Monday, September 21, 2009

To Snoop...or Not to Snoop

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a great weekend!

So, if any of you are Entourage fans, you'll know where I'm going with this. If not, then I've provided a clip to help you along. Stay with me now...you'll catch on.

Watch the first scene between Eric and Ashley in the bed...the first minute or so. And then, forward to about 4:10 - 4:45...and then we will discuss.



My question is - do you ask upfront to have access to your boo's private stuff - or do you just...SNOOP?

Friday I asked in my Friday Sexy Survey if you've ever spied on a lover. Well this chick Ashley on Entourage goes through Eric's phone, wants to read his emails, and basically just doesn't trust him. Insecure, justified...or just plain crazy?

We've all been there. Your man gets up to use the bathroom and he leaves his cell behind. He's been acting a little suspect lately. You have your suspicions. A text message bleeps its way on his display. This could be your chance to discover what is really going on. What do you do?

It's tempting to snoop. Most of us are curious when it comes to our partner's private lives, especially if they aren't open about their emotions and we're feeling insecure.

And nowadays, there are so many ways to snoop to tempt us: cell phones, text messages, IM's, call registers and voicemail hacking; email messages that you can even mark "unread" after you've opened it - as well as reading diaries and going through pockets. The list is endless.

What, if anything, stops you?

Respect, trust and intimacy - that's what should stop you. These are all crucial to a successful relationship. Sometimes it's hard to balance our wish to share and know everything about our sweetie while respecting each other's right to personal space and privacy. The funny thing is, trust and intimacy can create the perfect snooping environment - like being left alone in your partner's bedroom. Are you willing to jeopardize those aspects of your relationship? You should also think about how you'd feel if you discovered your partner had been going through your things. Think before you decide to cross that boundary and snoop.

Now some people don't think of it as invading someone's privacy if they have a "feeling." You know, that gut instinct telling you something's not right. Is it then INTUITION instead of intrusion? What if you accept that snooping is a serious invasion of privacy, but you strongly suspect your partner of cheating, you've confronted them and they've denied any wrongdoing? You want firm evidence. Is snooping a smart move to back up intuition?

In the case of Ashley, she had no problem letting E know that she went through his phone, wanted to read his emails and that she didn't trust him. After asking him over and over again who was calling him on his cell phone, he finally showed her that it was his aunt. She felt stupid...and he dumped her. If you're willing to out yourself and confront him or her about what you find, then be prepared for the flip (meaning they may be guilty, but so are YOU for going through his or her stuff) OR, be prepared to be labeled crazy...and being dumped.

If your gut is telling you something is wrong, chances are it IS...and you don't need the proof. But if there really is no "gut feeling" telling you anything, and you're just an insecure person by nature because of issues in past relationships - then you need help. If you snoop for no good reason, your insecurities will ensure that you'll find something you wished you hadn't - whether it's really "evidence" or not. Even if the discovery is relatively harmless, it can still hurt because your mind can and will play tricks on you. That text from a guy could be her cousin, but because you already think she's cheating on you, you'll jump to conclusions and get your feelings hurt. Snooping isn't worth your peace of mind...it'll just make you crazy - and it'll show in your behavior. Insecurity is not sexy.

And sometimes, your lack of trust will be reciprocated by your man/woman because they'll assume that the reason YOU don't trust him or her is because you're guilty of something yourself. Most liars and cheaters are paranoid by nature...cuz they're doing dirt themselves. Marinate on that one.

If you are a serial snooper, like Ashley, you may be using snooping as a way of avoiding real communication and a discussion about trust. When the first temptation to snoop arises, use it as a warning sign in your relationship and ask yourself some questions:

Do I trust them?
Do I feel safe with him/her?
Do I bring up my feelings of insecurity?

A discussion of these issues with your partner or with a close friend can remove the need to snoop. If you're too nervous to raise any these issues because you don't want to receive an unfavourable reaction, it's likely that you are putting off the inevitable for fear of ending up on your own - and being viewed as a nut. Be brave - ask yourself the questions (and be honest about the answers).

There's nothing wrong with asking questions and simply talking it through. A lot of times the confusion comes when you don't know where you stand with someone or the relationship doesn't seem to have a "label" on it. Snooping through someone's stuff may seem like a solution to finding out all that your partner's not telling you, but it'll only satisfy your immediate need - it is a short-term solution. Once you start snooping, even after it's all been laid out on the table, it's hard to stop - and you'll always be focused on what you FIND rather than addressing the real issue of trust in the relationship. Rather than make yourself and your partner crazy, communicate more so you can feel insecure less.

But if you just HAVE to snoop - don't get caught! If the urge overwhelms you and you find yourself rummaging in places you shouldn't, make sure the coast is clear and that you cover your tracks. In an episode of Sex & The City, Carrie meets a sexy man who seems to be too good to be true. Unable to believe her luck, she scours his place while he's out. The sexy man returns unexpectedly to find her forcing the lock on a box. He takes the box from her and opens it to reveal some boy scout badges. Then he dumps her.

Sometimes ignorance is bliss.

-b

13 comments:

THATgirl said...

Fiiiiirst?

THATgirl said...

First bitches!!!!!

I'm a reformed snooper. The older I get, the less I snoop. I think it's an attempt to be more trusting--along with a healthy dose of indifference. I've come to the conclusion however, that when you go looking for something, you'll find it--it never fails.

NightFall914 said...

Seek and you shall find. I don't get down with that and if I catch you in my stuff its over. My mail, my phone, my email....focus on the "my" part.Don go there.

I did go in the email of a female I was showing interest in once...but that was because I felt something 2 faced was happening. I turned out to be right but consequently we parted ways after that.Lie and Learn....

Rameer said...

I don't deal with any women insecure or paranoid enough 2 snoop. AT ALL. Notice I'm not saying I don't deal with insecure women - every man has dealt with one of those. But snooping? Nah, buddy. The first time you even give a hint that you have done or will do that, you're OUTTA THERE!!!

Besides, I'm naturally private. I reveal things at MY pace when I feel comfortable. The best way to make me feel comfortable is to not be Inspector Clouseau with my life. And, even though I admittedly don't deal with those types of women, if one infiltrated she'd be hard pressed to find anything ANYWAY. I don't have people over to my crib like that in the first place. If you were over, computer is off limits unless I'm using it and sanction you to use it, and it's passcode protected. My phone locks after thirty seconds - good luck cracking the double-code. And no one calls my landline except telemarketers.

All really personal info is inaccessible, seeing as I don't even keep it in my crib...and where I DO keep it, no one but me and two others know. Yeah - I'm THAT private.

Growing up with two younger siblings, I subconsciously booby-trap things to know if they've been altered. Seriously...my area at work is a mess...but I can tell if even a paperclip has been moved. My workers think it's crazy how I always know if someone has been in my area.

I'm an honest person, so if you can't just come to me and ask me, then we probably should cut it right there anyway. NO, you can't read my e-mail. Not cuz I have anything to hide - cuz you ASKED me to. If you didn't ask me to, and were sitting next to me while I checked it, I probably wouldn't think twice about you looking at who sent me messages. But trying to be nosy will NEVER get a straight answer from me. ANYONE who knows me well knows that. I'm the king of diversion.

I don't snoop on anyone I'm messing with either. I do any necessary scouting reports before we remotely get involved...and I don't snoop. I ask the person questions, and people who know the person the lowdown. And I also am a GREAT judge of character for the most part.

The only snoops I'm down with is Snoop-y and Snoop Dogg. Save the Nancy Drew act for that no-good brotha with "swag" at the club you know you shouldn't mess with but do anyway.

I'm one of *the good ones*.

AH said...

Heh Heh Heh! Great topic.....I want to share this blog with my ex from several years ago (we are friends now) and THIS was the reason why things ended with us (or moreso a lead in). My ex has left me alone in his place numerous times and is a private person....he and I were working things out trying to get back into a serious/one on one relationship. Short version....he had a card (held by a magnet) on the fridge. Looked like a lil kid's card and I knew he was/is totally in love with his niece. Morning of tragedy, I'm getting OJ out the fridge, he's ironing in his room. I see the card, it's so cute, I open it to see what lil niecy said....yeah....it was a raunchy note from some chick who had her world rocked. Mouth shatters on floor from shock, I grab my bag and bounce. We didn't talk for 2 years after that....LITERALLY. Now...as said, we were working things out...things were great until then. So 3 years AFTER "the incident" as we like to call it (took us about a year to even bring it up), we had a come to Jesus about "the incident". His issue....I went through his things and broke his trust....he felt I snooped. Ummm....buddy...IT WAS ON THE FRIDGE!!! THE ONLY ITEM ON THE FRIDGE! Were you THAT proud of yourself??? Not under the fridge, not in a drawer, not in a book...NO! Smack in the middle of the door with the Winnie the Pooh and Tigger ish on it. You knew for 2 weeks I was coming for the weekend and you chose to leave THAT up??? I can understand if it was tucked away but it was in plain sight....how it that snooping. If you don't want people to see things, don't leave it out. We should be old enough not to hide things but know that there's a difference between leaving a prior used condom on the top of the garbage vs just take the garbage out!!!

Now...this is a man who had an office that he always kept closed. He showed it to me once (before he redecorated) and told me that it was off limits as he had private/fraternity/business/etc things in there. As many times as he left me in his place alone, let me have his keys to stay while he was in meetings, etc, I NEVER went into that room. I have always been the one to say "if you look hard enough, you might find something you don't want to". To this day, I have never gone into a man's cell, drawers, closets, pockets, wallet....nada. Because....I don't want you going into my stuff. It's not cute.

The real relationship ending rationale wasn't the actual note/what I saw.....it was his insensitivity of the act (you must have wanted me to see it...which he STILL denies) and MORESO the fact that he discussed it/accused me with our mutual friends as opposed to discussing it with/confronting me (at the time....I held it in miserably for 2 weeks until our friends let it out that they knew)....which was a MAJOR issue we had previously about communication. That's another blog for another day. He NOW realizes why I was hurt....the act was bad (still confused how you say you want us to build but go and do what you did), the insensitive ish was real bad (as he's always known I'm sensitive) but the nail in the coffin was him communicating with others. If it wasn't for the last part, we might be married with kids today....but....oh well.

Brooke said...

I just tend to think that if you have suspicions based on other things, then finding proof means nothing if you're not prepared to do anything with the evidence you find. I understand that you may ask questions and may not get the answers you want, so if you're going to snoop - be prepared for what you find and to act accordingly.

The worst is when people snoop - find damaging evidence - and then STAY with the person...only to keep snooping and making themselves crazy. What are you doing, building a case for a grand jury or something?

Or worse - snooping...not finding ANYTHING, but continuing to do it anyway. Either way, it's not a good look...and not worth your sanity.

Everytime I found out someone was doing dirt on me, I was never looking for it. It always just fell in my lap. It's at that point you're forced to make a decision - and each time I wound up cutting someone off because it was crystal clear what my action should be. I feel that what is done in the dark will always come to the light - so if you just be still and wait for it, it'll come to you.

Rameer said...

You got A LOT of patience to remain his friend, "AH" (ha - initials!). That kind of insensitivity would make a person "Black history" in my book as Brooke-Ra likes to say...

I don't get snooping. I've seen it done primarily by women, and I'm with Brooke-Ra - what's the point? If you're that suspicious, why stay? And then finding more and more like you're building a case...it's like those buffoons on "Cheaters" (well, the few "real" cases they have). Did you really need to go to THAT extent? YOU ALREADY KNEW!!!

Move on. Snooping ain't needed...you know damn well when a chump is playing you.

Brooke said...

AH - just read your comment! Wow, what a story!

And dare I say...what an IDIOT for leaving something like that posted to your fridge!!! Who does that? Someone actually sent him a kiddie card telling them how great the sex was, and this was the card he chose to post on a fridge KNOWING you were coming? Wow...buffoonery.

In that case, I don't feel you were snooping. I leave birthday cards up on my table for a week after my birday on display for anyone to read them. Same thing with Xmas cards. It's totally undestandable that you would look at it since it was on display. How he couldn't understand that is beyond me. Glad he gets it now, but come on...it wasn't algebra!

DMoe said...

Ah, the dreaded Snooper.
Seeks, finds, but then what? I believe the concept begs two questions:
1. What's your end game? Is this your proverbial Nuke to end the life of the relationship?
Or...
2. Do you just need this ammunition to hang over the head of a future battle?
Otherwise, as many have said here - what's the point?

I've been snooped and in one case, done it. However, one thing I made peace with when I was in detective mode (and I was actually FORCED to get a badge), was that I'm building a case for the death penalty (metaphorically) and that case should be well-prepared, well-thought and well-strategized.

I gathered my evidence quietly and calmly, knowing every logical argument would be launched in defense. In the end, it just had to be done. I don't regret it, nor am I bitter. We were both quite young and dumb, and life has gone on.

As for being snooped on, let's just ask this: If you are prepared with the two questions above, and have fathomed all involved, think long and hard about the sanity involved.

Life is just too short to drive yourself crazy with the tricks your mind plays along the way.

However, if I'm cool leaving my devices in your reach, or if I keep em clipped to me, neither provides a license for the trust issue you showed up with.

Now if I violate your trust, its up to me to rebuild/reestablish that. That would be for me to do, but reading emails, etc. will only be a band-aid on the gunshot wound your trust has suffered.

DMoe aka the S-N-double-O-P D-O-double Jizzle

The Cable Guy said...

I've snooped and been snooped on. And when I did it, I found nothing, but was just giddy that I knew I could find whatever I wanted to find out whenever I wanted to. I had cracked voicemail passwords, as well as email accounts, even online dating accounts. Hey, not proud of it, but I was amazed at how silly this girl was for using the same password for EVERYTHING.

But after I while I was playing myself, because I'd look, I wouldn't find anything, but I couldn't stop myself. And I even felt guilty about going through her stuff like she was some sort of devil. I eventually told her that I had her password to her email hoping she'd changed it so I wouldn't be able to go through her stuff and it would end my misery.

She told me she knew I had gone through her stuff, because I left a "trail." I thought all was forgotten, til I found out she had created a completely different email account that I didn't know about since she figured out I was snooping. Then she dumped me, and I felt like a jackass.

And I haven't snooped since.

Oh, and the time I was snooped on, I was doing dirt. Not even gonna lie. I couldn't even be mad. I tried to flip it on her, but she bounced on me on the spot. I was a kid then, and I totally got what I deserved. Guess I had to learn the hard way.

Brooke said...

I would probably be the one being cheated on and not have a clue. I've never gone through pockets. I've never tried to crack passwords. Quite frankly, I think I'm just too lazy to snoop. It would probably be REALLY easy to get over on me, which is why all the times I found out something was going on, it was by pure accident. I think that was God's way of saying "wake up fool!"

I think people give signs where the snooping isn't necessary. Like, I won't go through your phone, but if you carry your phone with you EVERYWHERE you go, including the bathroom, then yeah - that raises an eyebrow. It's still not enough for me to go through your stuff...but it's in the back of my mind. If you slam your laptop shut everytime I walk in the room, I won't go through your email, but I'll know that there's something in there you don't want me to see. I don't need to know what it is, I'll just make note of it. Eventually all of those behavioral signs will tell me what I need to know. I don't need evidence or a confession. I'll just simply...one day...disappear.

momo925 said...

Snooping is never a good thing...and yes I have done it. I've only felt that way with one person and that was because he gave me reason to distrust him. I've learned that if you have you have to play detective with the person you are with, then you don't need to be with them. It's that simple lol. Why waste any time and energy on someone you don't trust? It's not worth it.

Yolanda said...

Snooping is wack! If you ask the right questions...and OBSERVE...you'll get all you need to know!

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