Sometimes neighbours can get a little close for comfort. One way neighbours become too close is by being nosy. A nosy neighbour will press you and probe you for information about your personal life. A nosy neighbour finds entertainment, and even personal value, in learning private information about other people. This can be annoying and even offensive for the other people involved. Getting free of a nosy neighbour takes tact and patience.
- Skill level:
Be general. Nosy neighbours will press you for details. Don't provide them. Give vague answers. Don't be committal if a nosy neighbour is trying to pin you down. A nosy neighbour might become frustrated by your generality and stop probing.
Reveal little. A nosy neighbour will probe into your every detail, even trying to glance at your mail when you are taking it from your mailbox. Keep your mail private. Don't talk about your family, your personal life or your professional life. Every bit of information will give your nosy neighbour more fuel to keep probing. Refuse to feed your neighbour's nosiness. If your neighbour's questions are more and more probing, resist revealing information. Eventually a nosy neighbour may become bored and leave you alone.
Make a joke, then change the subject. Smile and ask, "So when did the police hire you as a detective?" Then politely move on to a different topic before ending the conversation.
Excuse yourself. Let your neighbour know that you have to get going. Say you have to do laundry, vacuum, or run some errands. A nosy neighbour will probably want to detain you for a long time trying to probe into your life, or possibly tell you about another neighbour. Don't let him. Be polite and explain why you have to go. Then go.
Tips and warnings
- It may take multiple tries until your neighbour sees that you won't provide personal information. Be patient until your neighbour finally gets it.
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