To dislike my neighbour(15 Posts)
or am I the problem?
So background - all of which is fact.
Moved into new house 3 years ago, its a new estate so lots of new neighbours. Our immediate neighbours were very friendly initially - he even helped us put up some shelves and they invited us in for new years eve dinner party which was really kind of them.
Husband is nice enough, wife isn't my type of person in that she's very loud, quite materialistic - by no means a horrible person just not for me.
We continued to chat for a year or so - every time we did though she would gossip about someone - one of her friends, another neighbour etc and I got the sense that this was her thing and decided never really to share any personal information with them.
Things have gradually gone down hill - there is absolutely no ill feelings but we literally never talk any more - her hubby will say hello to me and chat with my dh but she totally ignores me and I don't make a lot of effort to speak to her. There was some minor friction during the first summer when they refused to split us for the cost of the shared fence (and then attached their decking to it!) but no fall outs.
I just don't trust her, I don't like her personality and therefore, for a quiet life, I just keep my head down - if she looked me in the eye tomorrow I'd smile and say hello.
However, what bothers me is that they are now very friendly with all of our other neighbours - having dinner parties, bbq's etc - I'm not jealous but it does make me wonder if I'm the weirdo that no one wants to speak to? I'll say hi to my other neighbours and have a brief chat but that's about it. I'm not the warmest of people when I don't know someone so can come across shy or prickly and I feel that we are a bit isolated now - which is ironic given that some of these neighbours were the ones she was bitching about previously. Their kids are the same ages as these other neighbours so go to same school/nursery so there is obviously common interests (our dh is a bit younger) and she is quite forward in arranging social things whereas we aren't.
So, am I right to just keep my head down - or do I need to make more of an effort to avoid being the village weirdo??
If it was me I would do nothing. But then I'm very anti social. And I keep myself to myself. Because I can't be arsed with being one of the in crowd. And the gossip crap that comes with it.
If you were my neighbour, I'd be making friends with you. I would feel the same - you've just described how I am with people and feel about my own friends situations, and the other neighbours may be nice, but the way someone talks about other people is the way they talk about you. I'd keep her at arm's length and if you get on with any of the others, invite them over for coffee, otherwise fuck them all.
I'm a bit anti social too although trying to be a bit less so to ensure that it doesn't affect my dd as she gets older - my worry is that as she grows up and age becomes less of a factor, I don't want her to be the only kid not at the street bbq because of me.
That said, I do think there are pitfalls in becoming too friendly with your neighbours and risking a fall out - better to be polite and friendly but not friends IMO.
So, you ghosted her and now you are upset because she is ignoring you back and cracking on with her life? oh dear. Yes you probably need to be more proactive in making friends, your current tactics don't appear to be working!
Thanks Tallualah - I was horribly bullied as a child and this sort of thing really puts me off people.
I may be a bit paranoid but I remember an instance last year when she was chatting to a neighbour over the fence - very hushed tones, I then happened to step into the kitchen - the door was open - and the neighbour spotted me, said something and then it all went quite - it may have been nothing to do with me but from previous experience, she does spend a lot of time talking about other people behind their back.
I do also think (again maybe I'm paranoid) that our other neighbours are a bit distant with us and I do wonder what they've been told about us.
I've always been friendly and civil to neighbours and will help them out but I don't get "involved" IYSWIM?
It works for us; we help each other out and swap Christmas cards etc. but don't traipse in and out of each other's houses.
I'm not upset at all that she ignores me statetrooperstacey - I'm just keen to ensure that I'm not seen as awkward with my other neighbours.
kit your instinct us probably right. Like tall said invite a different neighbour for a coffee. Findeed things to chat about. Maybe the kids. Work family life what ever. Just avoid talking about the neighbours
Salmotrutta - absolutely that's my aim too. For example, even though we aren't particularly friendly, when she was pregnant last year and her hubby was working away I made the point of offering any help she might need and gave her my contact details should she need them.
I've not done Christmas cards for the last 2 years though - been too disorganised - they were written out just never posted them - that probably hasn't helped matters though!
Thanks ghost - just need to pluck up the courage to do that now - might start of smaller than that and aim to say more than just "hi how are you" next time I see them.
I think it's good to have really high standards about who you befriend. I can't stand any bitching/ game playing, and im not a fan of dull conversation just to pass the time( like when people are really negative about everything just for something to say).
I have a handful of close friends that I really click with, and am warm and neighbourly with people in my community, and that's fine for me. I do try and accept people for who they are, and know that we are all different, but that doesn't mean I have to like them. And it feels important to me to " keep my side of the street clean " and act with integrity, take responsibility for my actions, which I've always found a good way to connect with people who are different to me.
Also I think it's a good role model for your child to want friendships to go deeper than a bit of gossip.
Thanks Ohyesiam - I totally agree with your approach and I do struggle with iddle chit chat. Don't get me wrong, we all gossip sometimes but it's not something I want to get involved in.
Although I'm not that friendly with my immediate neighbours there are plenty of other people in the estate who I am friendly with - fellow dog walkers for example where we have a common interest and reason to chat with no gossip involved! Hopefully that means I'm not too odd and antisocial.
We can sense when people don't like us and she's probably sensed it from you. As it's her personality you don't like and not some incident that has upset you, she can't understand it and therefore blames you for being a weirdo, uptight, whatever, especially as things started out so well and she probably thought you'd be good friends.
I think you have a choice: continue as you are (no harm in that), try to get her back on side and ingratiate yourself (not great for you long-term but you want this for your DD) or build relationships with other neighbours and socialise with them
I'd be ecstatic! A very over friendly neighbour moved out and the new ones are very distant, occasional chats, but never in each other's houses. I'm thrilled! I can go to my car to get my phone etc without having three hours of the neighbour banging on about crap/her life/asking professional advice that she would otherwise have to pay for.
The other neighbours are elderly and we take them out/cook them dinner occasionally, but they must be like us, not too bothered. Thank god.
Count your blessings, OP.
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