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How to Handle a Nosy Neighbour

If life was like a cartoon, you could stick a firecracker in the end of your neighbour’s binoculars and light it on fire. Unfortunately, this is just not acceptable behavior in the real world. So, what do you do with that neighbour who always seems to have one eye pinned to your yard? Well, you can always wait until nightfall, make a little noise and let them see you digging holes in the backyard.

Ignore Them
Like bees and other pests, sometimes, if you just ignore them, they will go away. While this does not work with all nosy neighbours, there are some that really are trying to push your buttons or get attention. Try pretending like they are not even there. This does not mean that you have to ignore them completely when they wave hello, but do not acknowledge that you know they are watching you.

Kill Them with Kindness
There is a good chance that this neighbour has been nosy and confronted before by someone else, at some time. Although the first reaction may be to be mean and lash out, sometimes the opposite approach is better. Try baking them something and when you see them peeking through their window, take a treat over to them. Make a point to let them know you “noticed” they were home in the window and you hope you aren’t intruding on their privacy to just stop over unexpected.  They may learn a little from your thoughtfulness.

Stay Out of the Gossip
Talking about the private affairs of others without their consent is really never a good idea. Gossip hurts and it causes a lot of problems. Sure, you probably gossip with your family and friends, and for the most part, a lot of this is innocent. However, when you start getting involved with gossip around the neighbourhood, it often backfires and makes you the target for attention. When people know you feed the fire, neighbours will start watching your every move to make you the topic of conversation. Just stay out of it!

Confront Them
Sometimes the only thing you can do is approach the situation head on. Remember, the way you begin the conversation is how they will respond. If you go over to their house banging on the door and screaming, they will be defensive and hostile as well. Try to tell them nicely that you respect their privacy and you would appreciate it if they would do the same. You can always tell them that you are extremely private or overly sensitive and that you have anxiety attacks when you know someone is watching you. It does not have to be true, it just has to work.

If nothing else works, take your privacy back, whether they like it or not. A privacy fence is a good place to start. Keep in mind that you will likely need some type of building permit before you get started. You can also plant a nice line of small trees or tall shrubs to break up the property and offer privacy as well.

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