Is Your Neighbor Driving You Crazy?

Advice from Our Wisdom Panelists

crazy neighbors

My next door neighbor is driving me crazy. When we moved in, she was very friendly and invited me to do things with her. Once I realized that she’s not the type of person that I want to be close friends with, I started to decline invitations here and there. Now, she’s not talking to me and worse, saying negative things to mutual friends that are untrue. I’ve pretty much decided to ignore the issue and ignore her. Is this the right approach? (Other than hoping she moves??)   Asked Heather in Austin, TX

annGlaserI know this type of person and it is hard enough to break off a “friendship” but doubly hard when they are next door neighbors. You don’t mention if there are kids or what type of neighborhood you have. From what you have told us, I think that you have the right idea. Someone like this would only be encouraged by any attempts you have at trying to patch things up. Before you know it, she would be knocking at your door every day again and you will have to back away again. With people like this-I try to “kill them with kindness”. Every time I see them I smile and say hello and then turn and walk the other way. Plaster a smile on your face but don’t give her the opportunity to think that you want to be her friend. I wouldn’t even small talk with her.   She probably reads people all wrong. It will remain uncomfortable for a while until she makes a new friend and then spends all of her time with them. Your real friends that she is trash talking to about you won’t believe it for a minute! Ann – 50 Something


heleneTozierAbsolutely the right approach. If you have deduced her shortcomings then other people have as well and know that the “lies” she is telling are untrue. It is hard to rise above this kind of problem but you need to be a better “menish” and be grateful she is ignoring you. Good bye to bad rubbish. Helene – 60 Something


margeGiuntoliYes, in my opinion ignoring the issue is the correct approach. Thank your lucky stars she is not talking to you anymore!   However, you cannot stop her from talking to your mutual friends, or control what she says. If they are truly your friends, your character and past history with them will contribute to their seeing your neighbor for what she is. If they choose to believe (or gossip about!) the negative things coming out of her mouth, they are not deserving of your friendship and you are better off without them. Since she lives just next door to you, I would suggest you not totally ignore her as a person. Be cordial and polite but keep your distance. If that doesn’t work, put up a fence! Marge – 70 Something


  1. Oh too bad! That’s kind of situation is really common these days. You are not sure about your neighbor’s real attitude and intention to you!
    Don’t be too stress about that just ignore them!

  2. i agree with your approach AND i would also simply ignore this person all the way. no need to smile and nod as those smiles can be read as invitations for more. even with next-door neighbors, total ignoring is better than spending energy putting up a false front. it’s very easy to completely ignore a next-door neighbor. in fact, it’s the american way! lol

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