Neighbour problems

Hi all, I don’t want to appear mean but I am now having problems with a neighbour (she lives right opposite me). I saw her a week ago and said thanked her for her card and kind words that she put through my door after my hubby passed away. The trouble is she is not content to just have a little chat now and again and gets a bit clingy. She invited me round for a cup of tea on Sunday and as I was having a little lie in (which I don’t do very often) she put a note through my door asking if I would come round at 4 pm for tea. I knew if I went she would get all what I call clingy again but I did not want to disappoint her so I rang her and said I would be over at 4 pm. She had baked a cake and shortbread and we had a nice chat. She is quite a bit older than me and has other friends and she drives and is out almost every day so she is not lonely. She is sweet but a bit pushy and has now suggested a get together at Christmas or days leading up to Christmas? I don’t want this, I am a bit of a loner and enjoy my own company and that of my dogs. I don’t want to upset her but feel a bit trapped as she can just pop over to my house any time and so obviously I have to answer the door and just don’t know how to politely say no. She is very difficult at taking no for an answer as she wanted to be friendly when my hubby was here. I am friends with another lady locally and we get on well and I know I can just pop to see her whenever I need to. Anyone have ideas please? I am not very good at being firm with people.

A simple answer for now would be there is a pandemic and you are mostly isolating at home for safety and health reasons. That should give you many months peace and quiet. To be polite, as she is a neighbour, you could say you are happy to chat outside at a safe distance.
If you really want zero contact then you’ll have to be more direct.

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Thank you, that has been a help. It has given me an idea what to say.

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Hi, CountryGirl, Being firm but polite at the same time is not easy. But none of us have to be made to feel uncomfortable because of those who mean well but cause us emotional problems. I am ashamed to say I do tell white lies on occasions to get out of seeing those who make me feel uncomfortable. ‘I’m am so sorry, I have my cousin coming later, perhaps another day’!! Now I do hate being devious, but in the last resort it’s the only way. If you are blunt and say you want to be on your own that can crate bad feeling, because few respect that.
If you keep making excuses they eventually get the picture. You may be a sensitive person and don’t want to upset people. But that can lead to emotional suffering like feelings of guilt. Is she the sort of person who would understand that you would rather be alone? Please don’t force yourself to try and do something you dislike for the sake of appearances. You are still in grief, and if she does not understand that then it’s not your problem.
Sorry, maybe this was not much help, but I have found if you make enough excuse they do eventually get the message.
Very best wishes. John.

Hi and thank you Jonathon, you have made me a bit better as I always feel guilty about things like this. I know most people as you say usually get the message when you keep making excuses. This would be easier to do if she phoned me but she comes and knocks on my door so face to face is difficult. Also, if I tell little lies about having visitors etc. she can see from her house whether or not anyone is coming (she is directly opposite me, literally about 30 feet away). Also, I am not sure if I actually like her, she comes across as quite sweet but has a rod of iron running through her! She does not seem to want to talk about my hubby or my bereavement only about me myself and does not talk about herself much either, even though I ask her questions to make conversation. I can make excuses if it is actually Christmas she wants to get together because I definitely want to be on my own then with my dogs but if its the run up to Christmas I will have to think of another excuse.
You have been a help to me, thank you.
Best Wishes.

Thank you Sheila,
Oh my goodness you had a horrible time with that neighbour. My neighbour seems to want to make ‘appointments’ for when I can visit her! I hate that. If she just said to me pop over anytime you feel like a chat or whatever I would have felt much more comfortable with that. The other lady who also lives in my road has said to pop up anytime for a natter so I have a couple of times and I enjoy having a chat to her. She also lost her hubby a couple of years ago, so we have that in common. I don’t really know why this other neighbour wants to be friends, we don’t have much in common, she is very religious which I am not, she is prim and proper and quite a bit older than me. I am finding already that when I leave the house to walk the dogs I check to make sure she’s not in her garden!!! Also, I checked and I cannot use the excuse that I am in isolation as then you are not allowed to walk your dogs and of course she will see me taking them out.
Oh well, I just hope she will get the message when I don’t go round at Christmas and take it from there.

Best wishes.

Country girl, your neighbour sounds like a right busybody and probably thinks she is doing you a favour, she won’t understand that you like your own company and that you are alone but not lonely. Tell her you appreciate her thoughtfulness and kindness but at this moment in time you are grieving and prefer to be on your own. She sounds like an ‘organiser’ which is the last thing you need. I had one of these many years ago who made me a prisoner in my own home because like you I felt I was creeping about trying to avoid her and it’s awkward when you are a person who doesn’t like confrontation. Sometimes we just have to be rude so they get the message though, so if she doesn’t take the hint I always find a polite but firm F#*k off works a treat :wink::joy:


That definitely works a treat if they don’t get the hint. :joy:


I think you’ll have to politely say that you need time on your own , it’s horrible to feel like that, being bombarded constantly , that’s the last thing you need. You’ve got to think of yourself and if she doesn’t like it, then tough, you’ve not lost anything.


Sheila, I don’t like hurting people either but sometimes needs must :rofl: I think the lockdown has been an advantage to a lot of us who just want left alone :wink: hope you are keeping well x

Might you consider posting her a “thank you” card, with a letter, that simply explains that you really appreciate how she is looking out for you since you lost your husband, but that at this moment in time you prefer your solitude, and you hope she isn’t offended if you don’t accept every invitation.

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Yes, you are right. I would absolutely hate telling lies and certainly don’t want to. I have decided to write her a little note in a pretty card and say what you have suggested and pop it through her door. I suspect then I probably won’t hear from her again, but it’s just nice to have acquaintances to just say hello too sometimes and I have my other neighbour I can always call on. Thank you.
Best wishes

Hi Abdullah, Thank you so much for that idea, I am going to do that, write a nice little card and explain. I am much better at putting things down in writing. Hope you are okay.
Best wishes.

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Aw that’s lovely you have the wee one for a day every week. He will keep you on your toes I bet Sheila and it breaks the week up for you as well. Glad to hear you are well and have avoided the virus :+1:t2: Look after yourself
V xx

Your neighbour probably thinks she’s being nice in trying to engage with you especially as it’s so soon after your bereavement, lots of people would love a neighbour like this.
If you really don’t want to have to talk to her then the only way is telling her straight or you’ll end up ducking and diving for the rest of your life.