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Rude neighbours

Last post 01-04-2012 10:07 AM by headfullofbees. 21 replies.

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  • 25/10/2011 11:15 AM
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    Please has anyone any suggestions about how to deal with my rude neighbours.  This summer I've done my best to keep up with weeding the front garden and most of the time it's quite a pleasant activity, but it's spoilt for me by my neighbours.  They come and go several times a day (they're retired), and every time they see me weeding, they make some disparaging remark.  I've tried saying that it's my hobby like they have their hobbies, that I enjoy it, that weeds don't weed themselves etc, and I've tried ignoring them, but nothing has stopped them.  Do I really have to be rude back to get them to stop making disparaging remarks?  I'm cross with myself for letting it bother me but it does :(

    When I grow up, I want to be a poppy

  • 25/10/2011 01:04 PM
    • miranda
    • Oxfordshire
    • 17 Nov 2004
    • 4,154
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    What are they saying, PoppySeed? 

    I get 'You can come and do mine when you've finished there' and 'Saying your prayers, are you?' - sometimes several times a day, but I'm used to it now. Must have heard those phrases a hundred times or more, it's been going on for years. Practice a merry laugh in response; people are usually just trying to be friendly, if a little awkwardly.

  • 25/10/2011 01:46 PM
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    Hi miranda

    They say things like "Are you still at it?",  "Haven't you got it finished yet?", "Are you out here again?" and so on.  They don't even preface it with a Good Morning.  I did try at first to dismiss their remarks with a laugh and quip, then I tried to explain how pleasant it is sitting in the fresh air, then I pointed out that's it's my hobby and I enjoy it, but nothing works.  Until I started going out weeding this year, I hardly ever saw them and the only contact I have with them is when they comment on the time I'm spending in my own garden.  Other neighbours, if they comment at all, tend to say how much work I've put into it  and how nice it's looking.  I suppose what I'm doing *does* look a bit odd because I do all the weeding sitting down which I find very comfortable and very relaxing, but it does take a long time so I am out there for quite long periods at a time. I find their comments very rude though.  The other day I even went to put something in the bin, and the husband called out to me "are you out here again?" Surprise Angry  I don't want to be rude back, but they seem so thick-skinned about their comments not being welcome and I've run out of polite things to say to them :(  (Sorry for the long post and getting it off my chest, and thanks for listening)

    When I grow up, I want to be a poppy

  • 25/10/2011 05:47 PM
    • miranda
    • Oxfordshire
    • 17 Nov 2004
    • 4,154
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    That does sound a bit depressing if it happens so often, PoppySeed, and I can understand why it upsets you.

    I would be inclined to go all Mary Poppins on them and ask very directly (but with her smile) if they don't approve of your gardening? If not, why not? Find some quotes on the general godliness and health-giving aspects of gardening (http://www.dgsgardening.btinternet.co.uk/quotes.htm). Answer the comments with quotes. If they're truly not interested, then hopefully they'll stop the comments, but they might actually be interested. 

    Or you could take the easy way and put your iplayer on and listen to music. 

  • 25/10/2011 06:44 PM
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    I love those quotes!  And I like your suggestion of asking them if they don't approve.  You're right, it *is* depressing when it happens several times a day, every time I go out there.  I'll see if that works, thanks miranda :)

    When I grow up, I want to be a poppy

  • 27/10/2011 09:26 AM
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     i always reply "you must allways be out here to know that iam allways  out here"keep relying with the same answer they will get the hint Big Smile

    RUB THE BUDDHAS BELLY FOR LUCK
  • 27/10/2011 12:04 PM
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    LOL Thanks Ian :D  I should have asked you lot earlier in the season before it started to get to me!  At the moment it's too wet to weed, and hopefully they won't be going out and about so much now that the summer's over.

    When I grow up, I want to be a poppy

  • 30/10/2011 08:36 AM
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     hi poopyseed hope they not wifes relatives they live in balby in dony

    RUB THE BUDDHAS BELLY FOR LUCK
  • 30/10/2011 10:29 AM
    • sian
    • 21 Jan 2008
    • 19
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    Poppyseed,

    Maybe I'm imagining it, but it seems possible that whereas your neighbours are of mature years, you might be quite a bit younger. Also, it seems to be the case that it's usually just you sitting out there doing your weeding. If either or both assumptions are correct, it might be a case of two possibly-not-very-kind or possibly-not-too-bright people ganging up - possibly inadevertently, let's be generous - on one person on her own who might appear to be a bit vulnerable - eg young, too polite to tell someone older where to go and so on. And when we get on a bit, we tend not to like changes in our familar surroundings. Maybe your being out there feels like an intrusion into a space they're used to having entirely to themselves, or in some other way feels to them like a new situation they're not happy with.

    Most of us don't want to be rude to people, but if this situation is really upsetting you - and it seems to be - what you don't want to do is start thinking you just have to put up with it. Don't let them think they can push you around, which is what they seem to be doing at present. What I'd do is not respond to whatever they say to you other than in the most cursory manner. When the next comment comes your way, just grunt, say something short and non-commital - 'yes', 'no', 'maybe', for example, but don't stop what you're doing and engage in conversation. This is you taking charge and refusing to play the game, and they'll almost certainly realise pretty soon that you can stand up for yourself and will not respond to sniping. Then if at some future point they want to engage with you more politely, you can choose whether to enter a conversation or not.

    On the other hand, they may just be not very good at small talk and you're mistaking habitual bluntness for rudeness.

    You could also take steps to make a barrier and reduce your visibility: put up trellis and plant climbers, or install a big clump of bamboo or something.

     

  • 30/10/2011 11:40 PM
    • Scott
    • South Yorkshire
    • 20 Oct 2010
    • 138
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    I suppose someone has to live in Balby in Doncaster...

  • 31/10/2011 07:51 AM
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     hi scott the misses was a scott before we married Indifferent father fom racecourse area intake rd i think but seen sense and moved to wales Yes could have been worse  he might have been english Devil but  a rude yorkshire man never ,ian

    RUB THE BUDDHAS BELLY FOR LUCK
  • 31/10/2011 09:13 AM
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    Thanks for your thoughts, Sian.  I think you're right on a number of counts, and I'm going to have to be more assertive.  They were away for a few days last week and I managed to get the front bed finished, hopefully for the winter, and next Spring I'll have to nip it in the bud, which is where I think I went wrong this time.  They're neighbours who live opposite so at least I have the back garden to potter around in as I please!

    You'll be glad to hear I'm not in Dony though, Ian :D

    When I grow up, I want to be a poppy

  • 31/10/2011 06:29 PM
    • Arrem
    • Staffordshire. UK
    • 12 Jul 2009
    • 243
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     My two pennyworth,

    I can understand how it might get you down when you truly believe they are being offensive.

    From what's been written all I see are neighbours who are making, what they think, is inoffensive small talk.  However sad and pointless it is, it may be the best they can manage.    Dare I say that unless I've missed the point  completely, you might want to consider whether you are being just a little too sensitive?

    Just in case they are just ignorant nasty people, you could spend the cold dark days of Winter making a sign to take out with you when weeding which reads,

    "Yes I'm out here again.

    Yes, I'm still at it" and

    No it's not finished."

    There is no such thing as useless - you can always be a bad example.
  • 01/11/2011 07:47 AM
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     Hi Arrem

    Yes, I've considered whether I'm being too sensitive, and that's why I've put up with it for most of the summer.  And as I said in my first post, I'm cross with myself for letting it bother me.  But I've had enough.  It's spoiling the pleasure of being in my own garden, and I wish it didn't, but it does, so I'm going to put a stop to it, the only question being how best to do it.


    When I grow up, I want to be a poppy

  • 01/11/2011 08:32 AM
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    Answer: All these weeds; I should have buried the previous neighbours elsewhere.