Horror Stories: Nosy Neighbour Edition

6 ways to deal with a nosy neighbour

By Demie Makamache / 2 September 2021
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A man is looking through the window using binoculars; Source realtor.com

Every horror story begins with seemingly happy individuals doing typical human stuff until suddenly, one person changes, and it’s a downward spiral from then on. You’re looking at the person and wondering, “How did it all get to this? How do I escape from this?”

Assuming that they play the classic character of a good person gone wrong, they probably started with typical questions like, “Hey, how are you doing? How was your day? I made a pie. Do you want one?” That probably had you warming up to your neighbour because you thought, “Aww, how nice!”

Now you regret it. The very conversation that led to this. They absolutely have no respect for your personal space. Always asking questions they have no business knowing, always lurking. They want to know EVERYTHING. They are even keeping tabs on the number of times you flush the toilet! And you kind of want to call an exorcist because you can no longer discern whether all these are natural occurrences. 

Well, they are not. Having a nosy neighbour can be exasperating and borderline uncomfortable. It’s easy to find yourself retracting from things you once found joy in, like going out for a walk or looking out the window in case you make eye contact. It can be quite detrimental to one’s mental and physical health, and it’s rather unfortunate they don’t realise that. 

Well, worry not, you are not alone. We are with you, and we understand. Should you ever find yourself in such a situation, the first step you should take is:


1. Assess the situation
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A to-do list; Source Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels

In order to clearly understand the situation, you should ask yourself these questions:

  1. How long has this been going on?
  2. Is there a noticeable pattern?
  3. How many of your neighbours are nosy?
  4. Do you feel threatened?

This will help you plan out the immediate steps to take depending on the severity of the situation. It would be good to look for a pattern in their behaviour, for example, what time are they the nosiest, who or what exactly are they nosy about and does it happen during specific periods. A stressful phase in life can make anyone act differently. 


2. Be kind to them 
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A person is giving another person a paper heart; Source Unsplash

In Selena Gomez’s voice, “Kill them with kindness.” 

Assuming you were not already close to your neighbour, it would be a great tactic if you can befriend them. People react differently to different situations. 

Though not quite conventional, maybe your neighbour is lonely and looking for ways to get close. Getting more background information on your neighbour’s and other intimate details will give you room to understand things from their perspective. This will help you understand why they act the way they do and who knows, you might end up having a lot more in common than you might realise! 


3. Invest in security system
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A camera on a striking yellow wall against the blue sky; Source Unsplash

If you have a ninja neighbour who is always lurking around your house, spying through keyways, the space under your door or your windows, well, wouldn’t it be nice if you could actually see it on your camera? Or have the alarm activated every time they started their shenanigans? If you were petty, you would send them the footage! 

Your home should be your safe haven, and in no ways should you allow anyone to compromise that. Even if you don’t think that a break-in might happen, it is always good to stay on the safe side. Maybe having some motion-activated lighting around your house might be the one thing that scares them away! 


4. Block their view
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Source: Thirdstone Inc through Royal Building Products.

Should your neighbour persist in being unnecessarily nosy about your life, it would be best to block their view. If they are always watching you through your windows, the best option would be to install curtains and blinds. Installing a window tint is also a surefire way of ensuring that they stop peeking. 

A more eco-friendly and economical way of blocking their view is planting bushes around the perimeter of your house. Make them as long and thick as possible! Always remember to close your windows, curtains and doors, so they have nothing to look at or listen to. 


5. Confront them
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A woman is covering her ears with a pillow; Source Rentberry

Sometimes our way of perceiving events may be different from reality. Another way of dealing with the situation is to hear it directly from the horse’s mouth. You’re uncomfortable in your home, which shouldn’t even be happening, and it is something that can not be ignored. Go over to their house or invite them, whichever feels comfortable to you, and state your grievances. 

As mentioned above, maybe they might not even realise that they are the reason for your displeasure. Depending on how you handle the situation, it would be wise to be diplomatic when you confront them to avoid worsening the situation. If they are truly considerate people, they will look for ways to rectify the problem instead of challenging your feelings.


6. Call the authorities
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A woman on a phone call; Source: Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

Assuming that the confrontation did not go so well and your overly attentive neighbour is still showering you with unwanted 24/7 scrutiny, then it’s best if you inform the authorities. If you stay in a high rise building or condominium, your best option would be the management offices. 

If their obsession is bordering on harassment and you feel threatened, you should inform the police as a last resort. Be sure that there is a clear distinction of illegalities taking place, for example, forced entry,  as just a typical feud is not enough to involve the police. It would help your case if you were to gather evidence against your neighbour to help prove your case.


Stay Safe

Having a nosy neighbour is a terrible situation to handle, especially when you value your personal space. Being granted privacy is a fundamental right every human should be given, but unfortunately, some tend to overlook it and infringe on the rights of others. 

Intentionally or not, it is not okay, and one should not be forced to resort to extreme measures all in the hope of protecting one’s privacy.  We are sorry you are facing this and hope that you can resolve this issue amicably. Stay safe and Take care! 

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