How to deal with nosey neighbours

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. 

Q. Tilly
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.

Jo Lamble

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