We like to think that, since we are not interested in meddling in other people’s lives to the point of interfering negatively, other people aren’t interested in doing that to us either. However, that’s not the case most of the time and it still could take us by surprise that the opposite can be true.
Usually, when someone tries to interfere in our lives, it never seems that it’s for a good reason and it makes us feel uncomfortable and we may even lose our confidence. The best thing to do in those situations is to try to stop it as soon as we realize what’s happening. Here’s how:
Steps to stop someone from interfering in your life:
1. Put in place clear boundaries:
Even though the idea of setting up clear boundaries for meddlers sounds easy, for many people it’s not. Maybe you will relate to this, but many people find it hard to say ‘no’ because they are afraid to sound rude and create conflict. Well, there are many ways you can say no that won’t make you look bad.
When a family member or a colleague from work starts asking you questions that you find are too personal and intrusive you can simply stop them by saying that you don’t want to talk about it. If you are afraid to cause a tense environment by doing this, you could suggest other conversation topics to diffuse the tension.
If the person is still trying to pry an answer from you and you see that anything you might reply with will be the target of judgment and mockery, be firm and say that you don’t wish to share that issue with anyone at the moment.
You also need to take into consideration that, if you hadn’t set boundaries you could end up arguing with that person because you felt attacked in some way. This is a good way to avoid conflict without having to compromise.
2. Understand that it’s more about their lives than yours:
If you don’t feel the constant urge to ask questions to someone about a sensitive topic it’s because you’re either too busy with your life, or you are perfectly happy with what surrounds you daily. Or maybe both!! You don’t feel miserable, and you don’t feel the need to make others feel miserable too. But some people do.
People who are angry at the world tend to be more judgmental and, if they start interfering with your life it’s because they saw traits in you that they interpret as flaws and they want you to be very aware of them.
If you just look at their interference as a simple manifestation of their sadness you will soon realize that there’s nothing wrong with you and you can easily ignore them. If you don’t react or seem affected by them, these people will choose another target very soon.
3. Keep meaningful things private:
A good way to stop people from interfering in your life is by not giving them any reason to. We are not saying this as a way for you to create a perfect life, without any problems or flaws so they don’t have anything to judge. We are saying that things that you don’t wish to be scrutinized over, shouldn’t be made public.
Of course, if you are having problems, you don’t need to suffer in silence. Choose the right people to get support from. But when it comes to the rest of the world, you know that some people will try to give you their unsolicited opinion or weaponize your private matters against you. So don’t let them know what’s going on in your life and they won’t know how to interfere in it.
4. Cut back on the time you spend with them:
Being around someone that’s trying to interfere in your life in an unhelpful way can be very stressful and exhausting. You feel your energy drained when you’re done talking with them because you spent all that time on the defense and your anxiety levels probably went up.
If you see that this is seriously affecting your mental health, you need to stop spending so much time with these types of people. Of course, it’s not always easy, sometimes they think they are your friend, but try to put that in perspective and remember how good you feel when you spend time with real friends.
If they are a coworker keep your relationship work-related only and don’t give them a second thought when you don’t have anything to discuss.
5. Be honest with them:
Being honest is always a good solution. If you don’t feel like making up excuses all the time you can be upfront with them. Just tell them how it makes you feel when they try to interfere.
Explain to them that you don’t need their help and that they’re not being helpful, to begin with. Hopefully, they will understand and you will be able to fix the relationship. But if not, at least that person will know why you’re not interested in being around them anymore.
In the end, you can check this article out on reasons why people are judgemental and you might understand their motives. You can also check this one out on how to stop others from expecting you to listen to them or take their opinion about your life onboard.