Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Curiosity vs interest

Each week, I am curious about the real-life soap that is happening in a friend’s life. If her life would be on TV, you would probably say that it would be too unrealistic. Despite my curiosity, I’m genuinely interested in her well-being. Actually, I’m worried because she is in a toxic relationship.

Several weeks ago, another friend made a casual comment about the big difference between curiosity (eg, nosiness) and a genuine interest in someone’s well-being. We agreed the difference is about intentions (eg, what will you do with the information, and why do you even need it?).

Once or twice a year, another friend asks about my well-being. She is curious. She still has a what-if question on her mind (eg, about a future between her and me). I don’t mind her curiosity as her intentions seem pure to me. For several years, that what-if question is no longer on my mind. She’s unavailable.

Some weeks ago, I tried warning someone that his revealing of certain information (to me and others) might trigger the wrong kind of curiosity in his affairs. My warning did not go so well. He seemed upset. Still, his habit earned him a nickname that suggests that people associate it with bragging.

Recently, someone told me some private info. He asked if I knew about it. I said I did not although it didn’t surprise me. I confronted a friend about what I had heard. She said it was indeed true. She had deliberately told it to see what would happen. She was just surprised to learn where I had heard it.

Since a few months, a friend is in and out of hospital. I’m struggling to maintain a line between curiosity and interest. I’m afraid that his partner and/or children may mistake my interest for curiosity. Lately, I’ve taken some distance as it’s becoming too hard for me taking an interest – let alone being curious.

Cats are curious creatures and skilled escape artists. Moreover, many cat owners claim that their cats show empathy towards them (eg, 2020 US study, 2021 UK study). Here are some proverbs on cats, curiosity, and danger:

  • black cats bring bad luck (Wiki);
  • curiosity killed the cat (Wiki);
  • cats have multiple lives; often 9, sometimes 7 (Spanish), or 6 in Arab countries (Wiki);
  • a cat always lands on its feet (Wiki);
    and the intriguing:
  • Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back (Wiki).

Down To Earth (1986) by Curiosity Killed the Cat
band, lyrics, video, Wiki-band, Wiki-song

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless in quotes or stated otherwise.


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