To not want to be friendly with next door neighbours?

(32 Posts)
steben Thu 17-Mar-11 12:03:52

Sorry if this is a bit rambling but as the summer approaches I am getting more and more anxious about this. We have neighbours who are over friendly - when we first moved in we did the usual thing of drinks/etc..and saying hello and exchanging numbers in case of emergencies. The kind of relationship I would like would just be saying hello - doing bits if needed (like keeping an eye on house when away/collecting parcel if we are not in etc..)

The woman seems to be quite lonely and started to stalk me with calls and texts which just became too much. It has got to the stage where I will say hello - but I stopped answering phone which i felt awful about but it was really stressing me out to the point where i felt i could not relax in own home.

However with summer coming up I am really looking forward to getting outside with my daughter who is nearly one. They also have a baby and I am really worried she is going to start hassling me again and wanting to come over/chat etc..when all I want to do is just chill out in my garden with my DP and DD.

When we have had friends over in the past she makes a point of coming into garden and looking over and trying to catch my eye and it just makes me very uncomfortable. AIBU?

BettyCash Thu 17-Mar-11 12:05:41

I guess you'll just have to give stronger signals that you want to be alone, e.g. saying hello and pointing out that it's just you and the family, then politely declining her need for interaction after that. Hope she gets the message!

squeakytoy Thu 17-Mar-11 12:05:47

A higher fence?

RoyalBlingThing Thu 17-Mar-11 12:06:36

Do you like her?
If so;
Have a coffee with her once in a while
It won't kill you FGS

steben Thu 17-Mar-11 12:08:37

I would love a higher fence

Last year was awkward because they kept asking us over for bbq's when we just wanted to sit in garden and realx and it was difficult to politely say no because they could see we were not doing anything!!!!

ZZZenAgain Thu 17-Mar-11 12:08:42

can you screen yourself off more?

ZZZenAgain Thu 17-Mar-11 12:09:48

maybe you do have to politely say no, thanks without giving any explanation. Eventually they should get the message that you want to keep yourselves to yourselves but they may get offended

Callisto Thu 17-Mar-11 12:09:49

You do sound a bit mean, but as an antisocial bugger myself I can totally see where you're coming from.

It is a hard one, especially as she has a child the same age as yours. I think you need to plant some very fast growing plants or put a bigger fence in for privacy. And start answering the phone again - if it is her just say you can't talk right now.

steben Thu 17-Mar-11 12:10:01

I do like her - we have nothing in common but she is nice enough. I am more than happy to have coffee once in a while it is just that the minute I start interacting the texts and calls start so despite feeling awful it kind of has to be all or nothing.

Callisto Thu 17-Mar-11 12:11:03

Ah, the bbq thing would actually piss me right off. Tricky though 'cos you can't really tell them to piss off.

MissVerinder Thu 17-Mar-11 12:16:47

set a date, like the 22nd of each month for a catch up/bbq/coffee. Then you can say "oh, I can't come over for a coffee/bbq today, but I'll definitely be there on the 22nd"

PoisoningPigeonsInThePark Thu 17-Mar-11 12:20:51

Gazebo - helped us screen our selves off a bit last year - you want young DC to have some shade anyway.

Take her along to toddler groups so she meets others people take pressure of you?

ladyfirenze Thu 17-Mar-11 12:22:03

I've reached the stage now where I feel comfortable just saying gently, 'no, thanks - I don't want to'

stubbornhubby Thu 17-Mar-11 12:24:59

a higher fence ... last summer I added a two foot high, close mesh, trellis all along the top of our garden wall, and planted honeysuckle and clematis to fill the gaps.

did the trick...haven't seen the neighbours since

mind you the amount friendly conversation I had to endure while I built it...

Tryharder Thu 17-Mar-11 12:28:17

Shock horror. Woman tries to be friendly with neighbour. How dare she??? Why do you dismiss her as "lonely" just because she's nice enough to want to make friend with you.

There are some really nasty anti-social posts on here from people who quite clearly think they are superior to others....

MooMooFarm Thu 17-Mar-11 12:28:21

I would definitely put in a higher fence - or some fast growing plants along your side of the fence. Your garden should be your private haven, not somewhere to be hassled by neighbours.

I'm not unsociable, but I do think you have every right to privacy once you're in your own home/garden.

MooMooFarm Thu 17-Mar-11 12:30:04

tryharder I understood OP to be saying that when she's in her garden with friends, whatever, the neighbour goes into hers and tries to get involved with what she's doing, which is a bit OTT IMO.

frgr Thu 17-Mar-11 12:35:47

no, Tryharder, it's about people's ability to set the boundaries with which they are comfortable. and other people not seeming to respect that, despite relatively large amount of effort by posters to not scream "just let me do what i want to do, ffs".

people have enough pressure to "perform" in life.

duties to parents.
obligations, finicially, to banks and bills/utilities.
an obvious obligation to do well by your children.
striving to spend quality time with, and support, your partner.
significant pressure from employers.

do you really feel we should add "duty bound to neighbours" into that too?

sorry but my life is too short for all that as well.

i have so little free time in life that i only have a few hours each week to choose between family time, seeing friends, and doing stuff for ME.

personally, i wouldn't want a neighbour who brought in the emotional blackmail every time i tried to relax in my own home.

does that make me antisocial? maybe it does, but frankly i don't give a flying figg. the people i care about are the ones i want to spend time with. if that included a neighbour, all is well. but for me, it doesn't include neighbours.

so take a running jump with your "selfish" "anti social" accusations.

steben Thu 17-Mar-11 12:40:34

It is not about superiority - it is about wanting to relax in my own home and garden without the pressure to socialise. Similar to frgr - i work, don't see my partner during week as he works away and so what time I do have at home I want to make most of by spending it with my family and friends. An occasional cup of coffee is not a problem - but constant hassle is(even if it is well meaning).

Thanks for helpful advice though - I am just going to have to be clear and not feel guilty for saying no!

SeeJaneKick Thu 17-Mar-11 12:42:01

Tryharder...the OPs neighbour has cleaarly gone overboard with the texts and calls and staring over the fence!

OP...do as the other poster suggests...add a trellis and some climbing plants...while yu do it, be friendly...say things like "Oh I love the smell of Honeysuckle...I've been longing to grow some!"

So she doesn't think it's to block her out.

If she carries on with the staring while you're in the grden "Jusr say "Can I help you?

She'll have to say "Oh can we have a coffee?"

Which is your cue to say "No thanks I need some alone time"

sherbetpips Thu 17-Mar-11 12:47:08

The sad thing is this woman wants to be friends and that is something as we get older we all get worse at and find more difficult to do. Reality is,if you dont click with her, you dont want to see her too much which is fair enough.
I am crap at being on my own and hated the lonliness I experienced in maternity leave so I would have loved an interested neighbour, if you like your own space and time I can imagine finding this awful!
When we moved in the first thing the neighbours said to us was 'oh the last lot where forever banging on our door asking us over for a drink, very annoying' pretty much laid down the rules for us straight away.
Some people just dont take the hint and as you say can quickly become obsessive. The trellis and bushes trick sounds a good option to me as does the setting a monthly date when you do see them so there is nothing else inbetween. Good luck!

AppleyEverAfter Thu 17-Mar-11 13:44:49

I had this at my old house with a woman who just could not stop talking. I dreaded her coming round but would have a brew with her every few months or so. I did ignore the door a few times thoughblush. Yes the monthly date thing and going to mums groups together are both very good ideas.

Try putting the radio on really loudly in summer then pretend you can't hear her. wink

LisasCat Thu 17-Mar-11 13:53:43

Perhaps you need to move. We're a very friendly neighbourhood bunch, but some new people have just moved into the house next door, and are refusing to make eye contact or say hello. Now this is their right, but the houses on both sides are all good friends, our children play together, and all the yards are connected by a communal path running through them, and have only low chicken wire fences to separate. So we do all chat when we're outside, and we look after each other's children. This was quite clear when these people viewed the house, so to be honest we're a bit stunned that they moved in, given how much they obviously don't want anything to do with the neighbours. It was actually one of the big selling points for me (less so for DP, who is a lot like OP, from the sounds of it, but he's come around, and now happily plays poker with the neighbours on a Friday night!).

MooMooFarm Thu 17-Mar-11 14:00:52

Moving would be a bit drastic wouldn't it? Being pals with the neighbours should be optional, surely?!

For somebody so 'friendly' you don't sound very friendly in your post LisasCat confused

redstripeyelephant Thu 17-Mar-11 14:04:01

Might be worth getting a higher fence. But it won't hurt to invite her over every now and then or arrange to take the kids to the park together.

We knew noone when we moved here, thankfully we have 2 lots of v friendly neighbours with kids the same age and it is lovely. It's great to just be able to pop over for a cuppa while the kids play. Don't write her off too soon!

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