The Curse of Curiosity

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I’ve always been intrigued by people who don’t wonder.

Whenever someone tells a story, no matter the topic, a million questions instantly pop into my mind. It’s like I turn into some sort of investigator who needs to know every single minute detail from the what to the who to the when. Before the (understandably) annoyed storyteller can get halfway through the story, I’ve already made her go back to the beginning a dozen times. More detail. More information. More answers.

I never thought this was odd until I became the storyteller; the roles were now reversed. Time after time, my friends would listen to my tales, but time after time it was just that: they would simply listen. They wouldn’t feel the need to interject or push for any more detail than I had provided. They’d let out a laugh if it was funny or a gasp if it was shocking. But no questions ensued. When I realized this, two things happened.

(1) I became mildly concerned that my stories simply weren’t interesting enough.

(2) I became self-conscious. I need to be more laid-back. More chill. If someone leaves something out of the story, it’s probably not that important anyway. I made a note to simply listen the next time a friend told a story.

But I just couldn’t.

Why? Because I was too curious. There was so much I needed to know.

I’ve always been very interested in human beings. I have my own set of beliefs, morals, and standards, but I’m not the type of person who thinks it’s my way or the highway. I’m always interested in hearing the other side of an issue or what a person really thinks. While I often surround myself with like-minded people, there’s nothing I love more than speaking with someone who couldn’t be any more different than me. I’m open to change. Who knows? Maybe you just might change my mind. I want to be challenged and I want to challenge others. The problem? Not everyone likes a challenge.

As a matter of fact, most people don’t. When I fire my questions, people instantly become defensive. And 9 times out of 10, they perceive it as one thing and one thing only: judgment. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been called judgmental in my life. And sometimes people are right. We all judge others based on what they wear or how they talk or who they’re with. It’s human nature; instinct. But most of the time, I simply just want to know.

I have no idea why, but it seems as though everyone has it in their head that two people can’t disagree. God forbid two people have opposing views on religion or politics and it’s the end of the world. But WHY? If anything, that makes things so  much more interesting. Unfortunately, most people don’t see it that way and most people don’t even care.

This brings me back to my original thought: I’ve always been intrigued by those who don’t wonder. How can people simply accept the fact that the sky is blue and the sun sets every night? How can they not ask questions?

My curiosity has led me to over-think. And be perceived as judgmental. And nosy. And argumentative. And annoying.

That is its curse.

But it has also led me to explore. And gain understanding. And knowledge. And, as a matter of fact, to be the exact opposite of judgmental.

That is its blessing.

Bottom line: We all have different personality traits that make us who we are. In my opinion, I don’t think they’re inherently good or inherently bad. I think that’s up to us to decide. I’m curious. Nothing I say or do will change that. But instead of slapping on a label of nosy or contrary or argumentative, I choose to merely say: I’m curious. And what’s wrong with that?

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