Annoying neighbor

Lauren60November 1, 2013

I have had some previous incidents with my 60+ years old neighbor, who stays at home the whole day and doesn't seem to have any other occupation than minding about his neighbor's business. I have never allowed myself to get dragged into any arguments, but it's really starring to grate on my nerves.
The most recent one happened the other night when I came back home around 8:30 pm, and my recycle bin was still out because the collection truck had not yet picked it up when I left in the morning. I brought it inside, and threw in a couple of cans I had with me, as I did not see a point in bringing them to the house. Then my neighbor comes out, makes some noise with his trash bins and yells from his side of the fence: "I can also make noise after all."

I had plans to go out with my wife,so I just bit me tongue and went inside my home, as I did not want to ruin my night because of this jerk. Anyway, at this point I don't really know how to deal with such a childish behavior, so I'd appreciate any suggestions.

Lauren.

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toxcrusadr

Without the benefit of any other info or description of other incidents, I get an 'unbalanced personality' vibe. I would certainly not argue with such a person, especially if you've done nothing wrong. I'd kill them with kindness. Say "Oh hi, how you doing?" and go about my business. At *most* I might say "Sorry!"

You can't really have an intelligent conversation or discuss 'neighbor' issues with someone who is not thinking straight.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 6:42PM
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apg4

Although Winston Churchill and Mark Twain have similar sayings, Walt Kelly, creator of the "Pogo" comic strip, said it best:

"I refuse to have a battle of wits with an unarmed person."

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 7:13PM
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Lauren60

Thanks for your answer. The previous incidents have been similar. One time he yelled because I was mowing my lawn and some flower petals landed on his driveway. ("what a f**ing mess all around.) Other time a couple of paper sheets fell from my recycle bin when picked up by the collection truck, and one of them landed on his driveway. I saw it but I did not pick it up as I didn't want to "trespass into his property." When I came home that night, the sheet had been made into a ball and thrown over the fence into my property.

I did call the police the day after and I was told they could send someone to talk to him and see what all this is about. However, I don't know if this would make things better or worse.

This post was edited by Lauren60 on Fri, Nov 1, 13 at 20:31

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 7:25PM
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jackieblue

Maybe just ask him if you two can meet weekly at the same place and time so he can get all his complaints out at once. :) At least you'd only have to be irritated once a week... Really the issue probably isn't the fallen paper or the bin. People are weird, and they let little stuff like this eat at them when there is a larger issue. Whatever his issue is, it may not even have anything to do with you. Or maybe there is something about you that he really dislikes. Either way, as long as you aren't actively trying to make him mad you should feel free to tell him that you're willing to listen if there is a real problem with something otherwise he will just have to learn to live with the average every day consequences of living in a neighborhood.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 9:59PM
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dees_1

Honestly, the best thing you can do is let it go. Seriously, smile and wave every time you see him. Go about your business like normal. If he says something to you about anything specific, divert the conversation to the weather or something. Don't pretend to be someone you're not. just be yourself.

There's no criminal action going on here. You bring the police in and that will rile up the guy.

Trust me, you could have worse neighbors.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 3:17PM
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Lauren60

Thanks for your answers. My wife and I are not really in the mood to smile or wave at this fellow, so we'll just keep ignoring him as we have done so far, as if he were invisible.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 3:43PM
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dkenny

I agree with the others..be friendly..nice.polite to the extreme..
for the trash noise..I'm sorry I didn't know you were there I'll try to quieter next time.

for the trash..I would walk next door with the ball in hand..
and explain your reason for not picking it up when you saw it..then ask for permission to trespass to pick if it happens again..

you find that you become better neighbours with kindness..how much does he know about you?

-dkenny

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 8:40PM
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birdgardner

Eh. I've got an older neighbor a bit like that. We aren't as neat as she and her husband are - not eyesore messy, just not as neat. It annoys her and she never says anything because she is passive-aggressive about it - she just weeds and rakes her stuff onto our side of the property line. Last month I caught her doing it and just stared at her a while.

I say hi - which usually surprises her. But her husband is okay.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2013 at 4:35PM
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southerncanuck

This guy compared to the two nuts I had would make him look like Mother Theresa. I could go on and on with the stories and tried everything mentioned. The nutbar gentleman passed away and his son that he never saw for 10 years inherited the place, no DNA testing required, he was younger version of the jerk. He I threatened, no I promised to assault when he started on my wife. He died too.....kidding he sold soon after.

The old guy to the west got so bad I had documentation of many, many incidents that a third neighbor (thank goodness for Tim) attested to the facts. Once the police got involved and I was going to take out a restraining order, he suddenly never made a peep. He was a 75 year old bully and bullies back off when called on it. He also died.

Your neighbor is a bully, probably always has been, documentation is key if you need to call the authorities to have any merit. One piece of paper on your lawn isn't going to get the attention of the police, they may actually think you are the problem calling them for a trivial matter.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 1:03AM
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dajsnipe

Good fences make good neighbors

    Bookmark   November 16, 2013 at 9:13AM
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toxcrusadr

This guy sounds like he's antisocial or perhaps borderline personality disorder. What kind of a normal person (or even within shouting distance of it) would do such angry things to someone they hardly know? This dude doesn't have all his circuits working correctly.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2013 at 12:32PM
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southerncanuck

Exactly toxcrusader, that's why I think someone like that can't be ignored. I don't suggest confronting them, I suggest documentation of the whacky behavior, incident, date and time, then calling the authorities.

In my situation I was concerned for my wife when I wasn't here. It turned out my concerns had merit as the 70 some year old did have a history of mental disease and had a record of violence which resulted in institutional confinement and was released just before they moved here. His change in behavior probably had something to do with his conditions of release, if I ignored him as suggested and hadn't gotten the authorities involved who knows.

You never know who you are living next to.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2013 at 3:13PM
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Upstate23C

My view differs from others. He's a bully, and bullies back down when you stand up to them. My downstairs neighbor, when she first moved in, put a note under my door about my noise. I went right down there to tell her, please just talk to me when she has an issue. But no, she continued to complain about every little thing I did up here, but not directly to me (like walk around on my carpeted floors in my slippers!). I too thought I would try kindnessâ¦it never worked. I have since just stopped being nice to her. She has stopped complaining.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2013 at 5:13PM
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aidan_m

This person is anal retentive. Anal retentive people are easy to mess with. Because you seem to react to his antics in a humble manner, he will keep pushing you in the same direction. You need to react in the opposite manner. Mowing your lawn and getting trimmings on his driveway are completely legal, and also something that a regular person needs to deal with. Same thing goes for garbage collection day.

My mode of action would be to aggravate this person's anal retentiveness to the point that they either:

1. Become desensitized, or

2. find you so annoying that they avoid you completely.

I guarantee this will work. Anal retentive people tend to have little fits and tantrums when things are slightly out of order. When things are totally out of order, they just go into convulsions and collapse into a useless heap. You need to tend toward the latter, rather than make any effort to accomodate this wacko's irrational behavior.

Part of the reason this guy is picking on you is because your property is nearly spotless. He takes this as a sign that you may also be anal, so he's trying to rope you into his disorder.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2013 at 1:20PM
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toxcrusadr

"Anal-retentive" is kind of a pop-psychology term (no offense meant but it is). Freud's theory was that people would become meticulous, obstinate and controlling as a result of childhood conditions. I suppose the meticulous and controlling parts are here, but the aggressiveness and belligerence of this person seems (to me) to be on a different level. Banging his own trash cans and saying loudly that he can make noise too; the passive aggressive wadding of the stray sheet of paper and throwing it over the fence; these just seem to be more of a belligerent nature, not just a neatnik neighbor syndrome. I see him as more of any angry type, which concerns me.

It's all just speculation because none of us have seen this person in action except the OP. In any case he's a douchebag.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2013 at 4:52PM
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pprioroh

In comparison to some neighbors I've had, this guy sounds like living next door to the Cleavers....

Sounds like he's easily annoyed by noise - I think many of us can understand that. But I would guess by his comment that HE is bottling up anger at YOU just like you are towards him.

Have you bothered to go over, have a cup of coffee and just ask in a kind way - "hey, last night when I was bringing in the trash I got the feeling I upset you, is that true?" See what he says.

It's one thing to allow irrational people to ruin your lives, but many people are not good at confronting irritating behaviors directly, and in the long run, as the Bible tells us, it's better to address an issue face to face rather than building up anger and frustration.

Be willing to listen - if making noise with your trash cans at 8:30 PM seems silly to you, you may feel differently when you're that age.

I would expect showing some respect to an elder and seeking a resolution with a friendly spirit would get somewhere and help both parties not feel this growing frustration and anger.

Dont' promise not to do something, but acknowledge the issue ("I didn't realize that bothered you, I'll try my best to avoid doing that when I can and I appreciate you letting me know that it's an issue, I didn't realize it and I want to be a good neighbors, I'm sure you do too...")

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 9:25AM
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