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to think my elderly neighbour is starting to take advantage?!

(12 Posts)
PanicMode Thu 15-Sep-11 18:01:28

I have an elderly neighbour who I take to a regular church thing once a week. It is out of my way and is a bit of a pain because it is at lunchtime and DC4 still has a nap so I have to juggle my day a bit to do it, but I don't mind as it is something that I committed to do, and I know that it gives her a lot of pleasure.

I have seen her a few times struggling to the supermarket and have offered on many occasions to go and get whatever she needs, and rarely she takes me up on it but she does occasionally.

Recently she's started phoning me up and asking me to take her to doctors/physio appointments (and then waiting around for her) before taking her home. I have two preschoolers and one at school so it's not as though I don't have anything else to do!! I find it very hard to say no to anyone because I do like to help if I can, but recently I've felt a bit pressured to say yes, even if it isn't frightfully convenient or easy to do stuff for her.

She has two daughters, one of whom lives locally, and she's been going to the church for 50 years so AIBU to think that she could ask someone less tied than me sometimes? Or do I just need to learn to be a bit more assertive and say no when it's not convenient....

Tchootnika Thu 15-Sep-11 18:06:15

You need to be more assertive.
Just say no, it's not possible/convenient (which it isn't). That way you won't have to worry about whether she's knowingly taking advantage of you (she probably isn't).
No reason not to say no - you're being kind and helpful already!

AgentZigzag Thu 15-Sep-11 18:10:02

I'm not sure she's taking advantage as such, more just taking you up on your very kind offers of general help.

She must think she won't be putting you out because you've offered to do so much for her already.

But by that token, she doesn't sound as though she wants to put her daughters out, which might not be their fault if she turns them down like she did you so many times?

You sound lovely though smile

peggotty Thu 15-Sep-11 18:11:08

I doubt that she is knowingly taking advantage - you need to be more assertive. It is hard though and you have been kind and a good neighbour. She probably just genuinely doesn't realise how busy you are in your own life.

Kayano Thu 15-Sep-11 18:12:44

You sound nice but if you offer to help all the time, you cant turn around and moan when she does actually approach you for a few favours

I think your lack of assertiveness may be part of the issue

candytuft63 Thu 15-Sep-11 18:19:07

You could ask her to make her appointments for when it suits you - say one afternoon every fortnight to stock her larder and go to the gp, etc. she has enough leeway to make appointments when it is reasonable for you to help her.If she needs more of your time, then harden your heart.You are obviously a kind person, but you shouldnt feel used like this.She probably has no idea you are feling this way, you just need to set some boundaries.
Dont feel bad - you already do enough by anyones standards.

pigletmania Thu 15-Sep-11 18:31:13

Exactly, be more assertive. Say no sorry its not convenient, I am a bit busy. Hopefully after a while she will give up.

PanicMode Fri 16-Sep-11 13:21:59

Thanks everyone; sorry I posted and then disappeared. I know you are right that I need to learn to say no, so I am practising being more assertive as I type.

Tchootnika Fri 16-Sep-11 13:31:01

... and no need to apologise, Panic!
the consensus is clearly that you're a very thoughtful, kind neighbour, smile
(It's actually very good to read threads by people who are so considerate - and makes me think I should be much more so...)

Birdsgottafly Fri 16-Sep-11 13:33:02

If you don't tell her she won't know that it isn't convenient.

My DM in her 80's won't ask for help because she isn't sure if people can fit it in, but won't be honest with her, so she struggles on, neighbours are willing to do favours, as she takes in all of their parcels and looks after their pets, when they are away, she is frightened to ask.

A neighbour is a chiropodist but because she won't take payment off my DM, my DM won't ask her to do her feet and is often in pain.

Life would be alot easier if we were all just said how we felt and told the truth.

PanicMode Fri 16-Sep-11 13:46:20

Thanks Tchootnika - I try to be, but I feel bad for having a moan - I have offered to help so shouldn't be annoyed when she asks me for more help!

Birdsgottafly - I am glad that she feels she can ask me - but you're right, I do think I need to be more honest about the time constraints.

porcamiseria Fri 16-Sep-11 14:18:08

just say no, sorry, cant do it. simple

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