It sure can be great to have neighbors who are helpful, reliable, and who don’t have raging parties at midnight on weekdays.
BUT, overly friendly and annoying neighbors who won’t leave you alone can also be a real drag. And sometimes it even gets to the point where you don’t want to step outside because you don’t want to get dragged into a two-hour conversation about the weather.
So how do you deal with these folks?
Let’s see what AskReddit users had to say about this.
1. Just tell ’em.
“I live in an extremely religious community ( Mormons) so this happens all the time. I used to try to be vague and give hints but the best technique I have found is this one.
“I am kind of a private person.”
And then I compliment them on something I have noticed.
“Nice grass” or “Hey thanks for checking on me, I know it comes from a good place.””
2. Polite and quick.
“If you’re not very open to chat, just keep things polite yet quick. It’s nice to have a good relationship with your neighbors.
If they do delve into personal questions, just say “that’s a bit personal, I’d rather not talk about that.”
Most important thing is to be polite. Don’t be an a**hole, or act standoffish when it’s not necessary.”
3. Avoid him.
“I ‘made friends’ with my neighbor at the beginning if lockdown. Now whenever I go out front of my house, he comes out. Every single time. Even when we just open our front door, he comes out and just sits.
One time, amazon dropped a package off when I was working on the side of the house. He opened his window, proceeded to YELL to me that Amazon had delivered a package.
I don’t go out of the front door anymore, unless going to my car. I just hang out around back and even take my dogs on walks leaving through and arriving through the back yard.”
4. Be nice.
“Be as polite as possible.
Seriously, its better than having a bad one who you are constantly at odds with.”
5. Keep it short.
“I think maybe they’re not so much intrusive just trying to spark a conversation.
I would stop what you’re doing, give them 5 minutes of undivided attention, you don’t have to reveal too much, just get to know each other, then wrap it up with an “alright good to see you, I gotta get back to this”.”
“Keep your answers short, simple, and vague.
“What did you do this weekend?” “Ehh not much.”
The conversation will eventually fizzle out they’ll get the hint.”
7. I do this.
Always leave the house wearing headphones, even if you’re not actually listening to music.
Every time you encounter said neighbor, give them a friendly wave and continue to carry on…”
8. Kill ’em with kindness.
“The only time I’ve had that happen was in my first apartment. Older lady next door always wanted to ask personal questions about me since I was so young.
When she asked overly personal questions I’d usually just smile and jokingly say something like “You’ll have to buy me dinner and a drink if you want to know me that well.””
9. There you go!
“I adopted a dog that absolutely hates my overly friendly/creepy neighbor.
10. Good advice.
“Anyways, I am generally a magnet for weirdos, so I have oodles of experience with this. The simplest way to deal with the nosey person is turn a lot of the questions back at them.
“Oh, thanks for asking, but I really need to know where you bought that fern. It’s so neat looking”.
“Oh, my job is boring. Tell me what you do for a living”.
Most of these busy bodies are looking for info to tell others. They’re so bored in their lives they have to know everyone else’s business. Either turn the question back at them or practice giving vague answers that say nothing.
“Oh, we’ve been married a while. Y’know, time flies”.
If you can’t or don’t want to talk to them, make sure you have very visible headphones on (even if your not actually listening to anything). Don’t remove them when they speak to you. Either just lift one each time they speak or leave them on and yell really uncomfortably loud when responding.
Occasionally misunderstand what they said because you couldn’t hear them. If they push it, say you’re listening to classes to learn a foreign language for work. The boss put you on a deadline to learn it. (Pick an obscure language)
If all that doesn’t work (those extra special nosey people), start feeding them really strange information that they’ll sound weird repeating to the neighbors.
Of course, the best remedy is to just talk to them for a minute, then excuse yourself and tell them you really have to get back to whatever you’re doing. Then step away. But it’s sometimes fun to mess with the annoying ones.”
11. Plan of attack.
“My partner and I just moved in to a house and got cornered by a neighbor for 30 minutes. My Midwest sense of guilt needs to clarify a few things.
We were on our way to do stuff, this neighbor started talking and didn’t stop for 30 minutes. I’m not exaggerating. Half an hour. Non stop talking AT us, not with us. We tried every little polite out we could take.
Plenty of “welllp”s and “Damn, that’s crazy”s and even a few god damn “well we should really get going”s. I even started leading the conversation into the middle of the street hoping a passing car would seperate us. None if it worked. We only finally made it out of there because it got dark.
I’ve decided the next time this happens I’m just going to tell her politely, but firmly, that I need to take a dump and then just walk away.”
12. We’re getting out of here.
“Try having a neighbor who tracks when you leave and arrive back home. Talks to your boss about your work schedule and when you’re actually supposed to be at home.
Asking my boss if I had Covid when she noticed I hadn’t left the house in a couple days. The list goes on and on. I hate nosy neighbors, is your life really that miserable you have to worry about STRANGERS?!
I told her off and we are currently looking to move. Some people are just bad neighbors.”
13. This is kind of crazy.
“I’ve learned this lesson a very hard way I’ve know my neighbor (56m) for around 15 years and considered him a family friend. He watched me grow up and our families have even taken a vacation together.
He was always nosey and asked personal questions but I shrugged it off as that’s just how he is. That was until my girlfriend (20f) moved in with us. He slowly became more and more friendly with her. Asking her where she works. About her family. And slowly changing his personality to hers. I suspected something was going on.
Keep in mind he is married with a daughter still in high school. One day I came home from work and my girlfriend was sharing a beer and talk with him in his garage nothing out of the normal he frequently invited us over for beers and what not so I thought nothing of it. A few days later my girlfriend comes to me in tears. And not of sadness but of frightened tears.
After what seemed like forever she told me. That the night she had a beer with him he told her horrible things. That he wanted to f*ck her brains out and steal her and tie her up. He’s thought about breaking into our home and taking advantage of her. He as well broke into her car and was leaving her love notes. My once friendly neighbor went crazy.
I confronted him about the situation and he admitted to it and told me I was no good and did not deserve her. And keep in mind he told me this in his backyard with his wife and daughter home. Fast forward a month later. (In this time he hasn’t showed his face since).
My girlfriend gets off work early and as she is walking into our house he was hiding in the bushes asking if she was afraid of him. She ran inside and we had to call the police.
And for the next Two months he sat on his property line next to ours with a small foldable chair and just watched our house. So the best way to deal with a overly nosey neighbor is to cut the convo short and walk away.”
Do you have any good advice about how to get your annoying neighbors off your back?
If so, talk to us in the comments.
We’d love to hear from you!