When A Neighbor Violates Boundaries
Most of us either have, or know someone who has the neighbor from hell. That neighbor who drops by uninvited, has an opinion about everything, wants to hang out with you, brings his own beer while doing all of the above, or wants to tell you how to manage your home, your yard, your life. You don’t have to move away, but you do need to set firm, concrete boundaries. Let’s begin with the neighbor who drops by uninvited. If you like uninvited drop ins, than not a problem. However, if you don’t like uninvited drop ins, do not let your neighbor into your home. Answer the door, step outside placing your body half in your home and half out, holding the door, and let your neighbor know you are busy at the moment and can’t visit. Doing this a few times will usually give the message you intend, which is, please don’t stop by uninvited. For some neighbors, you may even have to tell them you don’t like drop by visits, and that is nothing to do with them, it is your own issue. The neighbor who wants to drink with you and sees you outside so decides to join you with his own 6-pack, may be a little more challenging. You may have to gently but firmly tell them that you are busy with what you are doing and are not able to visit. When that neighbor is advising you on how to manage and live your life, smile, thank them, and keep doing what you are doing. Eventually, your difficult neighbor will look for someone much more fun to interact with and you will be able to wave as you go in and out of the neighborhood, with that being the extent of your relationship. If all else fails, you might have to tell your neighbor that you have a policy against developing a friendship with a neighbor in case something goes wrong and you prefer to keep your relationship pleasant but distant. Remember, it takes two people to have a relationship.
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