Most of us have experienced nosiness.  People who are overly interested in us, in the minutia of our lives, who need to know even though they really don’t need to know.  It’s worse if they feel the need to comment on what they think they need to know.  😛  The opposite to nosiness isn’t good boundaries and respect for yourself and others, although that’s what gets pointed out, usually by saying “Mind your own business.”  The opposite of nosiness is actually newsiness.

Newsiness is less confrontational and less intrusive so we don’t react to it in the same way.  In fact, many people think of it as a benign form of communication and adjust to since it’s relatively low impact on their lives.  It’s impact is felt in the confusion and drama that it creates by seeming to be something that it is not.  Newsiness is a type of communication which comes in the guise of connection when it is actually something completely different.  The most common example is the Christmas Year in a Review letter that people send out with their Christmas cards.  You know the “I haven’t connected with you for a while (An entire year) but you mean enough to me that I feel like I need to do something, so I’m going to tell you everything that has happened in my(our) lives which I think it’s relevant for you to know and I can fit into a couple of pages.  Here goes…  These communications seem to be about connection.  I mean, they cared enough to write it and send it and even write on the envelope, maybe, if they didn’t print out labels.

Newsiness also comes in other varieties such as the newsy email, the newsy voice mail, the rare but still living newsy letter.  These missives are full of information the sender just knows you want to know but haven’t thought to ask and imply that by imparting that information they are connecting with the recipient.  But the elephant in the communication is in the name: News. News isn’t a conversation, news isn’t a dialog, it’s a one way broadcast no matter what format it is distributed through.  It takes from events, codifies that, then spits it back out to an audience.  The only way news reacts to an outside source is if they create more news to be churned out.  Receiving news from people we know isn’t connective, it isn’t participation, it isn’t relationship, it’s distancing.  It’s a message that the person wants to be heard, but not participate, wants to express, but not listen, wants a one way relationship.  Unlike news agencies, people who use newsiness do often request a response, but usually it’s one small comment such as “How are you?” or “So I hope things are going well…”  It’s a throw away line that means nothing.  Any attempt to communicate back will usually be ignored, dismissed, or met with more newsiness from their side which ignores what has been expressed by the other.

Looking at your life today, do you have people in your life using newsiness? Do you utilize newsiness to avoid actual connection?