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Old 03-20-2009, 08:28 AM   #1
KnitWit1987
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How do I say no?
Sorry this post is so long. My neighbor and I were no more than aqaintances although I did watch her 3 year old son for her 1 time no charge because she had a denist appointment. A month ago her husband left for Iraq for 24 months. Having been in her situation before I felt obligated to be there for her. I would stop by everyday check on them, just chit chat, and try to get her mind off things. Exactly 2 weeks after her husband left, she told me she met a guy online who is her new "best friend" and her husband was mad because he didn't like him being in their house so she wasn't going to have him over anymore. Since then, this guy is basically living with her - he spends everynight there. Obviously I do not agree with it at all.. but its none of my business. What is my business is the fact that she calls me almost everyday.. asking me to watch her son. A few days ago she called me at 5am with a "fake" cough saying she needed to go to the hospital her fever was 103, I told her no way was I going to watch her son, I am pregnant and cannot be exposed to illness. I felt I was rude enough for her to get the point BUT she didnt. She called me again yesterday, I did not answer, and she left me a snobby message say "would you ATLEAST give me a call back, I need someone to watch him." I dont know what to do. A part of me really wants to tell her off, let her know that I am not going to condone her cheating on her husband by being her free babysitter. But, then I have to live right next door to her. We all have those people who just don't get the point. I just don't know how to tell her NO for the hundreth time. What should I do?
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Old 03-20-2009, 08:36 AM   #2
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Tough one....

I would likely start "being busy"...but that is not really the most direct way about going about it....it is just the easier way....

I understand you wanting to let her know how you feel....but do you really value the friendship? If you do...the sensitive way might be the way to tread...but some ppl don't get subtle....
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Old 03-20-2009, 08:42 AM   #3
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I'm in the same boat with you - always feeling bad for telling people off. But that's when my husband comes in I'm not saying in any way that he solves my problems for me, if needed - i can stand for myself, but sometimes people just understand him much better, he's got this logic that makes it hard to argue with him. I usually start getting upset and crying. That's why in your place, I would ask my husband to call her back and politely tell her that your time is not free, you're not in babysitting slavery and you're pregnant and can't be exposed to children diseases. Nicely and politely. The fact she's your neighbour doesn't mean she's your dearest friend. I have schizophrenic couple opposite door and I have no problem telling them to shut the F&^k up. People need limits and if you don't put them - next thing she'll leave her son with you and run away with her new boyfriend.
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Old 03-20-2009, 08:47 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Crycket View Post
Tough one....

I would likely start "being busy"...but that is not really the most direct way about going about it....it is just the easier way....

I understand you wanting to let her know how you feel....but do you really value the friendship? If you do...the sensitive way might be the way to tread...but some ppl don't get subtle....
The only problem with "being busy" is she actually watches when my car is home.. if I leave ect. I have basically tried that. I really don't consider her a friend at all.. I don't know her very well. Basically, if the tables were turned... I wouldnt let her watch my kid because I have hardly known her until the last month. She is definatly one of those people who doesn't get subtle.. but at the same time I have such a hard time being rude to people.. I just cant find the words to do it.
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Old 03-20-2009, 09:02 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by KnittingNat View Post
I'm in the same boat with you - always feeling bad for telling people off. But that's when my husband comes in I'm not saying in any way that he solves my problems for me, if needed - i can stand for myself, but sometimes people just understand him much better, he's got this logic that makes it hard to argue with him. I usually start getting upset and crying. That's why in your place, I would ask my husband to call her back and politely tell her that your time is not free, you're not in babysitting slavery and you're pregnant and can't be exposed to children diseases. Nicely and politely. The fact she's your neighbour doesn't mean she's your dearest friend. I have schizophrenic couple opposite door and I have no problem telling them to shut the F&^k up. People need limits and if you don't put them - next thing she'll leave her son with you and run away with her new boyfriend.
I'm so glad I am not the only baby when it comes to this kinda stuff! The husband thing is a really good idea.. I think I'll try talking him into it. At this point, im starting to get mad enough though that I might end up telling her myself if she keeps calling me.
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Old 03-20-2009, 09:18 AM   #6
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Tough situation...I think you just need to be totally honest with her...I understand you have to live next door to her, but, if you two aren't truly friends it's not like there's a lot to lose.

Maybe just simply tell her you feel like you're being dragged into the middle of a situation you are not comfortable with and ask her to please not call you anymore. You may also want to look in the phone book under day care centers and "recommend" a few places to her. Or, if you know of any centers around your house, tell her you've heard nothing but good things about such and such day care and you think they're enrolling. I think that's sufficient to get the point across and not sound rude. You shouldn't have to stifle the way you feel to avoid upsetting her...she obviously has no regard for your feelings.

Additionally, you may want to "remind" her you're pregnant and explain to her you just don't have the energy to watch a 3 year old right now. You don't have to go into a lot of detail, it's really none of her business. Try to remain calm but firm.

I hope you get it all worked out!
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Old 03-20-2009, 09:31 AM   #7
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I agree with Demonica 100%. I hope everything works out for you. You don't need other people stressing you out especially during a pregnancy.
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Old 03-20-2009, 10:11 AM   #8
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Oh for the good ole days when people were afraid to cheat or at least tried to hide it.

It would be too simple to just say you don't approve of infidelity, of her hurting her child, herself, and her husband. And you will not let her hurt you with her selfish wants.

I am sure Miss Manners would issue a scathing objection for suggesting that. Quite correctly, she would put me in my place. If it was a guy I knew doing that to his wife and child I might say,

"Hey, I can hang out with you because of your situation. I don't want others to think I'd do the same to my girl."

But then guys have just four emotions: Happy, sleepy, hungry, and angry. It's simpler that way.



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Old 03-20-2009, 11:19 AM   #9
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I feel your pain. My neighbor is a complete whack job. While I understand everyone's advice on being honest with her, the only problem there is if she can't take subtle, she won't get honesty. You can't reason with crazy people no matter how quiet or LOUD you talk to them. Trust me, I'm an expert in this situation.

See, my problem is the other way, I'm the loudmouth and my DH is the one who lets people walk all over him, hence the reason we don't speak to our neighbors anymore. He let her get away with everything to the point that she just starting coming over with no invitation. I kept telling him to draw the line and he wouldn't even though she annoyed the crap out of him too. So I ended up losing my patience and said a few choice words and ended up having to call the police on her for harrassing us. Haven't talked to them since. It's been complete heaven for us.

Eventually you have to figure out if your sanity is more important than hurting your neighbors feelings, which I don't think she has feelings since she's cheating on her hero husband whose over there fighting for our freedom. You can't feel sorry for someone who has no conscience. Feel bad for the ones she hurting, not her. She knows the choices she's making and it's not your responsibility to care for her child.

It doesn't sound like you want to be this womans friend and neither would I. IF you were her friend and she started this cheating crap, would you still be her friend? I sure wouldn't. That shows her true character. Which she apparently is lacking beyond words. If you can get your husband to speak to her then do it and have him make it as clear as he possibly can that you will not be taking care of her child - ever. And the neat thing about that is you don't have to give her a reason why!! Good luck.
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Old 03-20-2009, 12:04 PM   #10
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I would explain that I was busy, and be perfectly clear that you can be busy and be at home. There is no reason why you have to explain to her how being at home knitting is not to be considered being busy.

I'm sorry, but you have every right to say no. Like you I have a hard time saying no, especially when I see a need present.

I have one set of neighbours that every one on my block dislikes because of their behaviour, so I know it can be hell to live next or close to someone who's behaviours make it hard to live that close!
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