There are many words that suggest a person is curious, and many of them aren’t exactly compliments. Curiosity can feel oppressive without the best intentions. It took a few years, ok ... decades, for me to figure out the appropriate questions. Or, more correctly, the appropriate topics to investigate, when, and where.
I thought I was letting people off the hook when I would add the disclaimer, “You don’t have to answer this …” or “If this is too personal …” but really, I was setting them up, either way. My curiosity, my need to investigate and understand, my somewhat insatiable hunger for more details, it can feel intense. Both for me and those sharing in my experience. With time, and learning outstandingly awkward lessons, I have grown to understand when to slow down or hold my interrogation. It’s a conscious choice to pause. The desire to understand, which for me means, deepening my learning, is ever present when I find a new interest, especially when it evolves into passion. Curiosity doesn’t let me ease off, unless I will myself and my mind to calm down. That said, curious has created every opportunity, every job, every growth spurt, and every relationship I am proud to have gained. It also led to many apologies, many challenges, and too many hilariously unforgettable moments.
They say curiosity killed the cat for a reason. And nosey, sticky beak, intrusive definitely apply when curiosity is unappreciated. Curiosity can serve its master when selectively and dexterously chosen. What I love most about curiosity is it’s the antithesis of perfection.
It allows one to “try this,” “go there,” or even “abandon that,” without a lot of thought or energy. The want is to immerse oneself in the moment or find something else worth pursuing.
Be curious. And beware.