Nosy Neighbors -- Five Ways to Regain Your Privacy
Nosy neighbors - we all have at least one don’t we? It seems that every time you go outside to check the mail, there they are pretending to prune hedges that do not need pruning. Have friends over for dinner and you can be sure that they will be sitting somewhere within earshot, listening in on your private conversations. So how can you deal with a neighbor that just doesn’t know the meaning of the word ‘privacy’?
As a first step, it would be wise to try to deal with a nosy neighbor delicately; after all you do have to live next door to this person. Try sending them an anonymous letter explaining that you do not appreciate the unwanted attention that they are paying you. Don’t worry about being caught out, chances are that you are not the only person they have been annoying.
If their nosy behavior continues, drop hints in conversation. Bring up something you saw on the ‘news’. For example – ‘I saw this interesting report on the news today that over 60% of all homeowners have problems with neighbors invading their privacy.’ You are not being rude or confrontational, you are just letting them know that they need to mind their own business.
Some nosy neighbors just thrive on the attention that you give them. If they can see their actions have an effect on you, they will keep trying to get under your skin. The best way to deal with these kinds of people is to simply ignore them. You will be surprised to find that many nosy neighbors will get bored and look for someone else to annoy.
Block Their View
A fence is a great way to shield your property from unwanted attention. However, your local authorities may have regulations prohibiting you from building a fence above a certain height, so make sure you aren’t breaching any laws before you start building.
Planting a row of tall trees will have the same effect as a fence. Better still, trees are much nicer to look at and they don’t require council approval to plant.
You should only confront your neighbor as a last resort. If you have dropped several hints, blocked their view, ignored them and they simply don’t get the message then it’s time to confront them. The most important thing to keep in mind is to not get aggressive; tell them ‘I don’t appreciate being watched 24/7. Mind your own business or I WILL file a restraining order’. There’s a time to be polite, but when somebody crosses your boundaries it’s no more Mr. Nice Guy!
Put on a Show!
If you are the adventurous type, you can give your neighbor the show of a lifetime! Start playing bongo drums in your backyard, tap dance in your living room, dress up in a panda suit and attempt to have an ordinary conversation with your nosy neighbor. After a stunt like this your neighbor will be too embarrassed to meet your eye. Just don’t get too crazy, you don’t want the police knocking on your door!
These are only five suggestions for dealing with nosy neighbors. If you have any additional tips that were not mentioned in this article, feel free to mention them in the comments section below.