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Odd neighbour

  • 03-03-2021 2:51pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭


    I'm a young single female. I bought a house a few years ago. The houses are very close together. It is a rural town, very close knit. I am new to the town. I am a quiet, reserved and private person. I keep the head down, go to work each day, don't hassle or bother anyone, say hello when I meet someone outside and keep it at that.

    I've spoken to all of my neighbours since I moved in and when I see them out, I say hello and keep it at that, they do the same.

    One of my neighbours is an older man and I find him a bit odd to say the least. He doesn't work, I get the impression he never really worked during his life, he doesn't seem do anything all day. He seems to have a lot of time on his hands.

    When I would come home from a busy day at work (my job is fairly full on and quite stressful at times), as soon as I would pull my car up and just open the door to get out to go inside my house, he would appear outside. The same when I'd come back from grocery shopping etc. I would say hello, but try to keep it brief and polite, try not appear to be too interested in interacting with him.

    He often loiters around the back and front of the house and stares in.

    He comes out with some very strange statements to me, when I was moving in to the house, he asked me what part of the house I slept in (back bedroom or front bedroom)? When the pandemic hit, he asked me 'was I scared?' and burst out laughing, another time he said to me 'you're good looking'.

    I don't interact for any length with him, I keep my interactions polite, but deliberately as cold as I can, hoping he would get the hint.

    I have a bad gut feeling about him and my gut is rarely wrong. Recently, I went outside to put out my bins and he appeared within seconds (which means he must have been watching/waiting) and said he would put out my bins, I told him not to do that and went back inside.

    I find his offers of putting out my bins strange, as I can clearly fend for myself, I have been able to buy my own house, buy a decent car, get my house renovated , manage my household etc. So I am far from a weak or helpless female and he should know this.

    As a result, when I'm at home, I stay inside as much as possible, I can't go out in the garden, because I don't know when he will appear.

    The strange thing is, he appears to be really popular with the whole town and the other neighbours. Everyone does his chores for him and does favours for him. I have tried not to react negatively to his behaviour because I am new, I want to keep the peace and don't want get a name the as 'awkward neighbour looking for an argument' etc. The fact that is so popular makes this harder. When I'm at home during the day and if the windows are open, I have often overheard how he speaks to other people passing by outside on the road and it is a normal conversation that he has with them, the weather , covid etc. Not the weird statements he has said to me. In fact, I wouldn't mind if he did have a normal conversation with me, that would be fine, not the odd statements he has come out with to me.

    The loneliness argument can't be used, because he has other friends from the town who call to him. There are other male neighbours his age he could approach if he feels the need for friendship, but I have never seen him hound them and land in on them as soon as they pull their cars up outside after coming back from work, shopping etc.

    This house is the only house I could afford, long term I plan to move to the countryside where I can have privacy.

    Due to the pandemic, I have been working from home recently and the situation is really beginning to annoy me. I just find his behaviour towards me unsettling. Maybe he gets a kick out of annoying me?


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,702 ✭✭✭Xterminator


    i think you can nip his behaviour in the bud by being more assertive. Don't drop hints, express yourself.

    "you are making me uncomfortable and i dont want to talk to you again. Please leave me alone."
    "Why are you outside my property again, it makes me uncomfortable."

    no threats, no anger, dont be rude, & make a no allegations/ assumptions. Just be very clear. Leave me alone.

    He may be a sad lonely old man, and you may have hom all wrong. But you don't have to be uncomfortable, and deprived of your garden etc.
    But no more hints.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,978 ✭✭✭Caranica


    I would consider getting a ring doorbell camera or other CCTV system. It is amazing how it helps to feel safe and will discourage your neighbour from loitering.


  • Registered Users Posts: 266 ✭✭beerguts


    It would be best if you tell your neighbour that you are not interested in a friendship, romantic or otherwise. This situation has the feeling it could become more annoying or intrusive if he is left in no doubt he is barking up the wrong tree. Would you consider purchasing a dog if you don't mind caring for an animal? This might put the guy off if he starts to become more forward


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,226 ✭✭✭StevenToast


    I wish all my neighbours were like you OP...

    I keep getting pulled up for conversations...

    It is very hard not to appear rude by keeping the head down and not engaging......

    i have no interest in "Stop and chats"*

    *credit to Larry David

    "Don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining." - Fletcher



  • Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭LegacyUser


    Hi OP
    I will attempt to present a different point of view.
    A couple of years ago after I moved in to the area with a small child of my own, one of the neighbours ( female) must have had a bad gut feeling about me. I am female too btw. When her kids were playing in my place with my kid, one of her kids told me that their mammy told them I (me) wasn’t to touch their panties or their private parts.
    I don’t know why she felt the needs to tell her kids that but I had no intention to touch their private parts. Wtf like. Having thought about it, I remembered telling the mother her kids were cute. That’s as far as it went. But nowadays people absolutely assume the worst about everyone.
    Moral of the story, avoid the neighbour all you wish but assuming he is a weirdo and telling people you have a bad gut feeling about someone just because he happened to say something you thought was strange, is a reflection on you rather than him.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,973 ✭✭✭skallywag


    I knew a chap like the one you describe, he was a bit touched as we would say round my way and was pretty harmless.

    The staring in the windows would freak me out though.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,899 ✭✭✭Jequ0n


    I got to be honest, this type of behaviour would have made me aggressive fairly quickly.
    Staring into your house? Totally unacceptable. Block his view to take away any excitement he might be getting from it.

    In your case id also get a cctv system.
    Maybe the bin offer was just meant nicely, but keep in mind how much personal information can be gained if someone was willing to go through your rubbish.
    Make sure the camera only captures your property boundaries though.

    And I think it’s time to drop the friendly tone and make it unmistakably clear that you do not want any engagement at all.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,709 ✭✭✭cloudatlas


    Can you fence off your property a bit better and/or get a dog?

    It seems that some posters here are ignoring the fact that he asked you where your bedroom was and said 'you're good looking'. That isn't trivial and would set most women's alarms bells off.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,184 ✭✭✭hawley


    Have you considered going to the gardai about him? Are you in a position to move house? There's no point in living in a place where you don't feel comfortable.


  • Registered Users Posts: 128 ✭✭Taeholic


    I say trust your gut, this man clearly makes you uncomfortable and I can't say I blame you either. As someone else suggested I'd get the camera doorbell as well as fencing or a wall in the garden with a side gate and lock on it.

    I get that you don't want to confront him so I would do the above. I wouldn't feel comfortable with someone being able to walk or see into my garden without the strange neighbour. Also blinds or voile on the front windows so he can't see straight in.

    I know it doesn't solve the problem of him appearing every time you get out of the car or leave the house. I think you'll have to ignore him when he does or minimal conversation. Would you consider calling into the local Garda station for advice on your situation?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,899 ✭✭✭Jequ0n


    hawley wrote: »
    Have you considered going to the gardai about him? Are you in a position to move house? There's no point in living in a place where you don't feel comfortable.

    He has done nothing that would warrant police involvement and it would make the OP a target within the community.

    She’d need evidence of trespassing (hence the cctv recommendation). Even if evidence is obtained it can be used as a pressure point on him without having to involve the Gardai.

    That’s really the last route I’d consider, especially in a rural setting.


  • Registered Users Posts: 627 ✭✭✭LilacNails


    The fact that u say he's acting odd, and making u feel uncomfortable... I can see him possibly deliberately try and rise u op, if u do tell him to "stop talking to me, it's making me uncomfortable ". He might start to make conversations with u just to get a reaction or for the sake of an argument. Some people love to provoke.


    As others are suggesting, if u can block off any view his has into your place, block off well enough that u know for sure he can't see a peep.

    I would just say hello, with a bare glance... And continue what u are doing, any further conversation I would give one word answers, as if I'm in a mood. Hopefully he might get the hint.

    I do feel sorry for u ops there's a bunch of guys few houses down from me and I've often caught them watching me wash my car or bring in messages. Another time I spotted one of them peeping from behind the curtain. It makes me mad but I reckon they have gone back to work as I haven't seen them in a while.

    Creeps.


  • Registered Users Posts: 930 ✭✭✭TheadoreT


    Is there anyone around the area you'd have a good feeling about that you could have a quiet word about him? I know you said he seems popular but if there's anything overly sinister or odd or anything about him you'd think some of the other neighbours would have picked up some vibes over the years.
    Maybe chose the person your gut trusts and even if they don't have any major opinion on him its good to have someone else that may then pick up on his odd behaviours around you.


  • Registered Users Posts: 69 ✭✭Bythefire


    When you get home, either be on a call or have your headphones on. Ignore him.

    Get a gate and side gate put in, you can still get people to do those things.

    Trust your gut, go cold when speaking to him. Less interaction and he will get the message.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,523 ✭✭✭Curious_Case


    I think you have become the "girl next door" as opposed to someone at a bar (I know) who can rebuff him and walk away.
    Maybe have a few male family members or friends coming and going, even leaving their cars outside if you think it's justified?


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,012 ✭✭✭Rubberchikken


    It could be that you're a single female that has drawn this man's attention, which btw isn't one bit fair imo.

    Hemay be on good terms with others because they don't live right next door. It's easier to get on with someone like this if you live at the other end of the street or further.

    If you want to keep to yourself you're entitled to do that.


  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,161 Mod ✭✭✭✭HildaOgdenx


    That behaviour would certainly bother me, and make me uneasy, which is totally unfair, to feel like that in your own home.

    I agree with suggestions to have cctv/ ring doorbell installed asap. I also agree with pretending to be on your phone/ in a rush anytime he is hanging around when you get home.

    Anything else that you can do to limit him being able to get near the front or back of your house such as gates / shrubs or whatever, I would do that also.

    Hope he soon starts to leave you in peace.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,292 ✭✭✭TheBoyConor


    It is bordering on harrassment. Certainly anything with him peering through or over into your back yard. I'd be askign the gardai could they come about and have a little chat with him to wind his neck in.


  • Registered Users Posts: 288 ✭✭Sparkey84


    Caranica wrote: »
    I would consider getting a ring doorbell camera or other CCTV system. It is amazing how it helps to feel safe and will discourage your neighbour from loitering.

    could not agree more. cameras are very helpful and are very discriminating. they only annoy the people who have something to hide. (also agree with later post of making sure they recording within your boundary.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 11,267 Mod ✭✭✭✭Hermy


    The strange thing is, he appears to be really popular with the whole town and the other neighbours.
    It's actually not strange at all.

    It can often be the case that nasty people are really popular in the community.

    But most won't see the nastiness because they aren't being targeted.

    Genealogy Forum Mod



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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,776 ✭✭✭up for anything


    Next time you meet him don't brush him off completely but instead tell him sorry you can't stop but you're on your way to renew your gun licence as you had completely forgotten about it until your brother in the guards reminded you, which might make him think twice about paying you an unwanted visit. It's so unfair that just because you're a woman on your own he can make you feel vulnerable and uneasy and I'd say he has a right good idea that he is doing that. Some men get a kick out of making women feel nervous. Makes them feel more than they are.


  • Registered Users Posts: 691 ✭✭✭jmlad2020


    Is there a mutual neighbor you can subtly hint his creepiness to. The idea would be that they express this back to the Old man in a calm manner in casual conversation?

    "X was complaining you creep her out a bit. What are you like"

    Install an obvious Camera on the front of the house, the Ring doorbell is a good suggestion but doesn't come across strong enough to a man that doesn't understand what it is.

    Pretend to be on your phone or have earphones on when you get out of the car to give him a hint.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,920 ✭✭✭Cash_Q


    We recently moved house and a neighbour like this was a contributing factor in our decision to sell. We had much worse on the other side with parties/screaming/drug addicts, but the elderly nosy neighbour caused us as much/more stress even though she was quiet.

    Every time we came or went she would appear outside at the front door, hanging out the upstairs window, or polishing the inside of her sitting room window which was right beside our front door. She would eavesdrop on us if we were talking to anyone at the front door. As soon as we would go in the back garden she would appear through a gap in the fence. We replaced the entire fencing at great expense and she would hang out the back bedroom windows. She once said 'I loved listening to you and your dad talking out the back" ! She once called me rude for attending to my crying toddler instead of complimenting her paintwork. She insisted on bringing our bins in while we were at work even though I repeatedly asked her not to. She would tell me she noticed a bird crapped on the window and joked how she would nearly clean it herself...which made me leave it there! She also said weird stuff about her underwear, sex drive, called the girl who lived there before us a slapper.. this woman was in her 70s. When I'd pull up on my driveway at night I could see her lying on the floor of her sitting room looking out through the bottom of the blinds. This elderly woman has scoliosis and lies on her floor to spy! When the estate agents photographed our house to sell, she was pretending to clean her upstairs windows and is actually visible in the photos from the ad on Daft. This is only a smidgen of the stuff she did.

    OP I tried being nice, pitied her, bent over backwards to indulge her but she just got worse and worse. Tried to ignore her. Tried to pretend to be on the phone as I came and went. Outright told her to mind her own business and still she hung around like a bad smell.

    What did we do? Sold our house and moved on.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,292 ✭✭✭TheBoyConor


    Never mind all these bits of advice about made up stories about gun licence applications, how busy you are, pretending to get on the phone. Why should you have to do that?

    You need to grab the bull by the horns and tell the man to leave you alone that you are not interested in him. Maybe you can get your father or a large make friend to tell him on your behalf.
    If there is so much as a peep out of him then after, you are well within your rights to discuss it with the Gardai as harassment and ask them to have a word with him to tell him to cop himself on and not be be acting the creep with a young woman.
    Cheek of him to be getting his kicks out of a woman a fraction of his age.


  • Registered Users Posts: 192 ✭✭Jackben75


    Whilst i see your concern, you should engage a bit more with some other neighbours and then casually mention that guy and try and find out more about him, aka suss him out. Then depending on what you learn, maybe light heartedly mention his attitude/approaches towards you. Indeed get some cctv/ring doorbells, get the doorbell for the front and the same company does a wireless small camera which you could put on the back. They are very good in general.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,341 ✭✭✭tara73


    Never mind all these bits of advice about made up stories about gun licence applications, how busy you are, pretending to get on the phone. Why should you have to do that?

    You need to grab the bull by the horns and tell the man to leave you alone that you are not interested in him. Maybe you can get your father or a large make friend to tell him on your behalf.
    If there is so much as a peep out of him then after, you are well within your rights to discuss it with the Gardai as harassment and ask them to have a word with him to tell him to cop himself on and not be be acting the creep with a young woman.
    Cheek of him to be getting his kicks out of a woman a fraction of his age.

    this OP. This guy is some creepy, cowardly bully (or even sociopath) of the highest order. gets a kick of targeting and harassing his new female neighbour who happens to be single. what a low life.

    Before you do the things mentioned above, getting good male friends or relatives to tell him where to go, I would definetely try to inform the neighbours or better to say spread as much as you can in the community how he's behaving towards you.

    because one thing is clear, if you don't do that and you take the action with your male friends, the most important thing for those bullies is to twist the facts (gaslight) to save their ass and let all the people in the community know what kind of a crazy woman you are, getting your male friends to threaten him without him doing anything wrong...you all imagining things..
    very difficult situation. Maybe already consider the alternative of moving away again in the back of your mind. the hassle of a move is nothing towards the everyday hassle of this guy.
    Could well happen you will end up like the crazy woman in this community, no matter what you do, because old friends most of the time stick together and you are the new, single, independent woman there.
    I feel for you, these stuff makes my blood boil..


  • Registered Users Posts: 663 ✭✭✭starbaby2003


    Hi OP
    I will attempt to present a different point of view.
    A couple of years ago after I moved in to the area with a small child of my own, one of the neighbours ( female) must have had a bad gut feeling about me. I am female too btw. When her kids were playing in my place with my kid, one of her kids told me that their mammy told them I (me) wasn’t to touch their panties or their private parts.
    I don’t know why she felt the needs to tell her kids that but I had no intention to touch their private parts. Wtf like. Having thought about it, I remembered telling the mother her kids were cute. That’s as far as it went. But nowadays people absolutely assume the worst about everyone.
    Moral of the story, avoid the neighbour all you wish but assuming he is a weirdo and telling people you have a bad gut feeling about someone just because he happened to say something you thought was strange, is a reflection on you rather than him.

    They may just say this to their kids anytime they go into anyone’s house ? She may have suffered abuse herself. I wouldn’t take it personally


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,012 ✭✭✭Rubberchikken


    I agree with the poster who suggested talking with other neighbours and seeing if others have experienced anything odd with this person.
    Some people are nosy even a bit ‘odd’ to say the least and while I will stand behind the thinking that no one should be made to feel uncomfortable in their home/neighbourhood, there could be a reason why this man is this way.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,921 ✭✭✭rolling boh


    You will have to speak to a neighbour that you feel you can trust about this man and try and find out a bit about him .His behaviour is bang out of order big time and nobody should feel unsettled in their own home like you are .He may well be a nosey old guy and thinks a single women living on their own as fair game for him to act this way .Of course it can be a difficult balance sometimes to get on with a neighbour but keep them at a distance but no way you should have to move because of it.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,341 ✭✭✭tara73


    I agree with the poster who suggested talking with other neighbours and seeing if others have experienced anything odd with this person.
    Some people are nosy even a bit ‘odd’ to say the least and while I will stand behind the thinking that no one should be made to feel uncomfortable in their home/neighbourhood, there could be a reason why this man is this way.

    'great' post and that as a mod in this forum...

    you are trying to trivialize his behaviour and excusing it. Quite unbelievable actually. If you want, you can excuse everything, like: oh, that guy is a serial killer (don't mean this guy in particular, just as an example) there is a reason for it...:rolleyes:

    sure there is a reason why this low life acts like he acts but that's not the point here and what the OP is asking and definetely not helpful for her!


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