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Question
Posted by: LouLou | 2007/07/20

Nosy Neighbors

Hi there,

How do you handle nosy neighbors? Mine know my every move! When I leave for work in the mornings, I see them peeping out of their windows at me. When I get home in the afternoons, they comment on:
-the time I got home
-groceries I've bought (if any)
-where have I been
-why am I driving the car I'm driving (got a company car for a week).

It's not that they're lonely and looking for company - there are 6 of them living in their place.

I 'loaned' them the use of my other garage while I was away in december. (I have 2 garages). It's not that I'm using the other garage, but I don't like that people have free access to my garage - I have a lot of expensive equipment in there, and they know what's there because they've asked what I use it for, and even used some of it before (and broke it). Last weekend I went away, and when I'd gotten back on sunday evening, I wasn't even back for a minute when they asked how I could leave without leaving them a key for the other garage. They want to make it a permanent arrangement that I leave them a key every thursday now.

Under normal circumstances, I would gladly let them park their car there...but it's gotten to the point that they think I owe them my garage because I don't use it! I'm so alienated I could scream.

What can I do???

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Shame, what horribly empty lives they must lead, to need to nose into yours. I'd be tempted to stop at their door on the way back in, to show them the contents of my shopping bags, and invite them to come and look over the company car I have for the week. Eventually they'd get bored with all the extra details I was pressing upon them.
Seriously, though, if you loaned them a spare section of your garage last December, December is long past, and you should ask them to let you use if again for storage, and to return the key. Just tell them you hope that the loan was useful to them, but now you have more storage needs, and it won't be convenient to allow them to continue using it. As John says, when a temporary act of kindness and generosity becomes an expected routine, lines have been crossed.

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Our users say:
Posted by: cc | 2007/07/20

I feel so sorry for you, really I do! I can sympathys with what you have said we have a woman with a child from hell who loves to pop in and another teenager who thinks she can come and go as she pleases at our place. We dont even have children and the worst part is the woman with the child is as rude as all hell, so what i have done is I just ignore her. I now make as if Iam blind and deaf. Why do people feel the need to impose on ones private space and time? Good luck with your problem.

Reply to cc
Posted by: LouLou | 2007/07/20

I actually want to build a door into the back wall of my garage and enter my yard that way - at least it will prevent me from walking past them! And if the bonus looks ok at the end of this month, electric garage doors...with ONE remote only...

(I hate conflict)

Reply to LouLou
Posted by: John | 2007/07/20

Its not for nothing that we have the saying "Good fences make (for?) good neighbours". This awkward americanism simply means that we should have a clear, unambiguous three-dimensional boundary between us and those that fate has provided as neighbours.

I've heard that you can't pick family. This is not strictly true. I have family members that haven't seen me in such a long time they wouldn't recognise me. You definitely cannot pick neighbours as you are pretty stuck until the next time you move. Unfortunately, you've breached that line that we all politely observe never to be crossed with neighbours: the one where we only nod when greeting and then only if you get caught looking in the first place, where you never look into an open window, where you curse at the dog when you are absolutely sure they are in Namibia for the weekend.

Your situation can only end badly. Your neighbours have taken advantage of your good nature. A kind gesture on your part is now expected behaviour, to the point where it seems as if they are offended if you do not extend yourself. You will have to tell them that you are not going to make your garage available to them any longer. If they ask why (and I am sure they will) simply say that you reasons are of a personal nature. When asked what you bought from - say that your shopping is personal. When coming and going, look in the other direction and do not acknowledge them. They may become nasty but thats what happens when free-loaders are rejected.

Let us know how it goes.

Reply to John
Posted by: John | 2007/07/20

Its not for nothing that we have the saying "Good fences make (for?) good neighbours". This awkward americanism simply means that we should have a clear, unambiguous three-dimensional boundary between us and those that fate has provided as neighbours.

I've heard that you can't pick family. This is not strictly true. I have family members that haven't seen me in such a long time they wouldn't recognise me. You definitely cannot pick neighbours as you are pretty stuck until the next time you move. Unfortunately, you've breached that line that we all politely observe never to be crossed with neighbours: the one where we only nod when greeting and then only if you get caught looking in the first place, where you never look into an open window, where you curse at the dog when you are absolutely sure they are in Namibia for the weekend.

Your situation can only end badly. Your neighbours have taken advantage of your good nature. A kind gesture on your part is now expected behaviour, to the point where it seems as if they are offended if you do not extend yourself. You will have to tell them that you are not going to make your garage available to them any longer. If they ask why (and I am sure they will) simply say that you reasons are of a personal nature. When asked what you bought from - say that your shopping is personal. When coming and going, look in the other direction and do not acknowledge them. They may become nasty but thats what happens when free-loaders are rejected.

Let us know how it goes.

Reply to John
Posted by: neighbor | 2007/07/20

that's why i just greet my neighbours and full stop! People do take advantage of nice people. They say that I am a high bug - but i don't care, I just keep to myself that's all.

Reply to neighbor
Posted by: John | 2007/07/20

Its not for nothing that we have the saying "Good fences make (for?) good neighbours". This awkward americanism simply means that we should have a clear, unambiguous three-dimensional boundary between us and those that fate has provided as neighbours.

I've heard that you can't pick family. This is not strictly true. I have family members that haven't seen me in such a long time they wouldn't recognise me. You definitely cannot pick neighbours as you are pretty stuck until the next time you move. Unfortunately, you've breached that line that we all politely observe never to be crossed with neighbours: the one where we only nod when greeting and then only if you get caught looking in the first place, where you never look into an open window, where you curse at the dog when you are absolutely sure they are in Namibia for the weekend.

Your situation can only end badly. Your neighbours have taken advantage of your good nature. A kind gesture on your part is now expected behaviour, to the point where it seems as if they are offended if you do not extend yourself. You will have to tell them that you are not going to make your garage available to them any longer. If they ask why (and I am sure they will) simply say that you reasons are of a personal nature. When asked what you bought from - say that your shopping is personal. When coming and going, look in the other direction and do not acknowledge them. They may become nasty but thats what happens when free-loaders are rejected.

Let us know how it goes.

Reply to John

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