Monday, April 22, 2024

Neighbour won’t stay away from us

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Dear Christine,
I HAVE A PROBLEM – well, my mom and I – and I’d like your advice.
We have a neighbour (with whom we are not close) who walks into our home whenever she feels like it. We have tried to be compassionate and understand that she doesn’t have many diversions in life, but all the woman does is complain about everything. I mean everything.
It’s either that the garbage truck came too late, her daughter’s husband is no good, the children are not being fed the right diet, or the news on the radio was not correct. It’s always a complaint.
My mom and I have tried telling her that we are busy and cannot talk. When we do this, she says nasty things about us and that no one in this world has time for her.
We lock the doors, but she will stand outside to see whether we will come out, or call dozens of times to “catch us” at home. Since we both drive, she knows when we are at home as our cars are usually parked in the driveway. We are aware that she lives with other people, but I guess they don’t interest her at all.
We also know that her health is sound and that she isn’t mentally ill or anything. What more can we do to tell this woman stay out of our house? We cannot tolerate her forced companionship anymore.
– Seemingly Helpless
Dear Seemingly Helpless,
You are not seemingly helpless at all. This woman has purposely set out to annoy and frustrate you. What other reason would there be for saying nasty things about you when you do not open your doors to her?
She has become a pest and there are ways to control or rid yourself of pests.
Neither you nor your mom should feel like prisoners inside your home. If you do not consider this woman to be a close friend, let her know up front that while you accept and respect her as a neighbour, you’d prefer that she visits less frequently.
If that does not help, ask her to stop visiting your home altogether. It’s as plain as that. What have you got to lose for laying it on the line? If she talks badly about you, she honestly cannot be a friend anyway!
Tell her that your time at home is your sanctuary from work and other obligations, and her “visits” are not the way you choose to spend your spare time – especially when she’s always complaining.
If you’re still a little hesitant to talk openly with her, just keep your doors locked and ignore her when she comes around. Pretty soon she’ll get the message loud and clear.–?CHRISTINE

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