Nosy Neighbors

By Hawaii Renovation Posted in: Go Ask AliceImprove

We’ve all had them — the people next door who can’t seem to respect our space. Try these proactive approaches to give your home energetic boundaries

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: I have neighbor challenges and don’t know what to do. I do not have the option of moving and was wondering if feng shui has a “neighbor challenges” cure I can use? On one side I have nosy neighbors and on the other side bad energy in the form of a visual mess and lots of noise. I am open to anything you have to share.

When it comes to neighbors and their actions, frustration is the norm, because we are unable to control things to create supportive energy for ourselves. Other than ask them nicely to “mind their own business” or “please clean up,” there’s not too much we can do if they choose not to heed our requests.

From a feng shui perspective, you can do a few things to support yourself energetically, but like anything else, no magical solutions exist. Let’s approach your neighbor challenges from a common sense, as well as a feng shui perspective.

Create visual boundaries around your home

Sometimes, just putting a fence around your home or planting a few trees to create a visual block between you and your neighbor can be helpful in creating energetic and visual boundaries. If that is not an option, tall metal chimes can serve to break up the energy, form an energetic barrier, and add some strength to your intent to “keep their energy out” of your life. Hang the chimes either inside or outside your home on the side where the challenging neighbor has visual access to your property.

Use the power of reflection

In traditional feng shui, a bagua mirror, used to deflect the energy in the direction at which it is aimed, offers energetic protection to your home when you feel “negative” energy is coming your way. The bagua mirror is often placed on an exterior wall of the house or above the door with the mirror side facing away from your home.

You can use the concept of this traditional cure by putting decorative mirrors on the walls that separate you from your neighbors. Any type or size mirror can be used with the intention to “keep your energy in your house private.”

If you want to use reflection to deflect energy, you can set this same intent by hanging modern decorations in your windows or placing them in your garden. Look for reflective garden mirror balls or anything round and shiny. Place them between you and your neighbors.

Focus on your windows and walls

If the mirror idea is not appealing, and the windows on each side of your home look out to the problematic neighbors, get some new, more private window treatments or apply a frosted film on the bottom half of windows to create privacy, yet still let the light in.

Along the walls between you and your neighbors, you also can place art that has images of strength, boldness or boundaries to further set the intent of privacy.

As for the noise, after nicely talking to your neighbors, or calling the police if the noise is out of control, play soothing music in your home to counter your neighbor’s noise.

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Nosy neighbors

Moving away from feng shui, the hard thing about nosy neighbors is how to communicate with them. They may be breaking no laws, yet are making it tough for you. You may feel you have to hide or are being listened to or watched all the time. Nosy neighbors come in many different types — some like to know everyone’s business, some spy, and some gossip or ask personal questions about your life. Most of the time they are annoying, but mean no harm.

Countering nosy neighbors

Unfortunately, you cannot control your nosy neighbors, but you can control your own actions. You can’t stop living your life, and it’s impossible to prevent your nosy neighbors from watching your door to see when you or your visitors come and go, but you can make sure not to hang around your door or talk with the door open. You also can draw your shades when you get home so that your neighbors can’t see in.

Beyond the countermeasures mentioned above, acknowledge your neighbors when they are looking your way and then go about your normal activity. If they have nothing to do but watch you all day, it’s their time they are wasting. Some nosy people thrive on attention and if they see that they are getting under your skin, they have accomplished their goal. So, ignore them and hopefully they will find another way to fill their time.

Being friendly

Another way to handle nosy neighbors is to just be friendly. Say hello, converse in polite and concise terms, but dodge all personal questions in the hope that they will eventually lose interest in you and your activities.

Ideally, we would all like to have neighbors that we love, but when that’s not possible, just do your best and place your focus on things over which you do have control. Besides moving, it’s the only way to save your sanity!

Alice Inoue is the founder and Chief Happiness Officer at Happiness U, a friendly educational establishment at Na Lama Kukui (formerly known as Gentry Pacific Design Center) on Nimitz Highway. At Happiness U you’ll find dozens of inspiring classes all geared toward personal growth, helping you live a more purposeful and ease-filled life. Visit online at www.YourHappinessU.com.