Living with the nosy

By Alice Inoue Posted in: Go Ask AliceImprove
August 30, 2015

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Help! My neighbors are so nosy they drive me crazy. Does feng shui have any advice when it comes to neighbor challenges? I am open to anything you have to share.

When it comes to neighbors and their actions, frustration is the norm, because sometimes we are unable to control everything. Other than ask them nicely to “mind their own business” 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 energetically support yourself, 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.

Use the power of reflection.

In traditional feng shui, a bagua mirror is used to deflect the energy in the direction at which it is aimed. 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.”

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.

Understanding nosy neighbors.

Moving away from feng shui, the hard thing about nosy neighbors is how to communicate with them. They may not be breaking any laws, yet still 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. 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 that 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. That might be enough to satisfy their need for attention. Ideally, we all would like to have neighbors that we love, but when that’s not possible, 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 us online at YourHappinessU.com.