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Last updated: August 24, 2021 • Safety at Home

How to Deal With a Nosey Neighbor

No matter where you live or what your social status, nosey neighbors are a given. At some point, in some place, you will have to deal with a neighbor that just doesn’t seem to know the existence or function of boundaries. These people are spread far and wide, and can come from any cultural, social or economic background, and their one uniting trait is their complete and utter lack of regard for your privacy. 

These neighbors are a nuisance, plain and simple. They come to offer a housewarming gift, but can’t seem to stop craning their neck to see past you into your home. They peek through your curtains to get a glimpse of what’s going on on the other side, and for all you’re worth you can’t seem to figure out what type of lives they lead that grant them so much free time for snooping. 

They’re so determined to stick their noses into other people’s business that they even pop up in sitcoms and television dramas! At times they can seem inescapable; after all, how can you get them to stop prying without completely tanking your relationship as friendly neighbors. At the end of the day, some people just aren’t aware that they are being a nuisance. So how can you deal with these nosey neighbors? Let’s find out! 

Signs of a nosy neighbor

Before you can deal with a nosy neighbor, you have to look for signs that you do indeed have a nosy neighbor. Just because someone isn’t pleasant to live adjacent to doesn’t mean that they’re a nosey neighbor, and if they aren’t nosy then these tips and tricks probably aren’t going to be all that effective. 

The most telling sign of a nosy neighbor is an inability to respect your personal boundaries and privacy. This usually takes the form of invasive “surprise visits” where they overstay their welcome. Other signs include peeking over the fence to see what you’re doing, making excuses to violate your privacy and acting inappropriately when around you or your family. 

A change of perspective 

Older man deep in thought

Before you address this problem, you need to first put yourself in your neighbor’s shoes. While ignorance doesn’t justify intrusions upon your privacy, it might help you better empathize with your nosey neighbor so that you’re able to more effectively deal with the problem. If you have any interest in preserving your existing relationship with your neighbor, try to get in the right mindset beforehand. 

There are a number of ways in which you can deal with a nosey neighbor, but in order for several of them to be effective, you’ll have to deal with your neighbor face to face. Putting yourself in their shoes will help you see things from their point of view and avoid creating unnecessary tension between you and your neighbor. This being said, how can you deal with a nosey neighbor? Let’s find out! 

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Utilize privacy features

Privacy hedge

If you’re looking for a solution that will allow you to solve your problem without running the risk of creating tension between you and your neighbor, you may want to look into some commonly used privacy measures. These solutions offer privacy and discretion without confrontation or undue awkwardness. 

There are a variety of different options available in this category. If your home is on a large tract of land, you can cultivate a hedge or build a privacy fence. While these are both great ways to enhance the privacy of your home and property, they may also serve the purpose of sending a clear and concise message: get your nose out of my business! 

For those that live in apartments or small homes where hedges and fences are not an option, privacy curtains can often serve the same purpose. These semi-translucent window coverings will prevent anyone from looking into your home through your windows, but will still allow you and other residents of your home an adequate amount of light and visibility. 

Lastly, you may also benefit from the installation of some mirror coated impact windows. These composite-coated windows offer more than just improved privacy due to their one-way visibility; they’re called impact windows because they are resistant to impacts and high winds. If you live in an area that is often affected by hurricanes, this is just one more reason to install mirrored impact resistant windows

Confront your neighbor

What the heck is up Kyle?

For those uncomfortable with confrontation, this option may be a bit uncomfortable, but it’s undoubtedly the most direct and low cost way to deal with a neighbor who doesn’t respect your right to privacy. While there are certainly other ways to deal with a nosey next door neighbor, this will be the most effective way to get them to change their behaviour. 

In order to make this work, you’ll need to approach the situation with delicacy. Don’t raise your voice, and don’t act overly aggressive; try to maintain a calm, gentle but firm demeanor throughout. After this conversation, you’ll likely see them change their ways quickly and decisively. If they’ve been invading your privacy, you probably won’t have to deal with that anymore. 

As for where this conversation should take place, you’ve got a couple of ways to approach the situation. It might be a good idea to invite them over for a cup of tea, in order to be as non threatening as possible. You could also simply go to their front door and lay things out simply and concisely; the choice is yours. 

No matter how you confront your nosey neighbor, there’s a good chance things will get messy. No one likes to be told about their shortcomings, and a nosey neighbor is likely to fall short in other areas besides their ability to respect boundaries. No matter how things play out, always just do your best to maintain a calm but firm demeanor. 

Contact authorities

Taking out a restraining order on that dude

There are no two ways about it; some people just can’t take a hint. After you’ve taken measures to limit your neighbor’s ability to snoop on you and/or confronted them directly, the most determined nosey Nellies and snoopy Samuels may not be deterred. If this is the case, then you may be forced to take more drastic actions. 

If you live in a community with a homeowners association, you may be able to report your nosey neighbor and have them reprimanded by the head of your HOA. By filing a complaint in this manner, your nosey neighbor will get a clear and pointed message: take your nose out of my business and put it somewhere else! 

When this fails, you only really have one other option in an official capacity: contacting law enforcement and filing a restraining order. This is a very drastic measure, but if there’s nothing else that can be done it might be your only option. If your neighbor violates the restraining order, you can take them to court and pursue legal action against them. 

None of these solutions are pleasant to think about, but when it comes to snoopy neighbors who can’t respect the boundaries of common courtesy, drastic measures may sometimes be the only way to regain your peace of mind. Nevertheless, these options should be viewed as a last resort, to be used only in cases where no other solutions are viable. 

Move to a new home 

Nosey neighbor? Just buy a new home and start a new life!

Maybe you live in a place without a homeowners association or well funded law enforcement community. For residents of many rural communities, nosey neighbors are all but unavoidable. If you live in a place like this and you can’t seem to escape the ever present eyes of the ever present nosey neighbors, you might want to consider moving. 

While having nosey neighbors might not seem like such a big deal, it can be a tremendous inconvenience, not to mention extremely damaging for your peace of mind. Moving to a new home (or a new city) will allow you to find new, better neighbors, with less time on their hands to spend snooping around your business. 

There are other advantages to moving to a new home as well; if you use your money wisely, buying a new home can offer tremendous investment value, give you a chance to explore a new area, and a chance to meet new people. Buying a new home gives you the freedom to choose who your neighbors are, and how able they are to interact with you. 

If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, you’ll want to find a real estate agent in your area and see what’s on the market. These skilled, professional realtors are your best shot at finding a home that suits your needs and your budget in the least amount of time possible. Before you know it, you could be rid of that nosey neighbor forever! 

Conclusion 

Whether you live in a densely populated urban area or a sparsely populated rural one, nosey neighbors can be found everywhere. They’ll damage your peace of mind, leave you feeling ill at ease and invade your privacy at every turn. We hope we’ve given you some solid advice on how to deal with them!

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