22 answers

Advice on How to Handle Mean Neighbors.

Hi ladies I need some advice, I have the meanest neighbors and i don't know what I should do about it. We moved in nearly 3 years ago and from day one they have never been friendly. The house we bought needed some TLC and I know that with everything we have had going on ours hasn't been the nicest house in the neighborhood to look at. And not only that due to having dirt work done we don't have a fence up and my dogs can be a pain but I do try my best to not let them roam. The first incident was w/ their kids and my then 5 yr old son, he came and asked if he could play with the kids next door and I told him that he could but he had to ask the kids first if he could come and play. Next thing I know he comes in the house balling and asking me why no one likes him. I asked him what happen he said he asked the kids if he could come and play and they told him NO and to NEVER come back! We would always wave at them and they just look turn away as if they didn't see us. Another thing that happen was our trampoline blew into their yard durring a storm and when the husband got home from work I told him that I had already spoken to my husband and he was going to get it as soon as he got home from work. He sneered and asked TODAY? I said yes today he will be home shortly. As soon as my husband got home he went right over to take apart the trampoline and haul it away, the husband came out and starts in saying "you know if that would have hit my house you would've had to pay for any damges." Then just went back inside. When my husband was done he knocked on the door to let them know he was finished and the guy came out to inspect that it had in fact all been cleaned up and went back in the house w/out a word. I don't know what we ever did to these people but they really just don't like us and it drives me crazy. My kids have even deemed them "the mean neighbors". Last but not least the mean neighbors cat ahd kittens so my 2 yr old daughter takes off to their house every chance she gets to go and the the kitties and today my 5 yr old daughter was trying to get her sister when the the wife comes out and demands to know where I am and to shew the girls away as if they were dirty little mice. I don't know if I should just stay away from them or say something I would really just like to know what we've done to these people. Hope you ladies can help!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

First I have to start by saying thank you!!! I have told the mean neighbors in the past that we are planning on putting our fence back up and apologized for any problems that it may haved caused them and also they said that they were planning on adding to their fence, so my husband and the mean neighbor husband had talked about joining fences, well that, needless to say is no longer an option and we are going to begin putting our fence up ASAP!! I have thought about taking them baked goods but Im not sure how well they will be recieved considering the wife is plastic surgery fake but I still want to try so that I can leave a letter saying I'm sorry for any problems our home improvement has caused and that I hope theat they will take into consideration how far our house has come since we first purchased it. And also to keep in mind it cant all be done at one time. I do also want to ask what our family has done to offend them and clear up ANY misunderstanding, we are good people and kids are kids!! We have since gotten a kitten so hopefully that will keep our courious 2 yr old closer to home! Thanks to you ladies you have confirmed that it is not us but just that some people have an ugly heart and no matter what I do it is not going to change their attitude and We just have to keep positive and keep moving forward!!!!

Featured Answers

I would agree with the people who suggest a direct conversation at least once before you give up and just try to ignore -- saying you want to get on a better footing, and hopefully clearing away some misunderstandings. I would think it is at least harder to be mean to someone who has made an effort to reach out. Best of luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I might use a holiday as an excuse to take over a batch of brownies or something and just say "I would really like to be friendly with all my neighbors but I think we may have gotten off on the wrong foot" and see what happens. If you are received poorly - then you know you have done all you can, been as nice as you can. If they respond positively- maybe there has been some miscoomunication on their part- maybe they are just "grumpy" people who are always misinterpreted (well- it *could* happen that way, you never know!)

It is a shame though and I'm sorry you have had such a rough time with them.

1 mom found this helpful

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Hello, first of all let me say god bless you for having to tell with such horrible neighbors. As for advice, as far as i can see you have three choices, give them the telling off of a lifetime, which of course won't help anything but your own ventilation!! You could just totally ignore them or my favorite when i run across people like that, just do what the good book says and heap coals!! Every chance you get just be so sickeningly nice that if they have any decency whatsoever, which i admit does sound questionable, they will have to eventually become shamed and humiliated into at least being civil. The house right beside ours and i do mean right beside, has been a rental house for a few years and i cringe every time it empties out for fear of what kind of people may move in. We have one five year old who has always had run of that yard and even the house with most of the neighbors so it would be very strange for him to have neighbors living there that didn't completely welcome him. That side of our yard looks like complete white trash with all of my son's outside toys and my husband's duck hunting boat! I tell my husband every time it empties out we need to throw up a privacy fence, i wouldn't want to do it after someone moves in for fear of offending someone. So far, we have been lucky with all the neighbors, but the family that is there now is building a house and will be moving soon. So the worry will return of who and what is coming next!! You do have another option as well. Pray for your neighbors everyday!! I am not a "religious" nut, but i see the power of prayer work in my life everyday and it just may be that god is the only one that can help these people. Afterall, it is really them with the problem not you!! Think how horrible it would be to be like them!! And you know, the lord works in mysterious ways, maybe if he can't change them, he can put a for sale sign in their yard!! Ha ha! I wish you the best of luck but do keep in mind that even though it effects your life, they are obviously very unhappy people with some serious problems while you have a beautiful family filled with life and joy (other than your neighbors)!!
Have a fabulous day and god bless!!

1 mom found this helpful

Get a fence built as quickly as you can - separate your family/children from theirs will go a long ways. (Oh and be prepared - they WILL complain about what type of fence you put up, where you put it, etc.. That's just the type of people they are!)

1 mom found this helpful

Unfortunately some people are mean and nasty and there is nothing you can do about it. Make sure your kids understand it has nothing to do with them and tell them to stay away from those neighbors. Ther emay be other kids or families in the neighborhood they can bond with. The best way to deal with their ignorance is to ignore it and not let it ruin your family's happiness.

1 mom found this helpful

I would agree with the people who suggest a direct conversation at least once before you give up and just try to ignore -- saying you want to get on a better footing, and hopefully clearing away some misunderstandings. I would think it is at least harder to be mean to someone who has made an effort to reach out. Best of luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Good fences make good neighbors. If you can, I'd take your tax return and put in a fence. You can't really change someone else's behavior...but it might help the kids and dogs to stay out of their way. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I think you should go over there and ask them very nicely what is their problem!!

Love ya
T.

1 mom found this helpful

Kill em' with kindness!!!!! Do you know if they are church goers. If so, remind them how Christian their actions have been "WITH A SMILE ON YOUR FACE." Do not worry about the trampoline thing. Acts of God do not qualify for property damage. Always make sure you smile and wave at your neighbors. Just because they choose to live with hate and anger, does not mean that you need to. Be happy you don't have my neighbors. Mine are rude, loud, and ignorant, literally!!!! Remember that you can not change how another person thinks or acts. Just be the larger person and most of all, never let it keep you up at night. It is their problem, not yours!!!!

1 mom found this helpful

You have done nothing wrong. These people are probably very unhappy and let that spill out onto others. Some people are just not sociable and teach their kids to be the same way. Ignore them. Tell your children not to go over into the neighbor's yard so there will not be any more complications. If you try saying something it may just lead to more problems. I'm sorry you have such rotten neighbors.

J.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi D.,
We had really bad neighbors for years. Well, actually, it was just the dad but he was mean. My husband caught him throwing a cockroach over the fence once. The bottom line is that some people are just mean. There is nothing you can do about it but try to make you kids understand...some people are just mean. I can't tell you how many years I prayed for that man but after we moved away, he ended up commiting suicide. I guess life was really rough for him. Sometimes I feel bad for not noticing enough but mostly I am glad we weren't there for him to hurt us before he took his own life.

Sorry I can't help you but I hope that you can be encouraged by the fact that it is probably not you or anything you did, just mean people with problems.

Take Care.
B.

1 mom found this helpful

Wow. What nice people! Perhaps you could go over with your husband and try to talk to the parents. Tell them that you will be neighbors for a while, and you would like to know if you have done anything to offend them. Usually it only takes honest, open communication. If that doesn't improve things, stay away from them, and keep your kids away, too!

1 mom found this helpful

Take them a plate of brownies : ) EVERYone loves brownies. Don't try to ask them "What's wrong." Just give them the brownies with a note, "From our family to yours" or "Have a Happy Day" Short and sweet. Don't try to stay - just drop them off with a big smile and leave.

If the brownies don't do the trick, chocolate chip cookies the next week? Let your children help so they can be a part of blessing these folks. They obviously haven't had a nice life. You have no idea what they may be going through.

Yes, they are W-R-O-N-G and being mean-spirited, but the Blble says to bless your enemies and do good to those who persecute you. I had to practice this lesson myself this past week!

The bad people did me so wrong, but the Lord gave me a scripture that said to bless them, so I'm trying to figure out a way. They live 3 hours away. Thing is, I don't "have" to see them every day like you do your neighbors.

What about a neighborhood game night? Pray for them, too, that the Lord will give them joy and soften their hearts.

Blessings
G.

1 mom found this helpful

I might use a holiday as an excuse to take over a batch of brownies or something and just say "I would really like to be friendly with all my neighbors but I think we may have gotten off on the wrong foot" and see what happens. If you are received poorly - then you know you have done all you can, been as nice as you can. If they respond positively- maybe there has been some miscoomunication on their part- maybe they are just "grumpy" people who are always misinterpreted (well- it *could* happen that way, you never know!)

It is a shame though and I'm sorry you have had such a rough time with them.

1 mom found this helpful

some people are just determined to be nasty. My parents moved into their house and got all sorts of nasty comments because they put up a fence "ruining the parklike atmosphere of the neighborhood. Nevermind they were the only ones that didnt have one, i guess that parklike atmosphere everyone wanted was letting their dogs poop in the other yard. I'd put up a privacy fence and just stay out of their way, keep being polite, waving and being courteous and let them keep being miserable sob's. Good lesson for your kids...THOSE are the people you DONT want to be

1 mom found this helpful

I hate to say it but if these people act like this with no real reason, there is not a thing you can do to make it better. There are just some people who are mean and do not really like anyone. I would get busy trying to be friends with other people around your area , at your kids school or at your church. Just make sure your little boy realize that he is not the problem and help him make other friends.

1 mom found this helpful

There will always be neighbors that are nicer than others, but honestly, I would want to move again. You really do need to keep your dogs up and not let them roam. This is extremely sensitive in our neighborhood and everyone would quickly make enemies if this wasn't done. Most everyone has dogs around us (us too) but they are trained to stay in the yard or are behind a fence. That is your responsibility to take care of if you have dogs. For safety purposes, your children really do need to stay home until after they have received an invitation to visit others in the neighborhood. Have then invite other friends over so they something to do at home (maybe school friends). Even though home repairs are being done, as a society I think we are all very visual and the work needs to be done as quickly as possible and as neatly as possible. This is very possible to accomplish if it is made a high priority. Good luck and I hope the situation improves.

I live in New Orleans and with the consturcution that has been going on around here for the last few years I have learned a few things...

-if you do not have a fence, your dogs and children must be very well behaved. You must be present with them at all times and if they do not resepct the boundries of your yard they do not go outside and the dogs will have to go on a leash and harness. Walking the dogs three times a day will ware out the kids and the dogs making them better behaved.

-Once a neighboor has their house in order they want to keep it that way. So you are respondsible for making sure the workers on your property are neat and respectful. This means no littering, no foul language, no unsightly or unsafe constuction debris, proper use of the bathroom, and that they are dress appropriatly(shirtless plumbers crack, not welcome).

-GOOD COMMUNICATION. If these constucttion projects have been dragging on for whatever reason you need to let people know that you are resolving the situation and what the time frame for that is. Share your constuction plan with your 4 adjacent neighboors (the houses to the left, right, across the street and behind you). You can do this with a simple letter, drop it in the mail box, express your appreciation for their pacientce and ask if there is anything that you can do to make this process easier for them, tell them you would like to know. Add your contact information and be ready for some not so nice comentary. This will give people the opportunity to express any grevences they may have with the consturction.

If after that you find it is not the consturction, you can try to speak with the mother one on one, ask frank, direct questions, be honest about how you have felt and how you would like things to be different. The ball would then be in her court so to speak.

However, some people just carry around with them a lifetime of anger and fear, which makes them not nice peole to be around and you can't do any thing about that.

Good Luck!

I agree with "Brenda L" completely. Do what you can to build a fence around your property, so your dogs and children have a place to play and you & your family can have some privacy from these neighbors. I would suggest maybe telling your children not to go over there anymore and just leave them alone. There is no reason to stop smiling and waving when you see them - it really shows you are the bigger person by still being friendly from a distance. It won't hurt to say "hello" if you see them outside or in the yard either. Just keep your distance and enjoy your family, don't waste your energy on worrying about it anymore. It is so awful when people are rude and mean for no reason - it is not your fault, they probably have other issues. But I am sure it is frustrating. Just ignore their rudeness and have as little interaction as possible. Hang in there! ~Hugs~

The first thing I thought about when reading your letter was that I would talk to the other neighbors, if you get along with them, and find out what is going on with them and this neighbor. If they get along with them ask them what the "mean neighbors" say about you so you can see what the issues might be.

How long have they lived there, do the act this way to everyone? If yes, then I think I would do everything in my power to keep the two yards, and people, apart. I would be suspicious of a family that didn't let children over to play, or be friendly with new neighbors. It makes me wonder what is going on in their home that they don't want anyone to know about???

We had a new family move into the house across the street and over one house. There were two pre-school age children and one in elementary school. I would come out of my front door and the new kids would be playing on my swing set, riding our bikes in the street, etc.... I can guarantee I wondered where their parents were. I have every person in the neighborhood walking through my yard at all hours day and night to go to a common area between the rows of houses and a shopping area. I have even left my purse out on the deck all night and it wasn't touched. But because of these kids I had to start doing things differently. (We even considered getting a fence. We would be the only family on the street to have one.) I told them, after several times of going to their yard to get our bikes and toys, that they could play with anything but they had to put it back in my yard when they were done.

They sold their house and moved because I was the "mean neighbor". I didn't feel I was mean, I didn't yell or cuss them out, I didn't call Child Welfare on them because I never saw a parent outside, I felt like I went out of my way to be nice. It's all in how it's interpreted.

I have some friends who bought a lot in a secluded neighborhood a few years ago. Their children were all in Jr. High or High School and they were in a position to spend the time and money to build a dream home. The kids were old enough to take care of the flooring and new furniture, etc.... It was the most beautiful home I had ever seen. I wanted to crawl in the Master tub and just take a nap and I could have lived in the Master closet. Anyway, their neighbor on the North side was a total jerk. He yelled at the kids when they were out side swimming or hanging out with their friends, all the time being mean. He would pour weed killer on the plants they had along the fence line because they were coming onto his property. He even filed a law suit against them about some issue or another. They decided the dream home could be rebuilt. They put their house up for sale and bought another lot and started over. They took a hit on the house because they hadn't really lived there long enough to build up equity. They are happy now. They live along a winding road by a lake, have horses and other pets, they love their new neighbors and host neighborhood parties often.

Have you tried something like cookies or a pie.I know when we get new neighbors I always welcome them to our neighborhood with a platter of something homemade. It would be worth a try anyway

Hi D.,

There are a few things I would recommend. The first thing you mentioned is not having a fence and having dogs. We have been in the same predicament. How we handled this was to make sure our yard (since it was visible to neighbors) was maintained and we never let our dogs out unattended and without being on a leash. This prevented our animals from 'bothering' or impeding on our neighbors property. I would also recommend not allowing your younger children to wander onto their property without you present. I recommend this for two reasons: Firstly, it might make the neighbors uncomfortable to see such young children unattended (you mentioned the wife was inquiring where you were.) They might also find it rude. A lot of folks are on a pretty tight schedule, esp if they are working and have children of their own and they might not have the time to entertain your children at that particular time. Secondly, if you are with them, it might give you an opportunity get to know the neighbor on a personal level and develop a relationship with them. Also, you can get a sense if it is a bad time for the neighbors and quickly corral your children back to your property.

I think if the neighbors see that you and your family are making a effort to respect them and the neighborhood, they will warm up to you guys. If they don't warm up, then that is their loss (their loss not knowing you & your family). Good luck, D. and I hope it all works out for you and your family!

Good morning! Luckily most of my closest neighbors all have children and are very nice and understanding, but I also have a few sets that are not "overly" friendly and one house where the people are so mean that it scares me and I make sure that my children are never around them. I haven't dealt with mean neighbors, but if I was you I would try to correct all of the things that irritate them--put up a fence or get a pen for the dogs--that way you could also keep your daughter in your backyard and away from the neighbors house (I have a hard time keeping my 2 year old out of the neighbors garage, so I just don't let him in the front when their garage door is open). I'm thinking that if you would correct everything that irritates them and don't push them for awhile that they might be more receptive in a month or two when you try to talk to them again.

Get a fence put up as fast as you can, and this may solve a few problems. Continue to wave and smile and be friendly. Just because they don't want to be nice doesn't mean you shouldn't be nice back, after all, 2 wrongs don't make a right. I wouldn't confront them, if this is the way they normally act with everyone, (they may not even think that they are being mean in the first place) it could just create new problems if they take offense to it. Hope this helps! Good luck!

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