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'AITA for telling my stalker neighbors that they can't hang out with us whenever they want?'

'AITA for telling my stalker neighbors that they can't hang out with us whenever they want?'


Our eager lake neighbors refuse to give us space.

Reinventing23 writes:

My husband and I have a lake home. We've been there for almost 4 years. In that time, we've become good friends with a few other households on our corner of the lake. Some of our group is quite outgoing, always meeting new people in our lake community and being welcoming, including us. Everyone's awesome, but one couple has become problematic.

Last year we met Roger and Helene, who have a seasonal cottage on a different part of the lake. They're around on weekends. They check in with us/our friend group when in town or stop by unannounced. This is fine.

What's hard is they want to get together all of the time and don't seem to accept it when we tell them we're busy. They get in their boat, drive over to our area, and anchor straight in front of our properties. It makes everyone uncomfortable. They'll stay there for an hour or more. If we're working in the yard, they'll repeatedly go by, telling us to quit working and join them.

Other times, when at the campfire, they'll dock their boat at one of our docks, then join us at the fire without an invitation. They'll also drive or walk over from their place to check up on us, even after being told we're not available.

When we're in our boat, they'll drive theirs over and say "Let's tie up the boats" so we can hang out on the water together. Normally, it's fine, except when we're hosting guests. We've struggled with how to say no.

My husband and I would never say "Let's tie up" to other boaters. We would swing by, say hello, then see if we're invited. If not, we move along. That's protocol, but it's lost on Roger and Helene.

Recently, out-of-town friends who have been to the lake a few times declined our invitation to visit, citing that they don't like the visits being interrupted by the neighbors, specifically Roger and Helene.

Our core friend group is very respectful about visitors, so we knew who was the issue. Our corner of the lake complains about these two all the time and has struggled with how to handle their constant orbiting. Having a visit invitation turned down because of them made me extra annoyed.

So, 2 weeks ago we were on our pontoon with friends when Roger and Helene showed up and said, "Let's tie up!" We'd already told them we were busy via text when they checked in. But apparently, they just couldn't resist coming out when they saw us. Being extra annoyed, I finally spoke up, "Sorry, we're good. We're entertaining. We'll have to get together another time."

Later, I got an angry text from Helene. She said I was rude and embarrassed them. I texted back saying I was sorry they felt that way, but they needed to respect when we're busy, and that at times my husband and I felt stalked.

Haven't heard from them since. A couple of our core friends say I shouldn't have said anything; that their stalking isn't a big deal, they're nice... This is surprising and upsetting me. I thought they'd understand why I spoke up, plus I didn't drag any of them into it. Am I wrong? AITA?

OP responded to some comments:

tatersprout says:

NTA (Not the A%#$ole). You didn't embarrass them. They embarrassed themselves. And it sounds like your other neighbors feel free to talk behind their backs. All you did was politely enforce a boundary that was getting stomped on.

OP responded:

Yeah, that's pretty true. Everyone complains and is uncomfortable, but yet, they get more uncomfortable when something finally happens to address it.

SushiGuacDNA says:

NTA. The way you handled this was textbook perfect, except that you could have done it sooner. They checked in via text, and you told them you were busy. They showed up anyway, and you told them you were busy. Perfect! That is not mean.

That is not rude. They showed up when you specifically told them that you weren't available, and then they acted all butt-hurt because you repeated, "We are not available."

If anything, it might be helpful to set a more explicit boundary with them. Like this: "Hey, if we say we are busy, then that means we aren't free for you to come over. If you do come over, we will send you away." That is a completely normal and healthy boundary to set. Sometimes clueless people need to hear the rules very openly and clearly.

OP responded:

So true!

baka-tari says:

Sounds like they're willfully clueless. Social conventions like this are commonly understood, and most adults know you don't invite yourself to someone else's party. Further, just because someone is hanging out in a public area doesn't mean they want to hang out with >you< in a public area.

If someone cant take a hint - and it sounds like they've received plenty of hints - it's time to tell them in plain language. Nothing wrong with the way you did it, and they set themselves up for their own disappointment. NTA.

OP responded:

Willfully clueless - Interesting. They're definitely clueless. I think they think we're better friends than we are, and they feel like because they're such good friends that they're not interrupting us. In their minds we would of course want them to join in, ya know?

Part of the delusion that is also part of stalking behavior. I think we and our friends have felt badly for them, because they don't have other friends on the lake. That's why nothing was ever said to them, until now. And maybe we've figured out WHY they don't have other friends on the lake! They're kinda crazy.

What do you think?

Sources: Reddit
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