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Pushy neighbour - think I need to keep my distance - AIBU?

63 replies

Defenbaker · 13/10/2018 21:22

We have a neighbour living a few doors away, that we have become friendly with over the last few years. He's quite a nice chap in some ways, and pleasant enough to chat to, but in others he is a bit of an oddball and can be creepy at times - I will call him CN. For background, he is retired, he lives alone and is quite involved in neighbourhood watch (he has CCTV with several cameras outside his home, some of which are aimed at the front pavement/road area). He used to be a shop manager years ago, and likes to think he knows how to manage people.
I bump into CN a lot as I do a lot of walking, and don't mind chatting to him (or other neighbours) as I pass by, but have started to feel uneasy about some of the odd behaviour he exhibits. For instance, one day I was in a local shop browsing, and suddenly noticed a hand in my handbag. I was a bit alarmed and snatched my bag away, as I thought someone was trying to take my purse. It was CN. I frowned and asked him what the hell he was doing. He started laughing, and said "Oh, I thought you'd seen me... I was only playing about!" I obviously hadn't seen him, and didn't see the joke.
Another time I was chatting to CN in his front garden, discussing plants (I like gardening), when another neighbour drove past. CN suddenly grabbed me and made out like he was kissing me! He said, "Everyone thinks we're having an affair so I thought I may as well play along with it!" I said words along the lines of "That's never gojng to happen!" and gave him a certain look to make it clear, but I think he imagines I've got a thing for him (I haven't, I'm happily married).
Today he did something bizarre. We have recently had a new door put in, and he happened to walk by when I was pottering about outside. He started chatting to me and admired the new door, then tried the handle. I explained it's locked and he then put his own key in the lock to see if it would work! I said "Don't do that, you might jam the lock putting the wrong key in it", and his response was "Nah, it'll be fine", then before I could stop him he tried a second key in the lock! I was bloody annoyed about it, as locks can jam if the wrong key is put in, but he just went ahead anyway. It sort of brought the point home to me that he is too pushy and intrusive, and I really
need to keep my distance from him. AIBU or is this man quite creepy?

OP posts:

ChasedByBees · 13/10/2018 23:11

He sounds horrendous! Don’t worry about offending him, he’s trampling all over your boundaries.


Defenbaker · 13/10/2018 23:14

Fishesthatfly - yes, I've considered it. I know he uses his own to spy on people walking past. He has commented before on what I was wearing, when he "happened" to see me walk past his house. I never mention when my husband is away, in case he takes it as a green light to make a move on me. He is lonely but misguided, I must avoid giving him any signal that could be misconstrued.

OP posts:

ChasedByBees · 13/10/2018 23:15

And you should tell your DH about the assault / feigned kiss.


EmeraldVillage · 13/10/2018 23:20

Honestly OP as women we are socialised to be nice, kind and polite. Don’t make a fuss, smooth things over, don’t over react. And this leads to what should be obvious boundaries being massively overstepped by creeps and weirdos. Like your guy here.

So I would be passingly civil but not friendly, shut down chit chat and call out any more weirdness immediately.

One thing to watch out for is that creeps often use “can’t you take a joke” when you assert boundaries. My preferred approach is to be dead pan and say “I see nothing funny about it, do not do it again”. They may then mansplain why it is funny but remain impassive. Let them tell themselves you’re a humourless bag, at least they will know you won’t put up with their shot.


garethsouthgatesmrs · 13/10/2018 23:29

I hate confrontation and would have a hard time being firm with someone like you have described but I suppose you have to look at it like this. if you tell him to back off next time he makes innappropriate physical contact with you or your prorperty then one of 2 things could happen:

1)If he is a genuinely nice man who has somehow misjudged boundaries then he will be mortified and probably full of apologies, he almost certainly will not overstep again and things will improve. He will also be less likely to make another woman feel like this in the future as he will hopefully be more self aware

2) If he is not a decent persom he will probably be aggrieved, but this will most likely result in him backing off from you

either way you would have nothing to reproach yourself for and he would have probably backed off


HeebieJeebies456 · 13/10/2018 23:33

He said, "Everyone thinks we're having an affair so I thought I may as well play along with it!"

Now I'm wondering if he has transferred his fixation to me.

I think you're right.
Trust your gut.


garethsouthgatesmrs · 13/10/2018 23:35

I must avoid giving him any signal that could be misconstrued No the burden of responsibility does not lie with you, he is responsible for ensuring you are consenting before he embarks on any kind of emotional or physical contact. If he does anytihng inappropriate it's his bad no matter how much you have supposedly "led him on"


EmeraldVillage · 13/10/2018 23:36

If you struggle with confrontation then one approach is to have some stock phrases ready. Practice them in a mirror (yes really) and it will be much easier than having to think of something on the spot.


QueenArseClangers · 13/10/2018 23:41

Did you see the thread on here the other week? A neighbour sat outside facing the OP’s door every morning having a brew. His genitals were hanging out from under his dressing gown. The OP was worried that her D.C. could see and was probably accidental.
It wasn’t. The bloke was a fucking creep who got his kicks from flashing himself to women and kids. When OP’s DH/police? went round he kicked off and was nasty as anything.

Apparently he was ‘nice’ and perhaps ‘misguided’. These men aren’t. They’re opportunistic predators who push their luck and rely on eroding women’s boundaries until they blatantly assault.
As I said earlier: tell him to fuck off, tell your DH exactly what he’s been doing and involve the police if it happens again (or even now as he’s grabbed you already).

Good idea re cctv. He’s relying on your socialised female niceness to get his sexual kicks.


eggncress · 13/10/2018 23:43

I thought that you can’t just set up cameras to film the general public due to privacy laws.
A neighbour of mine wanted cctv but had to abide by strict rules with the camera in her window. It has to be at a certain angle so as not to be too intrusive on people living opposite. Also has to display a cctv notice.
I may be wrong but perhaps he’s already not sticking to regulations.

He sounds creepy and scary. You’re correct in avoiding him.
Set up your own cctv. He might be prowling around your place when you’re out.


Bebopaloola · 13/10/2018 23:45

No way. This guy is moving beyond creepy. He needs to be told to back the fuck off. Men like him rely on women's natural kindness and good manners to slyly get their kicks.


EmeraldVillage · 13/10/2018 23:48

I would agree on telling your DH the full story now.


Italiangreyhound · 14/10/2018 00:12

Very creepy. Tell your dh. Don't be alone with him at all ever.


diamondsandrose · 14/10/2018 00:14

No no no please tell me you are joking that you haven't told your husband AND the police about this absolute creep!

CCTV probably trained on your windows
Tried to take your purse out of your bag
Grabbed you to "kiss" you
Tested to see if his key would open your door

It makes me so angry that women are so conditioned to be polite that they often think this shit is ok

Follow the good advice above re ignoring and reporting. It's not your job to work out if it's a mental health issue or a pervert issue, just stay away and keep yourself safe


user1457017537 · 14/10/2018 00:18

I had a lonely male neighbour that would appear behind me when I was walking the dog at night. Sometimes I could smell cigarette smoke. Long story short he was caught peering into peoples homes and bedrooms and was a peeping tom.


AutumnEvenings · 14/10/2018 00:50

We also have a creepy elderly next door neighbour. Last year we asked the local council to step in when he had created a rubbish tip in the back garden, attracting vermin. I still have the pictures and once environmental health got involved he cleared it up under pressure.

Now he is resentful and will come out into the front garden and stare malevolently when we are working in the garden or cleaning the car. We are sure he comes prowling around whilst we are out at work. Recently we went on holiday leaving adult DS in the house with her BF staying over and visiting when possible. DS went out to our shed to put clothes in the tumble dryer and found the floor covered with stuff off the shelves, it gave her a real fright. I told her to ensure she does not use the shed when BF is not in the house, as I would bet it is creepy NDN who is responsible for this.

Just keep safe and ensure your DH is fully aware of everything which has happened.


PanchoBarnes · 14/10/2018 02:22

As your DH laughs, and is amused by him - he's probably amused, rather than concerned, since he is uninformed about CN's inappropriate behaviour.
I would have mentioned it to my DH same day, as each of the incidents occurred. Even if I hadn't been particulary worried at the time, I still would have mentioned it just because it was so odd.
Perhaps each single incident in itself wasn't overly concerning, but all together, yes, it is, and you're seeing it now.
Please tell your DH the entire story.
Yanbu - CN is creepy; and keep your distance.

The feigned kiss thing was way out of line.
The key incident has really topped it all off. I'd've smacked his hand away from my door lock. (Really would have.)

From now on, as you draw new boundaries, keep a pleasant tone with him (rather than become suddenly harsh) and wave hello, but no more chats.
If somehow he manages to do something creepy again, especially physical contact, tell him in no uncertain terms that he has overstepped the line one too many times. Afterwards don't wave hello to him, or acknowledge him at all anymore.

He may seem obtuse, but I bet he knows exactly what he is doing, and is playing you to see how far he can go with this shit.
Especially as your husband seems to be fine with it.
Tell him. Now.


PanchoBarnes · 14/10/2018 02:36

That really sucks. I am so against the council informing the offender as to which neighbours have complained about a nuisance/hazard in the area. It's ridiculously unfair.


CircleofWillis · 14/10/2018 03:18

OP I don’t think passing on seeds is the kind of ‘favour’ Spotify was talking about.


KC225 · 14/10/2018 03:58

I was on the busybody - ex retail manager, looking out for shoplifters or pickpockets now set himself up as the unelected neighbourhood watch manager until you mentioned that he tried to kiss you. That must have been pretty scary and should have been your queue to back off but as other posters have pointed out sometimes we overlook or ignore behaviour that shocks or unsettles us in order to be polite.

Nobody thinks you are having an affair which is a worry about his perception. What an odd thing to say. I think you should back off now as he is clearly reading more into it.

No more chats, no more seedlings and do not give him advice on his personal life. When walking your dog, wear a pair of over the ear headphones, and if you see him trying to catch your attention point to headphones as if you are listening to something you will not interrupt.

If he approaches you at home or in the garden and asks if anything is wrong or why you don't stop, seem as friendly have some rehearsed lines ready. 'I was cross about you trying the locks with your keys when I asked you to stop TWICE' 'You also upset me trying to make out we were kissing'. Use his own unacceptable behaviour back at him. I would also tell your DH about the attempted kiss and what he said about everyone thinking you're having an affair.


KickAssAngel · 14/10/2018 04:16

He's not lonely and misguided. He's predatory.

If her were just lonely and trying to make friends, but a bit sexist, he'd actually be trying to make friends with men, people he can be 'mates' with. But he's picking on you.

You are massively under-reacting. You shouldn't have to react at all, because you should never have to experience this, but this man is grooming you!!


TheDowagerCuntess · 14/10/2018 04:31

Is there any particular reason you haven't told your DH about the - I would say incidents, but let's call them what they are - assaults he's made on you?

I'd be calling DH to tell him, I wouldn't even wait for him to get home.

Tell your DH, and no more engaging at all. It doesn't matter that it's 'rude'. Being 'rude' to these sorts of people is actually really liberating. Try it.


penisbeakers · 14/10/2018 04:32

This is BEYOND creepy. He's being blatantly invasive, obnoxiously so, and trying to minimise it by pretending it's a joke.

I would suggest you actually ask someone else to tell him to stay away from you, preferably your other half (this is assuming you have one when you said "we" at the start of your post). If you don't, is there a male family member you can ask to handle it?

He sounds like a seriously fucked up person with absolutely no boundaries whatsoever. I bet he's charming as fuck too, right?


Thinkingofausername1 · 14/10/2018 04:50

I got friendly with some neighbors like you. The more I made the effort to chat he became quite creepy. He would talk about his previous wife leaving when his current wife went back in or left the room. I thought find the first time but then he has done it every time since.
He then started coming out on to his drive when I got back and in the end I had to start being rude because I found it uncomfortable. Men seem to think because you are at home or on your own or 'nice' they can treat you how they like. But if I were you I would just be firm, and keep your door locked. It's sad but you don't want him wondering in.


Graphista · 14/10/2018 04:50

There was a similar thread a few months back and older pps like myself rightly said neighbour was chancing an attempt at a sexual/romantic entanglement with the op (she was single and much younger than him) we pointed out some most men are often so entitled they still think they're in with a chance whatever the circumstances!

And yours is worse!

Don't pussy foot around tell him to fuck off and if he has your hand in your bag again you'll report him for attempted theft, and if he tries the "fake kiss" thing again you'll report him for sexual harassment/assault!vile git!

Withsexypants - why the FUCK does op need to be polite with this twat! It's this kind of internalised socialised misogyny that leads to creeps claiming they were getting "mixed signals"

I'd be pulling dh up for laughing it off too! Would he still be laughing if this twat seriously assaults you? You need to tell dh about the grab/feigned kiss.

"Long story short he was caught peering into peoples homes and bedrooms and was a peeping tom." Which is how many sexually motivated serial killers start out!

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