Are You Being Watched…..By Your Neighbors?

They know when you leave your house.  They know when you return.

They know when you have company.  They know when your company left. 

They know if the brown truck delivered today or yesterday and how many packages were left on your doorstep. 

Yes, your buttinsky neighbors, you know the ones; THEY KNOW EVERYTHING…about you.

Ever have the feeling that the minute you set foot outside, someone is peering at you from their blinds across the street or watching your every move from the shadows of a doorway?

It’s horrible isn’t it?  That feeling of reconnaissance surveillance in your own yard.  What’s wrong with these people?  They need to get a life.

I’ve taken the liberty of categorizing some of them that I’ve come to know over the years.  I’m not sure which one is worse but I’ve been violated by them all.

What’s ironic about it, is sometimes the nosy neighbor actually serves a purpose when there is something you are trying to find out.  But mostly they just annoying and are usually there to cause some type of conflict.

So let’s give these jerks the names they deserve.

The Looky-Lou Loser:  Has no problem going to every open house on the block.  Say’s they are mostly interested in trying to gain design knowledge or how to rearrange their furniture. 

These type of snoops are my most unfavorite of all.  Please explain to me why it is okay for someone you know to come check out your bedroom when you’re gone?  I actually had a neighbor come to my open house because her children wanted to play in my kids rooms.  What!! 

The Deliberate Boob:  Asks totally inappropriate questions or makes uncalled for comments such as, “Is your husband the father of all your children?” or things like, “Have you gained weight.”  Or lovely comments like,  “I would never cut my hair like that”.

The Undercover Mole:  Has done background checks on you and counts the amount of wine bottles in your recycling bin every week.

If you don’t think this is happening, you are naive.

Inspector Gadget:  Has a telescope in the window, wears army fatigues for no apparent reason, binoculars are often around their neck. 

This person has surveillance cameras on the whole street.  They are paranoid and think someone is out to get them.

Through the Fence Voyeur:  You know there is someone watching you in your backyard.  You can feel their presence but when you turn around their spying eyes are gone.  Freaky huh? 

Have you noticed lately that all the little knots in the slats of your fence have been poked out and there are little holes everywhere up and down the wood?  Yeah, beware or be very aware.

The Party Pooper:  Calls the cops for every noise that’s ever made.  Every party is shut down before it really gets started.  Cars are towed away because they have been parked for 48 hours.  Calls the fire department proclaiming your backyard is a fire hazard because of the weeds. 

You know who it is, however they think they are anonymous.

The Snooty Snot:  Barrels down the street in her new Mercedes SUV.  Her kids wear only Ralph Lauren while yours are in early Target hand-me-downs.  She watches you only to make herself feel better about who she is. 

You don’t need her.

The Meddlesome Battleaxe:  A consistent and predictable nosy-nelly.  Can tell you what time the street-sweeper arrived and departed.  Copies down everyones license plate numbers on the block and demands to know whose car that is if it’s not immediately recognized.  Reports you to the homeowners association if your trash cans aren’t pulled in within five minutes of the trash truck arriving.

Just an all around annoying meathead.  Often wears slippers all day.  Maybe even a housecoat.  Gasp!

So which one of these nerds live on your street?  Or better yet, are you one of these people?

I need to go close my shades.  You should too.

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40 Comments and 5 Replies

  1. Diane 1

    Part of being a good neighbour is looking out for one another. I am nosey and proud of it! I like to know who’s going round and mooching about in neighbours gardens! Most burglaries are opportunist ones – when people leave windows open and when neighbours aren’t nosey enough. I have gone out and asked people what they’re doing on the street. This helps keep my neighbourhood safer! I’m a member of my local neighbourhood watch too! We’re encouraged to look out for our neighbours! And if a nosey neighbour prevents my house getting robbed then I’d be pleased!

    • louise 2

      I realize your comment was posted a while back but since I have a very nosy neighbour, I googled it to know my options. You may think you are helping your neighbours by peeking in the window and stopping people on the street but in reality your neighbours do not appreciate this. It totally invades their privacy and they are just too polite to tell you. Please open your eyes and look in your own mirror. They invented fences for a reason!!!

      • Justine 3

        Glad to read your recent post. I have found a few things that actually work. One is to act crazier and nosier than the neighbor! I am a senior lady on my own and just bought a lawn tractor. NOW I wear really good noise reduction ear muffs and only one foolish busy body stood behind the tractor until I turned it, didn’t stop and told her to get out of the way. I know she watches from a distance, but she doesn’t even come close even when I’m out in the yard. The rest of the time I wear ear plugs and pretend I don’t hear them. Another thing is that most of these morons DO kind of admire you in a sick way. I don’t understand this idea that they have nothing better to do, since I can always find things to do. Most of them are p-oed too that I don’t need them in my life and I won’t indulge them. I played the games when I was working, fetched, cleaned, cooked, did the couples thing, tolerated foolishness and so on. So now that I’ve been retired I open my eyes in the morning when I want to and close them at night when I want to. I do about 99% of what I darn well please to and I think somewhere deep down, these morons know that they don’t have thought of their own. As for complaining about weeds in my yard the bylaw took 22 years to act on one house, so by that time I probably will be out to pasture and not really give a you know what!

  2. Mike 4

    My wife jokes that I’d be happy living on an island away from it all, but I think she’s right. Nosy or intrusive neighbors madden me to no end. Like the time there was a complaint to the HOA about weeds growing in my *backyard* (wtf?)…

  3. Good Gawd. Gladys Kravitz has nothing on these people. You and Asthmagirl need to hatch a plan…

  4. Flea 6

    Sounds like someone’s ready to move … :)

    Back in Florida I had a nosey old lady in her housecoat, but we became friends and I learned to appreciate her. Otherwise she would have driven me nuts.

  5. We had one in our old neighborhood that fit several of those descriptions. He was the organizer of the neighborhood watch and invited all of the neighbors but those who lived on our street (family members and renters). He called the city’s version of the EPA on my in-laws saying that their backyard pond was an environmental hazard. After cleaning it out, they had put a hose in it to refill it and accidentally left it on barely flooding his backyard near the fence. He liked to work on his laptop in the backyard so that he could eavesdrop on our conversations or on my inlaws. I hear he was in the backyard all day during each of my homebirths. I don’t think he was anxious to hear good news. His name was Richard. Can you guess what we called him?

    Out here in the country it is much better. The neighbors are further away. There is a little bit of gossip which is inevitable in a small community, but it’s not too bad most of the time. We have curtains only on our bathroom sliding glass door which faces a gap in the trees lining the road. Most problems can be smoothed over or prevented with a gift of pumpkin bread.

  6. We have a neighbor that does concrete sculpting in the middle of the night.
    Next morning, there are more of these bizarre head shapes in his front yard. City can’t do anything about it, even though it does qualify as an eyesore.
    Then there are the ones with the shades down all day and night. They moved in over a year ago and noone knows what they look like.

    It’s weird everywhere you go. Except when you get to your new won’t have to worry about them!!

  7. philly 9

    I have Vampires that live next door to me,,,,yep that’s what I said,,,,Vampires!

  8. I am fortunate enough to have no neighbors. Well, I have neighbors, but it’s a helluva hike to get to them. Which does not stop me from trekking over to peak in their windows whenever possible.

  9. I used to live next door to the meddlesome battleaxe. I loved her. She may have been annoying, but she had the cops on speed dial and our end of the street was well patrolled. Lovely lady.

    Compared to my neighbors now… I’d take her any day of the week.

  10. PEEK! Not peak. DAMMIT! Clearly my spelling skills have peaked.

  11. This made me laugh so hard…

    The worst neighbors my husband and I had were drug dealers (I think that wins the worst neighbor ever award). We had just got married and lived in a less than desirable neighborhood. We knew something was going on with them, but the full scope of it didn’t come out until they were evicted from the house and the new owners told us what happened. Needless to say, we moved shortly there after and have had no problems with neighbors ever since.

  12. grace 14

    i think it’s so sad when people have nothing better to do than stalk their neighbors. you’re right–they’re in every neighborhood and totally unavoidable, which is why i plan to live deep in the boonies when i decide to settle down. most important criterion: my nearest neighbor will be no less than two miles away in any direction. second most important criterion: clean water. :)

    a girl can dream, right?

    • Susan 15

      I can only guess that nosy neighbors have nothing better to do than to spy and complain about others. I used to live where my nearest neighbor was 3/4 mile from me. It was great. Currently, I live in a high rise on the 20th floor. Of course, no one can see me. Not unless they want to use a telescope. I close my blinds at night….just encase.

  13. I can top your “Undercover Mole” who counts the winebottles in your garbage can.

    Here in the country we don’t have garbage service, but have to haul our own trash to the Transfer Station (fancy word for the dump – only every thing gets trucked away now rather than buried.)

    Of course the Transfer Station is only open a couple of days a week for very short periods of time. And if you miss going for a couple of weeks (as my husband is wont to do) we end up with a pretty large amount of…stuff.

    Believe me, at the Town Transfer Station there are no secrets! You can TRY to hide your wine bottles as you sneak over to the glass recycling container – but believe me, half the town sees it.

    Ah, the joys of small town life.

  14. krysta 17

    Well, think about it this way when you are at your winery you won’t have neighbors.

    I used to have the little old man neighbor, he wasn’t as bad as the party pooper neighbor but still tiresome. He worried about our trees and flowers. He also sent his landscaping guys over to trim a bush that he thought was overgrown, I was letting it overgrow so I could reshape it. The bush 5 years later is still weedy looking and sick. He tore out our wood fence and replaced it with a chain link, without asking, then presented us with a bill. Our landscaping guy quit because of him. Shall I go on?

  15. Susie 18

    That’s why I stay in the city..for the peace and quiet. ;)

  16. Luckily, I have pretty normal neighbors. Except for the people next door who let their yapper out at dinnertime every night to bother us while they eat dinner peacefully. I tend to pounce on them for their annoying dog, but otherwise it’s a peaceful neighborhood!

  17. Tipper 20

    I have the nosy neigbor who calls and asks “who was your company that just left”-but shes my Mom so I guess I’ll keep her.

  18. That’s a great list! When we first moved into our house 7 years ago, the lovely woman across the street came over and “filled me in” on who all the neighbors were on our cul-de-sac. She gave me WAY too much information, so I made a mental note to always be on her good side…in case she was sharing with everyone else who she thought we were! :)

    When we lived in our apartment, before moving into the house, there was a man who would do Tae-Bo completely NAKED. He was on the second floor and directly across the parking lot from us. He had no idea we could see him from our deck…through his curtain-less window.

    Needless to say, one of my friends and I had the most interesting conversations out on the deck. Thankfully, no one called the cops on him, because it was a pretty nice show. ;)

  19. Egghead 22

    I don’t really have any nosy neighbors right now since we are relatively isolated. But before we moved out here I had one REALLY nosy lady that would start gossip because I would not answer her messages about what we were doing and who was at our house visiting. Mean spirited…in fact she became worse the more I ignored her gossipy ways. I do not miss that at all!

  20. philly 23

    I have alot of “Snooty Snots” as neighbors , so when one of the homes go on the market I have been know to go and see what a home looks like decorated by an interior designer as opposed to my ikea, target etc home.

  21. Liz C. 24

    OMG! What kind of neighborhood do you live in? LOL! The ONLY time anyone in our neighborhood watches someone’s house is when we’re out of town. I can’t imagine being so closely watched all the time. I’m afraid I’d be shooting the finger a lot. A Whole Lot.

  22. I find the best strategy is to scare the crap out of all the neighbors right from the get-go; then no one bothers you except the similarly strange. I now have complete freedom to stand in my stuffy subdivision yard with purple flannel pants, Metallica T-shirt, Outback hat and muck boots holding a martini, surrounded by a flock of chickens.

    And they don’t even flinch when they see us working outside with floodlights on our latest project at 11 at night. Sweet.

    Would you like yours shaken or stirred? ;)

  23. Deb 26

    Recycle bins…they all look alike here. When the truck arrives all you hear are the glass wine and beer bottles making all the noise! I must say we have a happy neighborhood!

  24. Krissy 27

    The battleaxe…..I would shoot her with a bb gun! That will teach em!

  25. Okay, you have sucky neighbors, my friend. We have the hypocrite pastor across the street who brought his wife’s car into my hub’s shop, then threw a fit on the floor about the expense, telling the manager he was a pastor and would urge his congregation to boycott the very reputable dealership. Our other neighbor is a peach. He’s a tribal drummer, so in the summer, Mr. Clairol and I float in the pool and listen to the drums, bells and pipes at night. There are two boards missing from our shared fence, but we agreed not to replace them because our dogs are buddies and they visit. I just had to warn my teenage daughter not to look through the gaps since he likes to skim his pool au natural, if you get my drift.
    Then we have a neighbor who keeps calling Animal Protection, claiming we chain our dog up (we don’t) and that he never has food or water (he always does). I don’t know who that is and I don’t really care. I hope he is counting my wine bottles. Maybe he’ll realize I am no one to be trifled with. Winos Unite!

  26. giz 29

    You’re hysterical – I give them all the same name – Gladys Kravitz – every street has at least one – so annoying.

  27. Harmony 30

    Can you believe that I had a woman who was the: Party Pooper, Undercover Mole, and Meddlesome Battleaxe that lived right next door to me! She knew everything about everyone! And was not shy to share with whom’s ever ear she could get to! After she moved and her house sold, she showed up one day and walked right in…when the new owner was doing some remodeling. Just walked right through the front door, and demanded to know why the new owner was making so many changes…can you believe that!!!!

    I think I would be the Boob, not a Deliberate Boob…just a Boob! I am forever saying dumb things.

  28. MuzzyBlue 31

    Or better yet, the neighbors who treat you like the Invisible Family. We’ve lived on the same street for over eight years and have yet to meet the people across the street! They come and go, oblivious to our attempts to wave and acknowledge that we inhabit the same neighborhood. Or the Scooby Doo old man that lives next to us, who only talks to us when he’s trying to convince us to have our trees cut down so we ‘won’t have all that mess in the backyard.’ Ah, well. I have a feeling the families on this street are convinced ours is a crack house: I have three teenaged sons who have lots of friends who come over often, creating lots of car traffic.

  29. amy 32

    Our cul de sac is a very tight knit bunch. Sometimes I think a little too tight. God forbid if you want to actually have “outsiders” over for dinner!

  30. I love this.

    I see each of my neighbors in the descriptions. Hell, they could probably see me, too. I have SLIGHT Gladys Kravitz tendencies, sometimes. Our neighborhood is super-quiet, so it’s easy to notice things out of the ordinary. But I don’t know the gossip or how many wine bottles are in their recycling bins. I don’t care.

    And I only speculate (I’ve had some wild theories about a certain neighbor) to my husband, which is the true hallmark of a Gladys. I should start calling him Abner.

  31. we got nuttin’… it’s nice, but it’d be nice if someone besides knew if something was amiss around here… but I cal yell at the kids no problem.

  32. I so wanted to leave a comment on the liar muffins post (they looked soooo chocolatey and wonderful,) but then I scrolled down and found this entry.

    You had me laughing out loud. Why does every neighborhood have these people on the block? How does that happen? I have no idea, I only know it’s true. I find myself trying NOT to be like any of the characters you mentioned (God forbid I was ever the “deliberate boob,”) but you’ve nailed each character profile perfectly. And their names! I am so reading this to any of my family members who will (be forced to) listen!

    This neighbor conundrum (no pun from your earlier post intended) must be why one of my favorite movies of all-time is “The Burbs.” An oldie, but perpetually a goodie, and nails the typical neighbor types to a T.

    Oh…thanks for the laugh! I needed it.

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  36. Moving soon 39

    I just happened across this page accidentally and I can see that the other comments are from years ago but I couldn’t resist, I had to comment on this! It’s funny that I came across this post because I am sitting in my bedroom right now furious that my husband cut down a tree in our front yard. The reason I’m so mad about this tree isn’t because it was beautiful. It was actually sort of ugly (it’s called a Pussy Willow of all things). I’m mad because now my insanely nosy neighbor can see me in the yard better and has a clear shot view into my bedroom window. Although I do have blinds and curtains but still! That ugly Pussy Willow was providing me with a little bit of privacy from (one of) my crazy neighbors-and now it’s gone! The only plus side to this travesty is we are planning to move in the next year or so. But reading this has made realize that even though we are moving there will most likely be at least one if not two new crazy, blind peeping, annoying comment making, always in my business neighbors to get on my last nerve in the new neighborhood too! Oh well, thanks for the laugh!

    • louise 40

      I feel for you, our nosy neighbours are next to us and I don’t feel comfortable in my back yard anymore. A word of advise if your plans are still to move, keep to yourself and try not to be too friendly with the new neighbours. If they try to carry conversations, pretend you’re too busy and walk away. I know it’s hard but becoming too friendly let them think they can control you. Good luck and I hope you find peace and privacy in your new home.

  37. Kimberly Wilson 41

    We have nosy and crazy neighbors. They watch us through binoculars at their windows and have surveillance cameras pointed at our house. They had killed rabbits and bored out their eyes and threw them in our yard. They have messed with our shed and rv trailer in my backyard. They killed my precious little dog. They have been going to other people’s yards and destroyed trees (dumping gasoline on the root system) and other things there and tainted animal treats to where it would make the dogs extremely sick and blame us for it saying one of my kids jumped the fence and back again when they weren’t even home for several days. It is to the point where the neighbors are yelling at us for these things in which we have not done anything at all. Trying to be a good neighbor, every Christmas we would bake treats for the neighbors, take care of other people’s lawns when they weren’t able to. I am so stressed. I don’t know what to do, I don’t know what we have done to them that makes them hate us so much. We always keep to ourselves, we don’t like the drama or gossip that they do.

    • louise 42

      I read your comment and I feel so much for you. We too have crazy neighbours. Some people think they own everything and everyone on the street. But the hell you are going through loosing your precious dog and the killing of other animals and as I kept on reading I thought my neighbours are not that bad after all. I think you need to get your own cameras and record everything. If you see anything illegal, you need to take actions with the law, sometimes a legal letter as a warning helps a lot. Good luck

  38. Cansan 43

    I don’t know if anyone wrote anything about this — but with the latest technology and using these little spying cameras I think my neighbors father and brother are watching every step that I take near my kitchen window. They have these lights attached to their condo unit that, of course, I can see only at night and they go from yellow to green to red or vice versa. During the day if those men are out front and I look out the window they pick up their cell phones so I’m assuming that they are receiving a message from the camera? It happens too often for it to be that they are just answering their phone. Though it could be a ruse. What’s up with that? Do you know anything about these cameras? Is there anything illegal in that activity?

  39. Mark A. Chadwick 44

    I’ve lived in the same place out in the country on a 2 acre parcel for almost 28 years now. My place has a 6 foot wrought iron security fence with automatic gates for driveway access and no walk in access, it has 6 foot cinder block walls on both the north and south property lines that are 300 feet in length, and a 3 rail, no climb horse wire wood fence completely enclosing the back acre… my place “screams” – I like my privacy…. So, my neighbor … let’s call him Johnny Come Lately …. after a year of my neighbor asking me if I think he should put a mobile home next to my side of the property and me telling him politely to put it some where else, and now seeing that it (yes it is installed and it’s permitted and “legal”) violates my privacy, devalues the appraised value, and reduces my quality of life, after months of suggesting and encouraging him not to place it there….. he goes ahead and does it anyway…. now, get this… the mobile home is on stilts 3 feet off the ground on a cement slab, thus making all of the doors and windows substantially higher than my 6 foot cinder block wall. The trailer is positioned directly (left) south of my back porch, patio, and pool area… in other words, this guy can stand in this trailer home and observe every thing that occurs in my immediate back yard…. So, needless to say, I am not happy, not happy at all. So, I do my research and contact the County, yep, it’s all legal … nothing I can do about it… The County sends someone out to the neighbors and the neighbor gets mad and calls me up and accuses me of being a “snitch” …. so after a brief phone conversation where he wouldn’t let me speak, the conversation ended abruptly. And so I wrote him a letter… The letter explained my feelings of privacy violation, my rationale for conducting research, and that his decision to put the trailer where it is has caused me 1. lost all privacy in the back yard, 2. devalued my property, 3. lessened my quality of life, and 4. has cost me real money to build a supplemental fence and wall to restore my privacy / prevent the neighbor from peering down into my space. So… the County says he’s legal, the neighbor says he has a right to build anywhere on his property (which he does), and it’s simply OK to invade my privacy. Please advise ….. am at a complete loss…. and BTW, the county gladly accepts people’s money for permits and ok’s this kind of thing so what am I to conclude… and there is no home owners association or property management …. rural countryside living.

  40. Mindy 45

    I have a couple of new neighbors,someone was looking in my front window,and the next night in my office window.I stay up late and smoke outdoors,for the past 2 weeks I’m armed with a flashlight,pepper spray and phone………….it’s a shame because my neighborhood is safe,but someone knows my big male roommate has moved,as I found a cig. butt outside his window….I find myself very on edge and not sleeping well.I have been sexually accosted by a male before when younger.In a month my younger brother will be moving in,and I cannot wait.My father just sent me pepper spray.


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