Most of us live in homes where our neighbors are only a few feet away from us. Literally, they could be pushed up against their wall while you are pushed up against yours and you could easily take a few big jumps towards them. Walls are what separates us, and sometimes that doesn’t seem like enough when you have an annoying neighbor.
We have lived in our home for about 5 years. Our neighbor instantly made herself known; however, she acted sweet, kind and thoughtful. About a week later we realized she was a sociopath and was just mimicking the emotions she thought would earn her the attention she desired from us.
Our other neighbors filled us in on exactly what we were dealing with, and we suddenly regretted moving in to this home with a mean and cranky woman next door.
She has does a lot of crazy things like:
- Throw chocolate in our yard (we had three dogs at the time).
- Took the fence off between our houses and then put it back in backwards with the worn out side (that was covered by a horizontal piece of wood) facing our yard.
- Thrown garbage into our yard.
- Egged our home.
- Parked in our parking spots.
- Hid behind bushes and listened in on our conversations.
- Buy the exact same patio furniture.
- Buy a couch that looked exactly like ours (She’s never been in our home, so was she peering in our windows?)
- Buy a new fridge and dishwasher right after we did (yes – again it was the same brand and color!)
- Shovel snow from her yard into our yard.
- Pretend like we had not talked to her about a situation, even though we went into great detail with it about her.
- Put her drainage hose into our yard facing our home.
- Blown her leaves into our yard.
- Threatened to sue if we painted the fence between our homes.
- Makes a ton of noise early in the morning and late at night.
She is constantly pushing our buttons, and she wins the annoying neighbor of the year award in my life so far. She feels as though our yard is her yard – obviously by the way she acts. She feels as sense of entitlement to everything around her.
Keep in mind, she has not posed any danger to us, and if that were the case then this would be a different article.
She is annoying, selfish, and mean – and that’s the type of neighbor I’m talking about here. If you have a dangerous neighbor, it is a whole other ballgame.
How To Deal With An Annoying Neighbor
I have done a lot of stuff to deal with her.
- I’ve cried my eyes out.
- I’ve yelled at her and told her exactly what I thought of her.
- I’ve ignored her.
- I’ve tried to kill her with kindness.
- I’ve thought about killing her the next time she does something stupid.
- I’ve tried sending her love through meditation.
The problem is that she really is a sociopath with few real emotions towards others and her focus in strictly on herself. It doesn’t matter what I do, she always has, and always will, continue doing what she feels like doing. She’s not going to change her personality simply because her neighbor doesn’t like it.
That’s the key: It doesn’t matter what I do because I won’t affect her…so I need to do something for myself, instead, in order to deal with her and be happy.
It’s All About You!
The more you try to take revenge on an annoying neighbor, the worse YOU will feel. They are annoying for a reason! They are doing the best they can with the knowledge they have, and they don’t have the capacity to worry about your feelings or needs. They are focused on themselves and their feelings and/or needs.
Since I am actually aware of how my actions affect other people, it was very hard for me to accept this. But once I did, life with an annoying neighbor became much easier.
First, I decided that if she ever tried to harm my dogs, my home, or myself, I would take action. But beyond that, there was nothing my actions could do to change the way she acted, so I decided to take positive action for myself.
Instead of getting angry, I remind myself that she is not capable of anything better, and I put my focus back on my life, my positive interactions, and people who love me.
Instead of pulling my hair out when she is making a ton of noise, I go for a walk or take the time to do something that doesn’t require my complete focus. (Having a good pair of noise cancellation earmuffs doesn’t hurt either!)
Instead of yelling at her through the window, I go back to work and let her do what she needs to do to feel good.
I recognize that she has an inner being that wouldn’t act like this if it had complete control. But, for whatever reason, it decided that this was the experience it wanted for this life. In other words, there is good somewhere deep inside of her, but for reasons I don’t understand, that good is not going to come out in this life.
I remind myself that she is alone and does not live a very fulfilling life. She does not give love to the world. She does not know what it feels like to genuinely contribute to the world in a positive way. And that is sad to me.
I remind myself that because of her attitude, her only daughter comes to visit only once a year or so. Because she never leaves her home, that’s when she sees her grandchildren – and THAT IS SAD!
So, I feel empathy towards her and I refocus my attention on my own life. That’s how I deal with my annoying neighbor, and it works much better than crying, taking revenge, yelling at her, or anything else. Sure, you can do all of those things, but your own sanity and happiness will suffer if you do.
Ironically, as soon as I stopped reacting to her actions, she stopped acting so stupid. She still watches me through her window, but because she gets no reaction from me it has seem to lost its appeal.
If you want to be happy around an annoying neighbor, then it is best to live and let live. Don’t let them walk on you or hurt you, but don’t react to stupid things that don’t deserve a reaction. You will feel much, much better.