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Bawled Out

My neighbor is completely clueless and just does not get it. Personally, he is too judgemental and feels he knows everything there is to know about someone.

My wife and I bought our house about 2 years ago and love the area. Her sister is right around the corner and family is really close by (that can be a bad thing at times). In the beginning we were talking with our neighbor and everything seemed fine. A few months passed then one day I was working on a project in the garage for our bathroom when I noticed that my neighbor was out in the street taking pictures of the property line. I asked him if I could help him with something and he asked if the fence was the line. I replied very nicely that I was not sure but I have the original survey if he wanted to take a look. He quickly snapped at me and told me that we should stay off his property. Mind you we have really never stepped foot on his property at all. His argument was that my father-in-law cut the grass one time on their property.

A couple months past and my wife and I were expecting our first baby. We ended up losing our son full term. The day of our service, my father was being nice and was going around to the neighbor’s houses to let people know that there were going to be lots of cars coming and going because of our loss. My neighbor immediately snapped at my father and swore he would call the cops and that my father needed to get off his property (he is a renter mind you, and yes, I know they have rights). Luckily my father walked away being the better person.That was another incident.

Finally, and this is just recently, I have been trying to be nice. I have smiled and waved, said hello and everything. I strive to be that likeable person. Well, he confronted me about it asking why I say hello knowing that he would never respond. I told him because it makes me feel good to say hello and be neighborly.

At this point, I hate working in the front yard, seeing this guys ugly mug and I despise getting the mail and trash cans. I have given him a chance to get to know me and I be neighborly but he threw it out since he has already cast judgement. I just find it hard to be nice to someone and I really find it hard to ignore someone who thinks I am some skin-head, tattooed racist when just because I am bald and have tattoos means nothing. I am one of the most easy going neighbors and would love to have everyone over for dinner in the neighborhood if I could or have those block parties like some neighborhoods have. For someone who thinks I am otherwise scum, it bothers me to no extent and he is pretty much justified in his rudeness because it gets to me. I am nothing of what he thinks I am. So killing him with kindness…it does nothing for those that are a lost cause and completely clueless.

2 Responses to Bawled Out

  • Chan says:

    I know it hurts a lot when you are being nice but still people misunderstand you and treat you with suspicion. You have tried to mend things many times and failed. You have to accept that you cannot change this person’s behavior. He has to realize it on his own. My suggestion would be to ignore him and befriend your other neighbors. So, in future there is a chance he may realize he was wrong about you all along after he hears good things about you from your neighbors. Even if he does not change, at least you will feel you are accepted among your other neighbors. That should feel comforting. Bottom line is you cant make everybody like you. This is something I realized it based on my experience. Good luck!

  • Whit says:

    If you’re not giving him any real reason to be hostile towards you, which it sounds like you’re a respectful neighbor, then, clearly, he has no justifiable reason to be THIS rude and angry with you. I predict that there is something that might have recently happened in his life that has caused this sudden shift in attitude (divorce? death in the family? job loss/money issues?), and he’s projecting his emotional reaction onto his interactions with his neighbors. For men, it’s easier to express negative emotions (stress, depression, fear, etc…) behind the veil of anger. He probably wouldn’t respond well to being asked “what’s really wrong?” So, you might just have to tolerate his behavior while he’s working through this problem (which may take a long time). Ignore him like he wants you to, because I doubt he likes the way he’s lashed out at you, and the more these negative interactions stack up, the more self-defeating he’ll become and the longer it will take for him to get over his real issue affecting him. As for your kids and teaching them polite neighborly behavior, I’d explain exactly the above, because they should know that people’s negative reactions are not always a direct causality of their (your kids) actions, and these reactions are not always a reflection of who that person is. They should know that their neighbor doesn’t hate them, that he’s just obviously going through something that has him on a short fuse…. maybe not that verbatim, but you get it. Good luck! Hope things get back to normal soon.

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