Am I The Nosy Neighbor?

Is being nosy that much different than being creative?

Am I The Nosy Neighbor?
Photo by Jimmy Conover / Unsplash

Every neighborhood has a nosy neighbor — the person who knows what’s happening in everyone’s lives without ever talking to anyone. You probably know the type.

I think I’m that person in my neighborhood.

Since I began working from home nearly a year ago, I updated my home office. My desk sits next to the house’s front windows. I have a lovely view of my neighbor’s driveway and the sidewalk just to the left of my desk.

Any movement outside the windows immediately draws my attention. Mainly because I live on a tranquil street, so anything outside the normal stillness is jarring. Also, it probably has something to do with the windows being located directly in my peripheral vision. I’m sure fight or flight mentalities trained our brains to be extra cautious of that kind of movement.

Anyway, without any intention of becoming the nosy neighbor, I think it just happened. I know when my neighbors work and when they come home for lunch. I also know people’s exercise schedules and exactly when the USPS, FedEx, UPS, and Amazon deliver to the neighborhood.

Being nosy isn’t always a bad thing. Curiosity leads scientists to discover new medicines and planets. Is curiosity really that much different from being nosy? Ok, granted, the definition of nosy is having too much curiosity in other people’s affairs, but hopefully, you get my point.

A certain level of nosiness helps creative people, well, create. Pre-pandemic, writers would sit in coffee shops for hours on end observing the people around them. Is that being nosy or creative?

Whether you are the nosy neighbor or not, opportunity abounds to observe the world around us. Inspiration strikes in unlikely places, even if it is watching a neighbor circle the block on their bike for the fifth time.

Are you the nosy neighbor?

Justin Cox Justin Cox

Justin Cox is a donut-loving, word-writing, nonprofit consultant based in Orlando. He also runs The Writing Cooperative on Medium. Come say hello!