Dear Dharma,

I have recently moved into a new neighborhood and couldn’t be happier about my new place. It’s perfect!  What’s not perfect though is the neighbors on the one side of me.  They are seriously starting to creep me out.

They’ve never come to introduce themselves to me but they watch me ALL THE TIME.  When I come and go.  When I have guests. When I’m out in the garden. I recently caught the man going through my mailbox.  What the heck is that about?

I want it to stop. It’s a total invasion of my privacy!  What do I do??

Leave Me Be!

Dear Leave Me,

Kill them with kindness.  I know, it goes against what you want to do.  What you want to do is yell, “What the hell are you doing?  Why are you going through my mailbox??” Which is a totally natural desire.

Let’s not start with that though.  Let’s start with a loaf.

Either pick up or bake a nice banana loaf (or lemon if you prefer – I quite like a good lemon loaf) and put on your nicest smile.  Head on over and start with an apology.  Yes, an apology…

“Hi there!  I’m Sally, your new neighbour next door!  I’ve got to apologize for not making it over sooner to introduce myself.  I’ve seen you looking over a million times and you must have thought I was just so rude!”

Now you’ve disarmed them with kindness and deflection, but have also let them know you’ve seen them creeping.  Creepers don’t like to be seen, they don’t want to be seen, thus the nature of a creeper.  Knowing they’ve been spotted may go a long way in curbing their behaviour.

But wait, there’s more!

“Anyway, I had this extra banana loaf, and I thought you might enjoy it, so here you go!  It’s so nice to have finally met you. Oh!  I was wondering… do you sometimes get mail delivered to my address?  I thought you may have been looking for something the other day…”

He’s either going to own that or he’s not (he’s not), but either way your response is simply, “No problem!  If I see something with your name and address I’ll be sure to bring it right over.”

I honestly think this approach will turn things around.  If Dharma’s wrong (whaaat?), then be sure to drop me a line and we’ll come up with a great way to yell at them.



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