( ENSPIRE Health & Wellness ) Tips on How to Protect Your Private Life from Nosy Family Members
ENSPIRE Contributor: Naomi Stamps
Protect your private life. This is a rule that’s often preached to avoid negativity from others. But this tip can be hard to follow if you currently live with your family. If you’re feeling stuck now, know that all hope is not lost. To reach your goals, it’s essential not to allow your current living situation to affect your mental health. Believe it or not, there are ways to finish your tasks without additional stress. Here are some tips for protecting your private life from your family:
1. Know your limits.
Sometimes when we’re talking to family members, we reveal details without thinking (which isn’t a good idea if you have critical family members). Make a mental or physical list of subjects that are off the table to avoid any conflict. This will help you to make a habit of keeping specific details to yourself.
2. Limit how much info you share on social media.
Besides using social media to post a million selfies a day, many users post life or business updates for their supporters. But the downside is some family members create fake accounts to stay informed about your private life. As crazy as that sounds, it happens. To avoid your family secretly scrolling your social media, either set it to private or restrict yourself from sharing certain posts. It might feel good to read the feedback from your supporters on your achievements, but being confronted by negative relatives isn’t worth the headache.
3. Get up earlier and stay up a little later.
I know the idea of sacrificing some extra hours isn’t the most pleasant thought. I, for one, am NOT a morning person. But the plus side is that when your family’s asleep, you can work in peace. So before you hit the snooze button or scroll Instagram before bed, consider what you’re sacrificing by doing so. This is especially true if there’s no private place in your home to work. Nobody said that bettering ourselves was an easy task. Besides, if you’re restless at night, you might as well do something productive.
4. Utilize your breaks and time away from home.
Just to be clear, I’m not advocating the hustle culture mentality. Listen to your body if it says to take a break. But if you feel up to it, do some research on your lunch break or take notes on your phone while standing in a long line. Just spend a few minutes on a task and save the rest for when you get home. You must take advantage of the peace whenever you can so you can complete tasks.
5. Consider using a digital planner.
When you preserve details about your life, some family members decide to play detective and search for clues. Not because they think you’re doing something, but because they just have to know what you’re doing. Some will even argue that they have the right to do so because you live in their home. I know many of us are old school, but sometimes we need to upgrade to protect our private life. You can use planner apps on your phone or computer to stay on track and receive reminders. If you’re worried that a family member might try to gain access, you can always put a password on your device.
6. Keep answers to questions basic.
The less information you share, the better. This can oftentimes be tricky because some relatives won’t let up. But the trick is to give enough information to answer the question without giving too much away. Here’s an example:
Relative: “So, how did your meeting go today?”
Relative: “What did you guys discuss?”
You: “My boss informed the team of the latest updates and tasks that needed to be completed.”
Relative: “What kind of tasks?”
You: “Just the regular responsibilities for each team member like organizing files and sending letters.”
As this sample scenario shows, it’s possible to answer questions without sharing all the details. However, relatives will be determined to get information, and you have to be just as determined to protect your privacy. Don’t let anyone pressure you into sharing something that makes you uncomfortable.
Keeping your private life private while living with family is challenging but not impossible. You may be living under their roof, but this doesn’t mean that you’re excluded from having your privacy. Unfortunately, some relatives don’t understand that their comments and actions towards us hurt, so it’s up to us to create boundaries to protect our mental health and focus on the tasks at hand. Don’t allow your circumstances to prevent you from making your mark in this world. Continue to protect your private life.