The #1 Way to Deal with Nosy Neighbors

Five Minute Friday: NEIGHBOR

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Nosy neighbors. We’ve all had ’em. We had an especially nosy neighbor in the first colony we lived in here in Kathmandu. I would see her in the morning and she would say, “I saw you had pizza for dinner last night. How was that?” Her roof, where she did laundry and bathed, looked right into our dining room. We learned to shut our curtains at dinner time or we would have an audience. I’m sure it was pretty entertaining with my picky eater toddler and throw-everything baby and the two of us trying to converse in our second language with our tutor over a plate of American food he was trying to get down with a smile.

What I have learned after experiencing several of these types of situations is this — Neighbors don’t have to be nosy if you share your life with them. Sit with them. Drink tea/coffee with them. Talk about kids and school and work and life. Inviting them to church or sharing the gospel should not come out of the clear blue; it can ‐ and should! ‐ be a natural outflow of life lived in close proximity. In this close proximity, if our friends and neighbors are not hearing about Jesus and being invited into our relationship with Him, a heart examination may be in order. Our love for Jesus should be clear and contagious to those we spend our time with.

When the Taube family shares our life, we don’t have to be “the foreigner TV” show anymore. They’re learning plenty from our regular interactions, and we are enjoying our peace and privacy in our home.

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12 Comments

  1. “Neighbors don’t have to be nosy if you share your life with them.” Great idea! Be the initiator, sharing from our lives with others. Too often we want to keep the doors shut, but Jesus wants us to shine His love through us.
    Visiting from FMF spot #46

    • Absolutely! It can be a delicate balance to protect your family and have your home a place of retreat and rest when needed but also engage our neighbors. I love the idea of the turquoise table (Kristen Schnell) and being a front yard family, but we live in a gated compound so I just try to be out and available as much as I can. Of course, some days that doesn’t happen. It works for us, though!

  2. Loved this, Amber!

    The first time I was doing contract security ‘down south’, I was taking a bath in a galvanized tub when I realized I had an audience…a bunch of kids and a nun.

    I covered up as best I could, and the nun said, “Don’t mind please the children…they never having seen naked white man.”

    Through gritted teeth I replied, “I’m not white, I’m CHINESE!”

    She translated that to the kids, and over their cheers said, “Better!”

    • Yes, crossing cultures is an added complication as well so I am on edge about opening up to our neighbors A LOT. There is always a possibility of getting hurt when we open up to others but think of all we could be missing if we let fear rule!

  3. Great post! I have to admit….when I read your title, this was not what I was expecting:) But what a powerful thought…..if we invite them into our lives, our neighbors have no reason to be nosy! I need to learn a lesson here! Thanks for sharing.

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