6 Ways to Handle Toxic Neighbors
Cold as Ice!
Handling certain people in life is like managing a business.
Some people you are better off without. Some people you are better off with.
Finding a middle ground with people who stir strife and cause drama when all you want to do is live in peace can be a hard road to follow.
It's easy to get sucked in to the whirlwind of things when you are going along in life. Thinking everything is ok, having a great time, and wham! Out of nowhere, you find yourself trapped between reality and disbelief as people in your neighborhood look through their curtains at you in shame. Talking behind your back, pointing their finger at your from frozen goods at the local supermarket, and excluding you from the neighborhood yard sale year after year.
What do these people want? Why do these people laugh at your demise in the popularity charts of society?
1. Make peace with yourself first.
Scan the brain and think if there was anything you could have possibly done to warrant this parasitic behavior of the few busy bodies in your neighborhood.
Did you, could you, or even would you have stooped so low as to upset any of their axles on the wheel of earth?
If so, it's ok to forgive yourself. Maybe bring a freshly baked lemon meringue over to the pioneer who started the rumor mongering and apologize.
But if you truly have nothing, and can't figure out what is upsetting everyone so madly, then don't give it another thought.
These people want to absorb your energy and effort. Instead of focusing on your own self and life, they want you to "think" there is something wrong with you or you have done something to cause catastrophic upset amongst the elders of the planet.
Be yourself. Know you did nothing wrong. Ignore them. When they get tired of you, they'll move on to their next victim. Let's hope that person is as smart as you are and doesn't give them an ounce of their attention to play with.
“Anarchy is the only way of reaching higher inner peace.”, Francisco A. Salinas
2. Go on about your day.
As hard as this will be for some who become obsessed with the idea that someone could possibly not like them, believe me it will become easier as your days go on.
Obsessing about this will only give them what they want.
They want to control you, bring you down, make you stoop to their level.
Most people I've encountered that make a ritual out of bringing others down are miserable themselves. Maybe they never had a flower garden and yours is blooming out of control. Perhaps they could never eat ice cream, and they see you in a cute polka-dot dress happily strolling over to the truck every day to eat to your heart's content.
Whatever the reason, there is no cause for you to give it another blink of an eye.
It's their problem. Let it stay with them.
3. Do your best every day!
No one can ask a thing of you. You are your own person.
If you work for an employer, you are an employee and therefore must comply with office rules.
But in real life, when you are in your car, in your home, in a coffee shop awaiting that pumpkin flavored latte with hot steamy cream (the way you like it), no one has the right to tell you it's not right until it's their way.
As you go through your life, you will gain confidence and begin to trust in yourself that your decisions are the best ones you can make because they are yours to begin with. No one can take this away from you: choice.
Therefore, you can choose to do your best every day.
If it's not good enough for someone else or it's not their way, who cares! All that really matters is that it's good enough for you!
4. The best revenge is living well.
You don't need a Hummer to ride down the road and tell everyone what you think of them, although one in silver would be a really great first one for me.
Living well doesn't mean you don't get the occasional cold and have to call out of work sick, or you are behind one month on the electric bill and need to make a payment plan. It also doesn't mean that you are not living up to anyone's expectations because your car broke down so you walked to work.
Living well means you are happy with who you are. It doesn't matter what anyone else says about you. You, yourself, defines your happiness. And that my friends, cannot be taken away, ever!
5. Avoid them like the plague!
Avoiding someone doesn't mean you need to be rude or shun someone at the family park on Friday night during the weekly high school football game.
But what it does mean is that you do not have to search that person out to figure out why they don't like you!
If there is a person who truly doesn't like you, why on earth would you want to try to be their pal anyway?
Many people have a hard time understanding this concept. Why? Because people love to be accepted by others. It's hard emotionally on those that are rejected.
Take it from someone who knows this on a much more deeper and personal level. When you are rejected from your mother at birth, one can't possibly be much more rejected in life after that!
So, don't make a habit of trying to suck up to everyone that has rejected you or treats you like you should be ashamed of yourself. No way! Don't ever back down to being who you are. You are unique because you are you! Once you understand that, you won't need the other person so much or at all.
Finding peace in a no-win situation
Start a journal.
Make a list of what attributes you like in each of your neighborly friends.
If someone has added you to their blocked list of life, avoid them.
When you hit it off with someone down the street, make it known that you appreciate them.
Overcome rumors with truth. Don't fear people because of the latest lie told about you at the corner market.
Be true to who you are and stand your ground against unwarranted complaints.
Find it in yourself to shut the door, close the curtains, turn off the phone and just live your life!
A few words for the weary.
After coming home from a long day at work, grocery shopping, babysitting, mowing lawns, or whatever it is that you have accomplished, don't give in to the insults and brainwashing techniques your neighbors have instilled in you.
So what if they are using walkie talkies reporting your every move to each other through the intercom system. Who cares if they are typing on Facebook to all of their followers that you are the world's worst person because you forgot to recycle your last milk carton!
- Unlock your door and step inside
- Lock your door
- Shut your curtains
- Turn out the lights, to really spook them
- Pour yourself a beverage, hot chocolate, cup of tea, hot steamy cappuccino, or whatever you like to have after a hard day of excitement
- Turn off your phone
- Sit down
- Turn on your favorite music to drown out the noise from outside
- Think about what you are going to do tomorrow
I don't care if there is an endless wave of gossipers standing on your front porch threatening to burn down your Easter bunny lawn ornament in the middle of July!
Remember, they will get bored. No response is necessary!
Do you have a toxic person in your neighborhood who tries to stir the pot against you with other neighbors?
The energy thief.
The energy thief is a person who will swipe you of all your energy and zap you again just to make sure your brain account is closed.
They want what you have. They want your secrets for living so well.
That's right! It isn't a mistake they are after something that you have. Often times they conspire to themselves just waiting for the opportunity to pounce on you next time you meet in the crowded aisle of produce at the supermarket.
Why? Because they have something to say to you out loud so everyone will hear it.
They want to make sure everyone there knows the real person they think you are (which is never on the complimentary spectrum), and they take immense pleasure in watching everyone scurry out of the aisle away from you.
It brings them most enjoyment in life to screw up yours.
How to overcome this situation!
When all else fails and you have had it to the point of giving in, running out of your home screaming at who ever will listen, which makes you feel better for only a millisecond before you realize they got to you, here are some encouraging words from my favorite song artist Mandisa:
You're an overcomer
Stay in the fight ‘til the final round
You're not going under
Stand up for yourself! Shake off those ruffled feathers.
6. Don't look, breathe, or react their way.
Finally, after all else, the battle will truly not be won without you at the wheel of your own ship!
- Don't look at them
- Don't breathe in their direction
- Do not react to anything they say or do
I haven't a clue why some people pick a person off the street and use them as the latest bait for a fish fry on Walnut Street of life.
The only guess to this day is that people are unhappy with themselves.
There is something to be said about blissful ignorance!