Sunday, July 22, 2007


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.


Scraps said...

In a way, I'm similar. I like to know what's going on, to be in the loop (which is ironic, since I rarely am). However, in the office, my desk is in an area which is somewhat removed from the more central part of the office, which means that I never hear what's going on...and I am infinitely glad that I am removed from all of the lashon hara and office gossip (usually one and the same, anyway). I don't want to hear it, I don't want to be the object of it, I don't want to know who's speaking about whom and why. It disgusts me; I have less than zero interest in it. My office experience has taken away a lot of my stomach for such talk.

Erachet said...

Scraps - Agreed. I never like hearing true lashon hara. I like hearing more interesting things that aren't actually bad about anyone.

There was one time where I overheard someone saying some not so nice things about one of my teachers and it made me really angry. I still wish I'd never heard that. Those sort of things I don't like overhearing. But things like, "Omg, did I tell you what happened when I went to six flags? We got stuck on the roller coaster!" I love to listen in on.

Ilana-Davita said...

It's an attitude I recognize although I don't make any use of what I hear, I just listen. I have another weak fault (more than one in fact), I tend to look at people's desk and library whenever I go to someone's home or office.