Ask Amy: Neighbors might be ‘What About Bob-ing’
Dear Amy: My husband and I live in a townhouse complex. We have lived here for 22 years.
Recently, new neighbors moved in. We like them, but they won’t leave us alone!
When we go to sit on our patio, within minutes they are out, walk over and start talking, even if we have guests over.
During this pandemic they have invited us over for drinks, even in the winter.
I repeatedly turned them down, explaining that we don’t feel comfortable in anyone’s home right now.
How do we politely get them to respect our privacy, without hurting their feelings?
With the warmer weather ahead I am becoming very anxious and feel like I cannot enjoy my own space.
– Nervous Neighbor
Dear Nervous: You should be kindly, respectful, and candid — and do it now. The longer you wait to build your boundary, the more wounded your neighbors might feel, because as time passes, they may have developed an attachment that seems like friendship to them.
And because you are offering up reasonable excuses not to spend time with them, they might not realize how “off” they are.