I'm looking for an idiomatic counterpoint/antonym to "mind your own business", to the effect of "everything is everyone's business" or that solely minding one's own business means missing out on improvements. Whether or not that's true is another story, but looking for an idiom.

For context, "mind your own business" is a truism used to justify non-involvement in affairs outside of one's own immediate control, but in a more collaborative society or organization built on consensus, there is some understanding that others' affairs benefit from some degree of input or co-decision-making by the people affected by the decision. I'm looking for an idiom one would use to reinforce that consensus isn't always as narrow as "meddling".

  • 1
    When you request a word, phrase or idiom, it is only fair to provide the context in which you would use it.
    – fev
    Commented Feb 14, 2023 at 8:58
  • You need to be clearer what you mean: something like "it's important to keep in touch with people" (which would be a reasonable midpoint between "mind your own business" and its opposite), or something stronger like you should be snooping or sticking your nose in on everybody (which would be going as far as you can in the opposite direction), like "constant surveillance is the path to happiness" (maybe try Nineteen Eighty-Four).
    – Stuart F
    Commented Feb 14, 2023 at 9:11
  • Why do you think there could be a sensible opposite of saying like this. Take another expression, "get away!", meaning that the speaker can scarcely believe what s/he has just been told, or finds it very surprising. It's a kind of metaphorical usage. So is your instruction. 'Mind' means 'look after' and is an instruction to look after your own affairs (rather than mine, by asking for information or giving unasked for advice). So the strict opposite would be "thanks, I'll think about that." There is no such opposite
    – Tuffy
    Commented Feb 14, 2023 at 17:14

4 Answers 4


"No man's an island." -- This is a common expression indicating that social support is needful for everyone, and that no one exists independent of others.


"It takes a village to raise a child" would be an appropriate answer, but only in the context of child-rearing. "Never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee" is another well-known statement suggesting that I am affected by what happens to another, and that therefore harm to another may be my concern.

Neither of these is a complete answer, but they may provide partial answers.


I was thinking about it some more and I don't know if I have the idiomatic version of the phrase, but the story of the blind men and the elephant fits. It takes more than one perspective to understand the whole. (E.g., if each "minded his own business" they would not understand the elephant.)


"Having your wits about you" would be an idiom that refers to generally paying close attention to the situation around you but it's not a direct opposite of mind your own business.

"Having eyes on the back of your head" is another option that refers to being cautious of what's happening around you but again it's more related to general situational awareness versus being nosey about other people's personal business.

I can't think of a common idiom that suggests it's good to pry into other people's business, maybe that's because idioms are based on common sense and reflect the traditions of our society. In my personal experience it's generally considered bad form to pry into other people's business when it doesn't concern you.

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