June 17, 2021

Here’s Your Chance to Give Advice

smile Ok, it’s time to slap the name “Dear” in front of your name and take a look at this letter to Dear Margo and see how you would answer it.  What would you say if someone wrote to your blog and had this problem or asked this question?

You can either answer it here in comments or write your answer in a post on your site and trackback.  I’ll let you know how I would answer it in a post tomorrow


DEAR [Insert your name here]: When I moved into my condo, a neighbor welcomed me to the neighborhood. He introduced himself, then asked my name. Though I am quite private, I felt forced to be friendly, so I introduced myself. Now, every time he sees me, he yells out my name and asks how my day was. Whenever this happens I feel a surge of anger and discomfort, as I am not used to strangers hollering out my name. One day, while checking my mailbox, he approached from behind and patted me on my right shoulder. My first instinct was to spin around and knee him in the groin, but I painfully smiled and ignored it.

Two days later, going to my car, he walked behind me, tapped me on my right shoulder, then squeezed my left neck muscle. I was totally horrified, but said nothing and just walked off. Every time he sees me, he is always trying to strike up a conversation by inviting me to his barbecues, weekends at the beach with him and his family, even offering to sell me some pup when the family [female dog] delivers.

My fear is that if I tell this neighbor how disgusted I am with his “overfriendliness” and touching I will make a bad situation worse. In the past when I have rejected men, or said things they didn’t want to hear, it has led to unfortunate results. One man stalked me; another kept calling and hanging up after I told him he wasn’t my type. Can you help me handle this?

What would you tell “Imprisoned In My Own Home?

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6 thoughts on “Here’s Your Chance to Give Advice

  1. Dear Imprisoned in my own home:

    There are genuinely friendly people in this world. It seems that you are not familiar with this type of person.

    Grow up, and be an adult. Although you appreciate his neighborly demeanor (which you should), tell him that you don’t appreciate any sort of physical contact from stangers.

    As long as you remain friendly, he should as well. If your desire is to be the complex ice pricess, tell him off in a rude manner and no one will talk to you or touch you again.

  2. Obviously Musicguy is a *guy*, this kind of touch makes a woman extremely uncomfortable. The “hellos” are no big deal, at least not to an extrovert, but squeezing her neck? That’s something reserved for family, imo.

    Dear Imprisoned,
    I would feel the same way, mildly uncomfortable in the beginning, increasing to very agitated and stressed about what to do. Since I’m a Christian, I’d pray and ask God to show me how to resolve it, or to resolve it Himself. I do think you’re going to have to suck it up and somehow “confront” this friendly neighbor. Just explain that his level of friendliness is one that you usually reserve for family. Hopefully he’ll be sensitive enough to understand.

    God bless,

  3. I’m ok with her being uncomfortable with his touch, I would be to. I’m not ok with her acting like this is a hopeless situation and she has NO idea how to solve the problem at hand. That’s what the “grow up” comment references.

  4. If you look at my response, I answered much like you did, Musicguy. I focused on the fact that the woman should have taken some steps instead of claiming she was helpless.

    Mary might have a point in that this is something we expect as guys, but I don’t think that if you aren’t communicating how you feel that you have a right to complain.

  5. Musicguy, I reread your response and apologize for coming across rude in my comment. You had good advice, I just felt you had no compassion for what it’s like to be a non-confrontational person and be touched in that way.

    I liked your response, MIn. Friendly people always brighten my day, I just thought the “neck squeeze” was a little over the top. I did wonder if her fears are based on the previous experience she had of being “stalked” or if that too, was her imagination blowing it out of proportion. Some people are extremely fearful. Though she had no problem airing it on the internet, as you mentioned in your response!

  6. It’s funny, because we live in a world where different people have differing standards of friendliness– and different feelings of personal space. Sometimes the only way someone knows that something bothers us is if we tell them. We can’t expect everyone to know our preferences.

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