How to Deal With Neighbors Who Won't Leave You Alone

Difficult neighbors can negatively affect the quality of your life.

Bothersome neighbors can rob you of your privacy and peace of mind. In an ideal situation, home is the place where you are free to do whatever you please; your shelter from the outside world and the prying eyes of strangers. Whether your neighbor is constantly coming by unannounced, spreading gossip about you in the community or spying on your every move, taking the necessary steps to deal with difficult neighbors is important for preserving your emotional and psychological well-being.

Keep your curtains closed. If your neighbors can't look into your apartment, then it will be more difficult for them to spy on you.

Install landscaping or a fence separating your property from your neighbors. The landscaping will create a clear boundary separating your space from theirs. It will also help to block your nosy neighbor from observing your home from inside of her home, making spying more inconvenient.

Don't engage in gossip with your neighbors. If your neighbor gossips with you, odds are that eventually he will gossip about you. Take the moral high ground and refuse to engage in any gossip with your neighbor.

Make sure your mailbox is locked at all times. A nosy neighbor can learn a lot of information about you if she is able to snoop through your mail.

Go indoors for private conversations. Don't assume that your conversations are private when you are outdoors. Go inside the house to have conversations that you don't want others to know about.

Explain to your neighbors that you respect their privacy and that you would appreciate it if they respected yours in return. Sometimes just communicating how you feel is enough to change the behavior of your difficult neighbor. It is better to be direct but nonaccusatory in your language.

Find a mediator in your community to help resolve disputes with your neighbors if none of your personal attempts at harmony have succeeded. In many cases, a mediator will help both parties come to an understanding and agreement on how to behave going forward.

Rachel Cates, a professional life coach, has been writing since 2001. She contributes blogs for Ultimate Vision Life Coaching and has written for "The M'Powerment Hour" and "Washington Spark" newspapers. Cates has a Bachelor of Arts in broadcast communications from Temple University.