other people gossip. Or not even gossip. Just talk. I like hearing people tell stories about themselves, about other people, things like that.
I don't know what I'm trying to do here - justify it, maybe. But, well, everyone's got some part of themselves they need to work on. This is mine.