I once had a nosy neighbor that wouldn’t leave me or my family alone. She’d sit on her porch and watch my house at all hours, even going so far as to take the license plate numbers of my visitors! After trying to handle it on my own for a while, I researched some of the best tips for dealing with nosy neighbors. These ten options can help you de-escalate the situation and regain your peace of mind.
The best way to deal with nosy neighbors is to install privacy fencing. This blocks them out entirely. They can’t see what’s happening on your property so they have nothing to gossip about. However, there are other ways to keep them away, so keep reading.
- Be friendly, even when they aren’t.
- Keep your spaces tidy.
- Consider the source.
- Don’t invite them in.
- Know how to talk to them.
- Ask if you can help them.
- Keep your conversations private.
- Keep a level head.
- Add privacy fencing, trees, or bushes.
- Get an alarm system.
- The Classic Nosy Neighbor
- 1. Be Friendly, Even When They Aren’t
- 2. Keep Your Spaces Tidy
- 3. Consider the Source
- 4. Don’t Invite Them In
- 5. Know How to Talk To Them
- 6. Ask If You Can Help
- 7. Keep Your Conversations Private
- 8. Keep a Level Head
- 9. Add Privacy Fencing or Bushes
- 10. Get an Alarm System
- Extreme Cases of Nosy Neighbors
- Final Verdict
The Classic Nosy Neighbor
When you have a nosy neighbor, it can be extremely frustrating. You should be entitled to privacy in and around your home – but with a nosy neighbor, that simply isn’t the case.
Your nosy neighbor is always outside, peering into your windows and looking through the bushes. They’re often commenting on what they see – good or bad. Usually, they think everything is suspicious.
They’ll be in your business from the start, keeping track of who comes and goes. They might keep track of who is visiting, what you’re bringing back from the store, or how long you’re going.
These tips may help you deal with your nosy neighbor and stay comfortable in your home.
1. Be Friendly, Even When They Aren’t
Keeping your cool is essential when dealing with your overbearing neighbor. Being friendly and kind can go a long way to getting them off your back.
If you’re friendly, they might not be so eager to stick your nose in your business. You might not want to create a positive relationship with them, but it might help you in the long run. It can’t hurt, except to cause you a bit more stress.
Remember that your neighbor is nosy for the sake of being nosy. They don’t care about you or care about what’s going on in your house. Most of the time, they have nothing better to do and that’s all.
Being nice and friendly will also show the neighbor that there isn’t anything going on in your home. Keeping an open dialogue might ease their (unfounded) suspicions and help them lose interest in you.
2. Keep Your Spaces Tidy
If your gossiping neighbor can’t see anything, they won’t have anything to talk about. You can stop any gossip before it starts by keeping your home and yard clean.
Nosy neighbors are on the hunt for drama in any form. It’s easy to stop that before it starts by making yourself as boring as possible – at least outwardly.
Make sure that your yard is kept up. Keep your bushes and plants tidy and sweep off your porch regularly.
If your neighbor can see into your home, make sure that you keep it clean or keep the blinds shut. Give them as little to talk about as possible and their interest will eventually fizzle out.
3. Consider the Source
When dealing with your clingy neighbor, you have to take into account their motive for being nosy. Often, they are just bored and looking for something to do. To draw the attention away from you, you could try talking about their other interests.
If you are interested, try introducing them to a new hobby that will keep them occupied. Ask them what they used to enjoy doing.
4. Don’t Invite Them In
You want to give your clingy neighbor as little fuel as possible. To this end, make sure not to let them into your home for any reason.
If you let your nosy neighbor in, they will find something to gossip bout. Even if your home is immaculately kept, they will find a way to criticize it.
The best way to avoid this is by not inviting them in for any reason – even if they’re just popping in to ask how you are. Don’t go out of your way to make excuses, though. A bad excuse will make them even more interested than before.
Just politely decline, or go onto the porch and close the door behind you when they drop by. If you don’t want everything from the state of your baseboards to the pictures on your mantle gossiped about, keep them out.
5. Know How to Talk To Them
Some Nosy Neighbors need to be talked to in a very specific way. For instance, if you want them to back off, tell them “I’m not interested in talking about that with you.”
If they don’t take the hint and keep asking for more information, tell them, “No thanks. I don’t feel like getting into it today.” Using deflectors like this can be helpful. If you always appear like you aren’t in the mood to talk about it, they can only assume what the problem is.
Rude as it may seem, it’s the best way to keep your nosy neighbor off your back. If you don’t give them anything to talk about, the best they can assume is that you’re hiding something. Most anything they come up with will be laughable wrong.
Obviously, this is less than ideal, but there are some situations where ‘kill them with kindness’ doesn’t quite cut it.
If your neighbor is regularly angry, perhaps it’s best to avoid them as much as possible.
6. Ask If You Can Help
If your nosy neighbor pokes around your yard often, you can try asking them what they’re looking for. In some cases, a nosy neighbor won’t like being noticed or called out on what they’re doing.
If you go outside while they’re obviously poking around, it might deter them. Asking “Can I help you find something?” in a calm tone can sometimes make them backpedal a bit. You can also do this when they’re grilling you for information.
Alternatively, you can try being so obnoxious about bothering them that they have no choice but to leave you alone. This only works for a small percentage of clingy neighbors. You’ll have to get comfortable with them disliking you. It may be worth it if they leave you alone, though.
7. Keep Your Conversations Private
When you know that your neighbors may be listening, it’s best to keep your conversations quiet. Instead of taking a call on your porch, take it in your car. If you’re having a conversation with a friend, make sure you aren’t in a room with a shared wall.
If the walls are thin, make sure to turn up the TV or music while you’re having important conversations.
Do everything that you can to keep your conversations from being spread around the neighborhood. This is especially true if these conversations are of a sensitive nature.
8. Keep a Level Head
It’s easy to become angry and frustrated with your neighbor. If you are a private person, having someone in your business all the time can be stressful. But flying off the handle might be exactly what your nosy neighbor wants.
Though it may be difficult, stay calm and collected in all of your interactions. Act as cool as possible and don’t show signs of being upset. Some nosy neighbors want this, but some will even use it as ammunition against you.
If you can avoid them, do it. Otherwise, make sure to take a deep breath and think before reacting to your neighbor’s antics. An angry neighbor is difficult to get along with, so staying away from them is ideal.
9. Add Privacy Fencing or Bushes
Privacy fences and new landscaping can be expensive. However, these constructions can help keep your neighbors from seeing into your house or yard. If you can add a privacy fence around your property, this is the best method.
If that isn’t possible, try planting bushes or trees along your property line. Plant them right in the way of your neighbor’s view.
It may seem extreme, but it can help your peace of mind in the long run. Your gossiping neighbors won’t have anything to talk about!
10. Get an Alarm System
Having a nosy neighbor might have you feeling insecure in your home. After all, it’s unsettling to see someone looking in your windows all hours of the day and night. How can you know that their intentions are just to gather information?
If you aren’t sure, installing a security system may ease your mind. Some companies offer surprisingly inexpensive packages to help protect you and your family. Vivint, for instance, can install and maintain security cameras that may deter your neighbors.
You might also look into getting a dog that will bark at trespassers.
This is essential in the case of angry or overbearing neighbors. Though they might seem harmless, there’s no way to know how far they will go.
Extreme Cases of Nosy Neighbors
Sometimes, your nosy neighbors take it to the extreme. In these cases, you may have to get law enforcement involved to get them to leave you alone. You may need to call law enforcement if they are repeatedly trespassing, breaking into your home, or bothering you incessantly.
Here are a few ways you can deal with extremely nosy neighbors.
Every time you catch them looking, snooping around, or listening, write it down. Keep a log of their harassment and transgressions. This may come in handy later.
Get a Restraining Order
If your neighbor is always on your property, you might have to get a restraining order. You can also look into a trespassing order to keep them off your property. Most nosy neighbors won’t want to break the law.
Contact the Landlord
If you live in an apartment or duplex-type situation, contacting the landlord might help. Explain your situation to them and see what they can do.
Unfortunately, you may have to move away to completely rid yourself of the nosy neighbor. Attempt every other solution before this point, though.
Nosy neighbors can make your life miserable. It can be extremely frustrating to deal with someone being in your business all of the time. Being bothered 24/7 is bound to increase your stress levels. However, these steps can help minimize stress and may even get the neighbor out of your business.
My name is Keren Tayler. I am a work-at-home mama to three lovely girls, Sarah + Rachel + Hannah. I have been blogging for the last 5 years. I worked for other mom blogs, did hundreds of product reviews and buyers’ guides. Prior to that, I was a staff accountant at a big accounting firm. Needless to say, researching and numbers are my passion. My goal is to be an informative source for any topic that relates to mom’s life and homemaking.