This is a controversial topic, for which I'm sure I will get a lot of opposing reactions. It is impossible not to have an opinion on snooping. On one hand I understand the reasons people snoop. I've done it. I'll probably do it again, and usually I end up finding something incriminating. But on the other hand, there is the issue of trust and privacy.
It's really a catch 22 because most people who snoop do it because they are finding it difficult to trust the person they are with. Yet, while they're looking for evidence of bad behavior, they themselves are breaking trust by violating their partner's right to privacy. So I suppose that would make them a hypocrite? Or is all the snooping justifiable if you indeed catch your partner doing something shady?
When you snoop, it can be like discovering an entirely different side of a person. Some people choose what to show the outside world while they conceal other aspects of who they are. So while they might present themselves a certain way, only they themselves have true insight into who they are.
This is why snooping is considered to be such a violation. It is trespassing into the inner-workings of a person's mind and life. It can be shocking to discover just who someone really is beneath the veneer — behind the representation of themselves that they show to the world.
Why do people snoop? I know in my case, it was a feeling of unsettlement more than anything else. No one had to necessarily give me any real reason to be concerned or suspicious, but I just didn't feel right. Of course in 100% of cases when I felt this way and looked, I found something.
They say, “if you go looking for something, you will find it.” That brings me to my next point: Why do we find it? I suspect that it has very little to do with the actual act of snooping, and more to do with a person's intuition, instinct, gut…or whatever you want to call it.
Intuition is a very powerful tool that we are all born with — and supposedly women in particular have a very strong sense of it. Without sounding like a TV psychic, I have to say that I believe I have an extremely heightened intuition. Maybe it's because I am exceptionally perceptive, I am constantly questioning people's motives and intentions — and I'm generally just a pretty cynical and jaded individual.
That aside, I have to mention, that in every single instance when I had a gut feeling about something, it always, always, ALWAYS turned out to be true. Even if I couldn't prove it immediately, the universe always had a way of exposing the truth to me sooner or later.
I am at a point in my life where I have come to a pretty eye-opening realization: everything I need to know is within me. No snooping necessary. The way I feel is all I need to know. For a long time I was in denial about the way I'd feel. I'd blame myself, my upbringing, my circumstances for not being able to trust and I would talk myself out of having those mistrusting feelings. But inevitably, those thoughts and feelings always came back — and stronger.
When you have a gut feeling about something, no matter how hard you try to ignore it, it won't go away — because the universe wants you to find out. And eventually you will; no matter how good someone is at covering his or her tracks. The cream always rises to the top, but in the interest of saving precious time and energy, why not just listen to what your brain is telling you?
The best answer I can come up with is because your heart doesn't want to believe it. At least that was the case in my situation. And that, right there, is the reason I snooped. Not because I needed to prove it to my brain, but because I needed to prove it to my heart. I needed definitive evidence that what I suspected was in fact happening on the off chance that I was completely wrong.
I sit here and ask myself if I regret my actions; and I can honestly say that I don't. I know it's an invasion of privacy, but in every case it has helped me to make the right decision without having any doubts. It often isn't enough just to have the feeling of suspicion.
You will constantly be questioning whether or not it's just paranoia. So it can provide peace of mind. However, you will inevitably be faced with the ever infuriating, “You went through my shit? I can't believe you did that.”
Regardless of what horrible thing they've been doing behind your back, they'll always have that card to play. So what is the alternative to that argument? You can simply listen to your gut, break up, and wait for the universe to expose the truth to you. Believe me, it always comes out. But understandably, that is easier said than done.
I completely understand the desire for privacy. A certain amount of mystery is essential to keep things interesting. I am just of the belief, that when you really love and trust a person, you won't care if they log on to the computer and your Facebook page is open. Or if your phone is sitting next to them on the couch when you go to the bathroom.
Personally, when I'm in a loving, committed relationship, I have nothing to hide. And if my partner ever had a doubt, I would be the first one to prove him wrong.
So do I think it's right to snoop? No. Do I think it's justifiable? Maybe. If you feel like the only way that you can break away from something toxic is to know without doubt that your feelings are warranted. There is however, a fine line between suspicious and obsessive. Wanting to check up on someone all the time, every day is not okay.
Accusing someone of bad behavior when you have absolutely no proof is also not okay. I have also been in relationships where I haven't felt even the smallest urge to snoop. When you trust someone, that urge should not be there. If you are in a relationship, where you are consumed with thoughts of mistrust and suspicion, MOVE ON!
Stop tormenting yourself and the person you're with. Without trust a relationship cannot function. Period. If there is an urge to snoop, then something is wrong and you already know it.
So ultimately my point is this: listen to what your instinct is saying. The only person you can fully trust in this life is yourself. If you feel that something is wrong… that's probably because there is.
Alice Panikian | Elite.
Alice Panikian is a Canadian model and former Miss Canada. She is currently working on a beauty blog and splits her time between New York City and Toronto. Follow Alice on twitter @alicepanikian
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