Tilly’s neighbour has been spending more and more time at her house, and it’s driving Tilly crazy. Jo Lamble shares some advice on getting her neighbour to ease off.
My next-door neighbour has taken to popping in every day for a chat and a cup of tea. I like my own company and keep myself busy around the house and in my garden, but as soon as I start something, she’s on my doorstep and won’t go until I answer the door. She’s even taken to ringing my phone if I don’t answer. I wouldn’t mind if it was now and again, or she didn’t stay so long, but she can be in my house for two hours at a time. How can I get her to ease off without offending her?
A. Ah the pop in! Such a fun part of life – in small doses. You need to break what has developed into a routine for your neighbour. Try taking control by mixing things up a little. Instead of waiting for her to pop in, ring and invite her over for a meal next week. When she is with you, suggest a catch up the following week – at a different time and a different venue. Sometimes suggest a cup of tea in a cafe and at other times make it a walk or a drink. In other words, slowly shape your get togethers into weekly or fortnightly events that change each time. Be less available between catch-ups and the habit should be broken within a month or so.