neighbour nonsense- am i going insane??

(54 Posts)
palazzopantaloons Fri 06-May-16 12:59:04

Hello All, I'm writing this b/c this has been building and building inside me for all the time we have been living in our house (over 5 years) and I really really need to vent. Basically, my next door neighbours are turning me into a sociopath. They are an older couple in their late 60s who have lived in their house for over 40 years and are very opinionated and judgmental about absolutely everything, it seems. They think they're the king and queen of the street. If I happen to see either of them out front and get caught up in a conversation, it always turns into them gossiping and slagging off other people who live near us, "This person's a fool, that person needs to do this, that or the other..." I try my best to be friendly and smiling when I see them, I really do. Many times they've said things to me directly which have been insulting-- for example when I've come home w/ shopping bags in my hands, "Oh... shopping again, are we?" (I'm barely a clotheshorse) or when carrying DH's work shirts in from the drycleaners, "Oh...you don't do them yourself?" angry Can't they mind their own business? They open their curtains to see who's rung OUR doorbell, even!!
I'm convinced they're turning other neighbours against us-- i'm not sure if this is related, but we've never been invited over to anyone's house for parties or even a cuppa, when we've invited people over to ours for our DC's birthday party shortly after moving in way back when... They're always home, and I find I loathe even going into my front or back garden to do anything b/c I KNOW they're watching and judging from their windows or over the fence. (We do manage to keep our gardens in a decent state btw, but they'd be so much nicer if I didn't feel this way) I'm getting really freaked out and paranoid about the whole situation. We're nice people. I swear!! Oh, just yesterday, I had just returned from voting up the street and ran into them on the pavement and she goes, "I'd vote to keep Americans out of our country!!!" (I'm American, with British citizenship)
What's wrong with them?? Is it me?? Am I crazy?? I can't seem to let it slide and ignore them, but I need to in order to live a normal life. FFS!

Witchend Fri 06-May-16 13:10:44

Shopping again isn't insulting, it's just making talk.

palazzopantaloons Fri 06-May-16 13:14:47

witchend you would think it was just small talk, but it's her disdainful tone when she says it.

Ginmakesitallok Fri 06-May-16 13:16:18

I've never been inside my neighbours houses, but we get on ok. I'd think it was more weird to be invited round! I think you're making a bigger deal out of this than it is.

Sentedpants Fri 06-May-16 13:18:19

She says: ""I'd vote to keep Americans out of our country!!!"

What did you say back?

NannawifeofBaldr Fri 06-May-16 13:18:46

Don't stop and talk, just nod politely and keep walking.

palazzopantaloons Fri 06-May-16 13:23:34

sented I couldn't say anything! I just looked at her surprised and then she went on about how Obama should keep his mouth shut when he visits the UK, blah blah blah. But I just know she meant it as a pop to me about where I'm from.

AerithEarthling Fri 06-May-16 13:24:21

Threads like this and my own experiences is why people are becoming less friendly with neighbours because certain people just like drama as they are dull and pathetic , its the only attention they ever get is trying to upset someone else.

I had a nfh and when i first moved in he said to me "nobody talks to eachother around here everyone minds their own"
This man went on to bully me to the point i had a mental breakdown and moved, the HA did nothing about it and said his stamping on the floor several times in a row at 2am was "normal living noise" and all he had to do was deny he smoked weed and say it was me and they saw it as tit for tat.
I now will never speak to neighbours, i am ok with hi and bye anything else i say sorry i am busy.

palazzopantaloons Fri 06-May-16 13:25:03

gin I know I am too, but I can't seem to control it and be reasonable about it.

CantAffordtoLive Fri 06-May-16 13:25:19

I am afraid I'd be so tempted to give them something to talk about. grin

palazzopantaloons Fri 06-May-16 13:27:47

aerith I am so sorry you went through that...that's just terrible.

t4gnut Fri 06-May-16 13:32:27

Ignore them. Blank them. They want attention, don't give it. You don't need them or their approval.

aginghippy Fri 06-May-16 13:33:13

YANBU it's them. The 'vote to keep Americans out of our country' comment is a direct insult to you. IIWY I would not speak to them any more.

Why do you find it difficult to ignore them? Just say hello and keep on walking.

Sentedpants Fri 06-May-16 13:34:56

Palazzo Oh yes, me too. My ex-NDN was convinced my DH was a drug dealer and went around telling the whole neighbourhood so. Most of the other neighbours also believed it. Well, we live in a very naice house, DH is black and drives a sports care so who can blame them for coming to that conclusion? hmm

DH did nothing to dissuade his belief and, in fact, positively encouraged it. A particular highlight was DH washing out and hanging loads of sealy bags on our washing line one Saturday just to get curtains twitching.

liinyo Fri 06-May-16 13:36:55

We have lived in our house in a London suburb for 9 years. It is a small road with just 8 houses. We greet the neighbours/chit-chat/take in parcels etc but have never been invited into anyone's house. I think that is normal life nowadays, people tend to make friends with colleagues/school gate mums/gym buddies etc rather than neighbours.

You do sound very sensitive - apart from the American comment it all sounds normal to me. But that was mean and rude. I would just nod and walk on by from now on.

aginghippy Fri 06-May-16 13:37:29

Sentedpants grin
Good on DH!

EssentialHummus Fri 06-May-16 13:38:38

I am afraid I'd be so tempted to give them something to talk about.

Same here. But I think ignore, ignore, ignore is the way to go. They're bored and don't have better ideas of what to do with their time.

GreyBird84 Fri 06-May-16 13:39:05

The problem is with these kind of asides is that is difficult to address.

OP: My Neighbour watches me when Im in the garden
NDN: I am allowed to look out my window, sit in my garden etc

Tone, attitude etc is very hard to 'prove' especially when people are being obtuse and passive aggressive.

No advise OP - I very much doubt you are going mad but by same token maybe not everything they say or do is to annoy you.

JessieMcJessie Fri 06-May-16 13:39:29

You say you invited other neighbours round when you first arrived. Can you perhaps invite one of them again and see if they have a view on Mr and Mrs Obnoxious? I can't imagine that they are lovely to everyone except you, so it will probably prompt their own stories of ridiculous things that have been said and a nice cathartic joint bitch-fest.

I wouldn't read too much into other neighbours not inviting you round though - I have plenty of parties to which I wouldn't dream of inviting my neighbours, even though we are on good chatting terms when we meet in the street. Socialising with neighbours is not a big thing in the UK (despite what Corrie and EE would have you believe).

Sentedpants Fri 06-May-16 13:39:54

aging DH was really gutted when they moved away.

Blossom591 Fri 06-May-16 13:40:50

What reason (other than just being twats) would they have for turning neighbours against you? None, just hold your head high & ignore.
I have similarly irritating neighbours but it came to an abrupt end one day when exh said 'you really are a nosy interfering old bat aren't you please fuck off' to her shock
I thought it was a bit harsh at the time especially as we are in a naice middle class village but it has completely stopped it!
Have you invited your neighbours over for a cuppa? Is that what people do ??

hmcAsWas Fri 06-May-16 13:42:20

Start blanking your neighbours - you've been polite enough, you don't need to engage with them any further.

I think you are being a smidge paranoid that they might have turned others against you however - since surely everyone knows what they are like and take what they say with a pinch of salt?

waitforrose Fri 06-May-16 13:44:15

No. You are not going insane. It sounds like my village! Sadly this is small minded gossipy Britain. I've lived in several London flat shares but nothing compares to the toxic small minded twaddle I've met in smallsville.
My advice is to cut them off.. Smile, be in a hurry and keep yourself to yourself. They are fishing for information to gossip about. I'd be inclined to shout BOO really loudly when you catch them snooping.

GarlicShake Fri 06-May-16 13:44:44

They're just irritating neighbours. They evidently are quite unpleasant people, but you do seem to be allowing them to get to you!

It's not compulsory (or even possible) to be liked by everyone.

The way most people deal with these people is to murmur politely, then roll your eyes as soon as they're behind you. Try it!

GarlicShake Fri 06-May-16 13:45:55

And, yeah, wave enthusiastically when you see them snooping!

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