Reminder: It Doesn't Cost A Thing To Mind Your Own Business

When it comes to life in a small town, you'll often hear that a big part of its appeal is that everybody knows each other and that a major sense of community and togetherness blossoms from that.

But while that can be true, it can come at a cost, especially if you're living in a way that's outside of that town's norms. As my family learned when I was a kid, the reason why everyone knows each other in small towns has to do with the fact that everyone's always watching what each other are doing.

And once they see something they don't like or understand, you can bet your bottom dollar that you'll hear about it and get a taste of your neighbor's wildest assumptions about you as a result.

But while small towns are the most common settings for this problem, we also know that people who refuse to mind their own business in just about every part of the world.

And while the incidents they're responsible for are annoying for us, they don't necessarily do themselves any favors by starting them either.

While people usually imagine "Karens" as making a scene in a retail store, they can take on a different character when they're in their own neighborhoods.

And as we can see in several examples collected over the past year or two, that character is usually the neighborhood's self-appointed gatekeeper in a community with no actual gates.

If they're not giving you the third degree about why you're passing through their public streets or hanging out in nearby parks, they're living up to the example set by the couple in this video who claimed that the homeowner they were talking to didn't actually live there.

And as we'll discuss a little bit later, when they're found to be wrong, their nosy behaviors and rash judgements can become the source of some serious regret for them.

And even when they do accept that you're supposed to be there, that doesn't mean they're ready to leave you alone.

In a TikTok that the one you see here serves as a follow-up to, one of this woman's neighbors confronted her about this Tigger flag and implied that she had to remove it because it violated her community's rules.

But much like the couple above, she only ended up embarrassing herself by admitting that she didn't actually know what her community's rules are. What she did know was that she didn't like the flag.

As a result, she accidentally revealed that this apparent concern for local rules was just an excuse to try and impose her tastes where she has no right to do so. Just like the couple above has no right to dictate what values people express on their own property.

And it doesn't get easier for anyone involved when our nosier neighbors do actually get the power they crave.

I've addressed my problems with homeowner's associations and the power they can have over people's property at length, but I'll summarize my conclusion by saying that they breed resentment among neighbors.

Furthermore, they can foster a lack of satisfaction from those who would impose their rules due to the technically compliant ways that neighbors can retaliate.

So in the end, nobody locked in a neighborhood power struggle feels happy living there.

And that's why unless you have reason to believe that one of your neighbors is causing serious harm to others, it's generally better for everyone involved if you just let them be.

And as we can see from the apology that the woman in the first video featured in this article sent to CBS News, it's a lesson that can either be learned the easy way or the hard way.

In her words (emphasis mine), "I want to apologize directly to Mr. Juanillo. There are not enough words to describe how truly sorry I am for being disrespectful to him last Tuesday when I made the decision to question him about what he was doing in front of his home. I should have minded my own business."