Life Advice



Ask Amy: Neighbors might be ‘What About Bob-ing’

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

[Or they are “What About Bob-ing” you, in which case, you should just go ahead and put your house on the market. Watch the Bill Murray comedy for a tutorial on dealing with the ultimate boundary crasher.]

One or both of you could say to them: “I want to level with you, and I hope you don’t feel hurt by this. We have lived here for over 20 years. We’re a little set in our ways and we really like our privacy. You are both so nice and we are very happy you’re here. But we don’t really want to socialize. With our houses so close together, we feel it is important to be extra-respectful of one another’s privacy and boundaries. We promise to respect yours and appreciate you respecting ours. That’s how being ‘neighborly’ has worked for us over the years, and we hope it will work for you, too.”

Dear Amy: Several months ago, I sent a letter to my friend of 55 years that ended our friendship.

Despite her moving around the country over many of these years, we’ve kept our friendship intact talking on the phone weekly and visiting each other several times each year.

She has been rude to me and my husband on several occasions. We belong to opposing political parties and have had a longstanding agreement to not discuss politics for the sake of our friendship.

She has breached that agreement several times over the past few years and did so in an arrogant and aggressive manner.


Because of the way she treated me, I stated that I felt our friendship had run its course.

I sent my letter five months ago and have had no response from her!

If she really cared about me and our friendship, don’t you think I would’ve heard from her by now?

Was I wrong in establishing and defending my boundaries?


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