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Neighbor Visits Too Much

I am a 32 year old working female and live in a bachelor apartment in a house which is divided up into similar apartments.

For the past 2 years a girl from another country has been renting an apartment in our house while working on her PhD at the local university.

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Last year the landlady introduced us to one another as we are the same age, we started working out together after work 3 days a week. Soon I became an emotional crutch to her as she had no friends/family/support being in a foreign country.

This year I started cycling so we don't get to work out anymore. My problem: She whatsapp me up to 4 days a week and asks if she can come over and then she stays anything from 1 hour till well after midnight.

I cannot say that I am not home because: I have street parking, she can see my car. She can see my lights are on and she can hear when I open my security gate when I get home (she lives above me).

I am too scared to open my whatsapp to check chats with other friends as she will see that I am online.

I love spending time with friends and I love having alone time as well. Especially after a day working in a busy doctors practice. I listen to sick people moaning all day and love my job, but when I get home I want peace and quiet. Neither of us speaks English as a first language so it is very tiring after a busy day at work to deal with this. It has gotten so bad that I switch off my lights, park my car for the night around the block just to say that I am out (on a weeknight when I just want to rest and watch series) I feel like a prisoner in my own home. Lately she must have started sensing I am irritated because she has started sending messages that she made food or bought me a treat and wants to bring it over - which makes me feel obliged to say yes.

Half of her family is ill and she is fretting about not being able to be home with them, and about people annoying her at university, etc. Now she is moaning that once she gets her PhD that she won't find work as she will be overqualified. Why put yourself through this then? She moans 95% of the time and its really bringing me down and I am scared it is changing me into the same kind of negative person. She keeps crying about her situations and I really cannot relate. I myself have spent 5 years working abroad before. I managed by compartmentalizing my longing. I don't know why you put yourself through things if you know you can't handle it.

It is getting to a point where I am looking for a different apartment, but why should I move? I live 1km from work and love my place.

She just told me she is not going to finish her PhD this year and will have to come back for another year. I cannot deal with this for another year and refuse to move. I have been telling myself I only have to play nice and bite the bullet for a year, until she told me this news. It felt like a punch in the gut. I feel sorry for her, but I want my life back. I did not sign up to be anyone's shrink.

I never invite her over, she invites herself enough. I don't see how she does not get the message. I would sense immediately if I was annoying someone. Hinting does not help with her.

How do I set boundaries? I don't want to lie, and I don't want to be rude. She keeps telling me I am her only friend here.

Please help!

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September 28, 20160 found this helpful

Before you have to do something drastic, like moving, invite her over for dinner and tell her the truth. Suggest that you can work out together or have a coffee, etc., only once a week. Suggest that she join a club or something to keep herself busy because it is making you feel overwhelmed and feel you need a little space. If it is easier, blame yourself for feeling too stressed out and need some down time to relax and unwind. You can do this without being cruel. But stick to your word no matter what. Stay strong! Good luck!

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September 29, 20161 found this helpful

Ask yourself this "do I want her friendship". Friends don't treat friends this way. She is NOT YOUR RESPONSIBILITY and it's her own fault if you're her ONLY friend. People like this are selfish. You can be blunt without being cruel. Next time she invites herself just tell her you want along time tonight. Just keep repeating it every time she invites herself. If you're going out with another friend tell he you have something planned. You're get a dozen questions from her as what, when, who and you'll see how she's controlling you. You're not her Mother. You're going to have to stop worrying about her feeling and thinking about your own. Life is too darned short to deal with people like this. You're being a pushover and she knows you're feeling sorry for her. Stop letting her control you!! You really don't owe her an explanation as to where you're going or what you're doing. There is no way I'd change where I park, turn off my lights, or stay offline because of this nut. Can't you see how crazy this is. I hope it doesn't get to the point you have to get a restraining order against her but by gosh I would if she doesn't change her behavior.

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September 29, 20160 found this helpful

Sorry, but I don't agree with Shari. If she hasn't taken the hint by now being nice won't work. You've been nice and that's a problem.

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September 29, 20160 found this helpful

You're being too nice.
It's really okay to say, "I need peace and quiet right now. I'm going to relax and be by myself tonight. I'm sorry I can't visit."
The problem is, you are acting as her therapist, but if you were a real psychiatrist, you would be making hundreds of dollars on her alone. You're not a psychiatrist or a psychologist. You can't really fix her problems.
There is no need to move away from your own apartment or even shut the lights off or fear going on social media. Learn to just say "no." It isn't rude. It is rude of your neighbor to take up so much of your time with her problems.

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October 28, 20160 found this helpful

You have been kind to this girl, but now you must be honest and kind. You can be assertive without being aggressive. Your honesty gives her an opportunity to grow as a person. She may not take it, but you will have done the right thing for yourself and herself.

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April 26, 20170 found this helpful

Hi, OP here. Just thought I'd give you all an update of how things turned out...

Over the past 4 months I have withdrawn completely. No more obliged invites from me, excused myself from all invites and whenever the unexpected unanounced drop-by visit I would show (facial expression) that it is inconvenient for me at the time.

This behaviour helped to limit actual visits to a total of 4 over the past 4 months which is a lot more bearable than the past.

Thank you for all your advice and being concerned! I took it to heart and implemented it.

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I thought to give my feedback as this may help others in a similar position.

Thank you once again!

OP

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