Aren’t neighbors the best? Until, well…they aren’t. Some neighbors can be a joy. You’ll have barbecues with them, swap stories about weird happenings in the neighborhood, look out for each other’s houses when vacation season comes around, and so much more! But what about the other neighbors, the ones who seem more interested in you than your family does.
The ones who practically have binoculars trained on your house at any given moment. The ones who, when you bump into them on the street or at the grocery store, have a bunch of nosy, personal questions that they want answered. That kind of neighbor is…not the best. If you’ve been dealing with this type of neighbor recently (or for an extended period of time), we’ve got several tips for how you can take back control of your privacy.
Below are the six tips on how to deal with nosey neighbors:
1. Install a good security system (and let people know about it)
If you don’t already have a good security system, you need to get one (whether you have pesky, nosy neighbors or not)! Home security is a hugely important issue. Your home should be where you feel safest. Even if you don’t believe that a break-in will ever happen to you and your home, it’s far better to be safe than sorry. There are many types of home alarm systems available and they are quite easy to install as well.
Unless your neighbors are super nosy, they probably won’t actually come onto your property. Having some motion-activated floodlights (or even sprinklers) certainly can’t hurt!
2. Invest in some good curtains
Another way on how to deal with nosey neighbors is to invest in some good curtains. Letting all that gorgeous natural light pour into your home can be a wonderful thing…until it leaves the inside of your home open for public consumption by your too-curious neighbors.
That’s why it’s a good idea to purchase some good quality curtains. You can buy curtains that are opaque enough to hide your private life from your neighbors, but curtains that are also light enough to allow a good amount of natural light in when you want it most.
3. Plant some shrubbery
If you hate the feeling of having the curtains closed because it feels too cramped, claustrophobic, or prison-like, then you can try a different tack–this time, outside your home. A new hedge or shrub might be just what you need to hide your home from the neighbors, allow you to keep the curtains open, and add some beautiful new greenery to your front yard. It’s a win all around!
4. Talk it out with your neighbors
You know, sometimes we think things about others that actually turns out not to be true. Maybe you feel as though your neighbors across the street are incredibly nosy when it turns out that they’re lonely or they weren’t actually spying on you, but instead were lost in thought. There are so many different possibilities and potential explanations for human behavior pretty much all the time.
Instead of thinking the worst of your neighbors, you could always talk with them about their concerns and get their input. You don’t have to accuse them, but just ask questions and make suggestions in a more general way. Who knows? You may just find a new friend!
5. Shut down nosy questions
Perhaps your neighbors don’t really spend a lot of time staring at your house and at what you’re doing, but instead, they seem to pounce on you every time you outside, peppering you with so many questions that you’re not sure which way to turn. You don’t have to put up with this! There are several different ways to get out of talking about the most personal parts of your life if you really don’t want to (and why would anyone think you’d share that information with a near stranger?).
For starters, you could simply say ‘goodbye’ and walk away before they have a chance to say anything further. Another option is turning their questions back on them. Give a vague answer to their pointed questions and then ask them something along the same lines as what they asked you.
You may find that your neighbor isn’t a snoop, but in fact, they’re someone who just loves to talk…and who will happily talk about themselves if asked. You could also straight-up tell your neighbor that you’d rather not talk about personal matters. All in all, how you respond is up to you–but you don’t have to put up with questions that make you uncomfortable.
6. Get the police involved
This is a clear last resort and should only be done when there are clear illegalities occurring (or, at least, if you have serious concerns for your safety and/or the safety of others). A simple grudge or feud isn’t enough to involve the authorities (unless, again, there’s a safety or legality issue). Stay safe and see what other methods you can try (like the ones above) to deal with your nosy neighbor.