**This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events that I have experienced firsthand; used with permission.
When I lived in my apartment before I bought my house, I had a female neighbor who became obsessed with me, or at least that's how it felt to me. Almost every day she would either knock on my door or call my cell phone.
When I first moved in and she approached me, this neighbor seemed like a kind, older lady, albeit a bit lonely. She was experimenting with selling makeup door-to-door and managed to get my phone number so she could 'keep me updated on new deals.' I really wasn't interested in buying makeup but, somehow, at least once a week this woman would either catch me while I was checking my mail at the mailbox or somehow meet me right when I got home from work in the parking lot.
This woman seemed very interested in getting close to me in a mother/daughter kind of way and anytime she would catch me for a conversation, it would seem to go on forever. During the conversation, she would try to pin me down on making plans with her and it was so awkward to constantly feel like I had to make excuses because she just wouldn't take no for an answer.
Saying 'no' was really just the beginning of a negotiation with this woman. I found myself going to church with her and attending lunch at a tea house with her with women who were much older than me.
Over time, this woman's behavior towards me intensified and I would find myself literally attempting to hide from this neighbor by parking in different parking spaces or trying to avoid her calls. There were several times when I had a male guest over and, there she was, knocking on my door or repeatedly calling my phone leaving voicemails.
It was too much. I was ready to break over this awkward social dilemma.
Then, I got a serious boyfriend, and over time, he began to notice my behavior regarding this overly-intrusive neighbor, such as the constant avoidance of her and the obvious stress whenever she would constantly call my phone. I explained to him that I had a difficult time with confrontation and it was uncomfortable for me to tell this woman to just leave me alone.
My boyfriend did NOT have a difficult time with confrontation, and so, one day while we were enjoying a movie in my apartment and he saw me avoid yet another phone call from my neighbor, he decided to do something about it.
While I grimaced with awkwardness, he headed over to her apartment and knocked on her door. I'm not sure exactly what he said to her, but when he came back he said that this woman would not be bothering me again. I was both embarrassed and relieved at the same time.
My boyfriend was right. The next day, she did call once, leaving a message saying she was so sorry that she had been bothering me and that she would stop calling me and knocking on my door unless I reached out to her first.
Apparently, this lonely lady had no idea that I was trying to avoid her or that she was being a nuisance. She was oblivious to her own desperate behavior.
I learned that although it's simply not cool for a person to be so nosey and intrusive, these types of people often don't realize that they're crossing boundaries or invading someone's space.
I also learned that it can be much easier to just have that initial uncomfortable conversation with an overbearing person when they first start crossing the line. Be clear with that person that you are not available, instead of spending a ton of time and energy trying to avoid them because you don't like the confrontation.
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