How to deal with such a neighbor?

@dpk262006 (56566)
Delhi, India
April 5, 2017 2:11am CST
Neighbors are very important in our life. We have very good neighbors, however, there is one who is peculiar in nature. She would come unannounced with containers in her hand, bringing a dish or snack and would hand over to us stating that it is for us. She often comes when we have already taken our meals. She may be a very good cook and might want to show her culinary skills, but we feel uncomfortable by her gestures. Also, while returning her containers, we make sure that we do not return empty containers and prepare some dish/snack and give her container back, that becomes an added burden on us. We have requested her many times that she should not bring food for us and even if she wants, she should check with us whether we need it or not. We do not want to be rude with her, as she is our neighbor. However, she seems incorrigible. Have you faced any such situation? Had you been in any such situation, what you would have done? Image courtesy - Google
30 people like this
36 responses
@SIMPLYD (85041)
• Philippines
5 Apr 17
well, for me it's simple. I would return the container clean and empty. For sure she will stop giving.
11 people like this
@nomus24g (25206)
• India
5 Apr 17
In India, we have a tradition of returning containers filled with something instead...so that's ingrained in us
5 people like this
@dpk262006 (56566)
• Delhi, India
5 Apr 17
@SIMPLYD - Yes, this is one of the options but we refrain from adopting this formula. As per convention followed by us, we generally do not return an empty container to a neighbor or a relative. If we are unable to prepare something, we will put some sugar in it and will return it.
4 people like this
@SIMPLYD (85041)
• Philippines
5 Apr 17
@dpk262006 Oh so that's what is being done there when you have to return it with no foods but some sugar instead.
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@JudyEv (137662)
• Bunbury, Australia
5 Apr 17
This is a very difficult situation. As your customs are slightly different I don't really know what to suggest. I guess we would ask her not to but otherwise we would say thanks but maybe take our time returning her containers. I hate when people almost force you to be rude before they will accept what you're trying to say.
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@dpk262006 (56566)
• Delhi, India
5 Apr 17
Yes, customs here are different in our country. We have politely requested her many times that she should not bring food items unannounced but she won't budge. Although, if a dish prepared by her is good, we do not forget to compliment her. Sometimes, we have returned her containers after a long time, but this also does not work.
4 people like this
@JudyEv (137662)
• Bunbury, Australia
5 Apr 17
@dpk262006 Maybe you will just have to take a deep breath, thank her kindly and accept her offerings. Would it shame her into stopping if you started to give her other gifts? I can't imagine that it would really.
3 people like this
@dpk262006 (56566)
• Delhi, India
5 Apr 17
@JudyEv Yes, we normally accept it after polite denial. Whenever the time permits, we also prepare something or the other and keep it in her containers, before returning her the containers.
3 people like this
• United States
5 Apr 17
We don't talk to ours. We don't have friendly neighbors more like annoying ones. That's nice of the lady neighbor but it is bothersome to come unannounced and you have food already. Is she a single mother or lonely at home so she enjoys to cook?
4 people like this
@dpk262006 (56566)
• Delhi, India
5 Apr 17
@infatuatedbby - It is good that you do not have such neighbors and no one bothers you like it. She is not a single mother or lonely at home. She has a daughter and a husband to take care.
2 people like this
• United States
5 Apr 17
@dpk262006 speaking of neighbors they all went outside earlier I don't know the woman is so friendly maybe enjoys cooking
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@dpk262006 (56566)
• Delhi, India
5 Apr 17
@infatuatedbby She may be a good cook or enjoys cooking but she should better do it for her family members, rather than us.
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@shaynas (5527)
• India
5 Apr 17
Ha ha...i would have loved to have such a neighbor who could bring food to me frequently Lol...i know returning the container is an extra load, as we can't give it back empty.
3 people like this
@dpk262006 (56566)
• Delhi, India
5 Apr 17
@shaynas - Next time when she comes to our home, I would give your address and would request her to give the food to you.
1 person likes this
@shaynas (5527)
• India
5 Apr 17
@dpk262006 please do that
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@dpk262006 (56566)
• Delhi, India
5 Apr 17
@shaynas I would ask her to send a parcel to you, whenever she visits us next time.
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@Kandae11 (40358)
5 Apr 17
You told her not to and she still brings it - I really don't know how else to stop her and avoid being rude. Maybe you shouldn't answer your door and she will finally get the message.
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@dpk262006 (56566)
• Delhi, India
5 Apr 17
She would keep pressing our door bell, if we don't open the door. Our house is such that if we are at home, neighbors could come to know about this. Also, if we don't respond to call bell, she would call us either on our landline phone or mobile phone.
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@Kandae11 (40358)
5 Apr 17
@dpk262006 I see, then there is no other way that I can see right now - being rude it is.
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@dpk262006 (56566)
• Delhi, India
6 Apr 17
@Kandae11 Yeah, there seems no way. We do not want to be rude as it is a matter of neighborhood.
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@nomus24g (25206)
• India
5 Apr 17
Ask her to parcel it to Mumbai, I'll be more than happy
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@dpk262006 (56566)
• Delhi, India
5 Apr 17
@nomus24g - I have taken note of your suggestion and next time I would ask her to parcel the food to your address. You better message me your complete address, so that parcel could reach at the correct address.
3 people like this
@Bodyandbrain (13815)
• Gurgaon, India
5 Apr 17
Actually it's a nice gesture but it really troubles others. Not everyone is interested in the food made by others and our culture does not allow us to return the empty container. Some times it becomes a burden. Thank God I don't have neighbours like this.
2 people like this
@dpk262006 (56566)
• Delhi, India
5 Apr 17
Once in a while, it is alright if she brings something for us but she would come unannounced any day. Yes, you are right we may not be interested in the food which she cooks but she is least bothered about this issue. It becomes an obligation to prepare something so as to fill her containers, before returning her containers. You are lucky that you don't have any such neighbor.
2 people like this
• Gurgaon, India
5 Apr 17
@dpk262006 yes I am really lucky because I don't like these things
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@dpk262006 (56566)
• Delhi, India
5 Apr 17
@Bodyandbrain Great to hear that you have been spared from such neighbors. Imagine if you are forced to face such a situation, how will you deal with it?
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@much2say (40581)
• United States
6 Apr 17
I would think that a neighbor bringing food is a kind gesture. It's very rare that a neighbor has done that for us. But I can see how that would be a burden. One of our neighbors brought us a bag of oranges from her tree. . . but she knows very well we have our own orange tree . . . but she claims that everyone says that SHE has the best oranges - and then gives it to us (when we don't need any!!!). If I am not home, she will leave the bag on our doorstep . . . and later she will knock on the door to make sure we got them . And we cannot reciprocate at all as she does not open her door to anyone and she is picky about everything. In all honesty, I'd rather have a neighbor who is giving than thoughtless (like most of my neighbors). And what would have done? Tell the restless monkeys to go visit her home (she apparently has extra food ).
2 people like this
@dpk262006 (56566)
• Delhi, India
7 Apr 17
Yes, once in a while a neighbor bringing food is fine. However, if someone brings it frequently, it becomes a pain in the neck. The example you have given sounds strange but it was one off incident that happened with you and you also felt perplexed on your neighbor's behavior. As you have said, everyone likes to have neighbors who are sane and practical. To ask the monkey brigade to visit her house seems a bright idea.
2 people like this
@much2say (40581)
• United States
7 Apr 17
@dpk262006 Wow, how often does she come to bring you food? Maybe she is lonely or this is the only way she knows how to make friends. This same neighbor of ours made muffins one Christmas. I didn't want them because beforehand she mentioned she bought an off brand boxed mix from a particular discount store for so and so cents . . . I didn't want my family to eat that . . . but it was a gift, so I could not say anything. We just threw them away after she delivered them . Perhaps you can set a table on your front area with plates and utensils ready for when your neighbor arrives with food . I'm sure the monkeys, too, will be ready.
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@dpk262006 (56566)
• Delhi, India
9 Apr 17
@much2say I don't know if she feels lonely or in dire need of appreciation or what? What your neighbor did was also wrong. She wanted to oblige you with expired stuff which she bought on discount. Monkeys needed to be sounded that there is one woman in our area who could serve them sumptuous dishes, so they could visit her.
2 people like this
16 Apr 17
People in my neighborhood always does that. Everyone goes knocks on your door with a platter of food. I do that to them too. Sometimes, I cook a lot so I could give some to the the people around :) Kind of fun actually.
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@dpk262006 (56566)
• Delhi, India
16 Apr 17
It is alright to exchange food occasionally but if it becomes a regular practice without checking the comfort and convenience level of your neighbor, then it gives a pain in the neck.
2 people like this
16 Apr 17
@dpk262006 You have a point. However, it would be at their own discretion whether to bring us food or give us anything in return. :) I'd be happy either way. lol
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@dpk262006 (56566)
• Delhi, India
17 Apr 17
@homebasedbobbie It means if they come to your home unannounced and bring food for you, you won't mind.
2 people like this
@funkeyguhl (1743)
• Philippines
25 Apr 17
it sure is hard to say no when she's already in front of your door bearing gifts. I suddenly wondered if she liked the dishes you prepare which is why she give hers away so you can give yours? I am also curious if she did mention why she likes giving it to you and not the other neighbors?
2 people like this
@dpk262006 (56566)
• Delhi, India
2 May 17
Yours is interesting observation - whether she likes dishes prepared by us, therefore, she often comes and give us her dishes. However, I do not think she does so because she is expecting return dishes from us in her containers. Sometimes, when we cannot prepare a dish, we could simply stuff it with some fruits or sweets and could give her containers back. She understandably give her dishes to 1-2 neighbors also.
2 people like this
• Philippines
2 May 17
@dpk262006 I wonder if one time, you'd return the container without anything in it, will she still give you food? oh really? Are you friends with those neighbors, what are their comments?
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@dpk262006 (56566)
• Delhi, India
5 May 17
@funkeyguhl I think we have done it once or twice when we returned the container without putting anything in it. However, she continues to offer food to us. I think the other neighbors also feel like us. They also feel that they should not be offered food items unnecessarily.
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@Drosophila (16695)
• Ireland
5 Apr 17
I would suggest to her instead of bring food unannounced, maybe we could get together one weekend and have a dinner party, like once every 2 months or something.
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@dpk262006 (56566)
• Delhi, India
5 Apr 17
It is a good idea but what if she offers to prepare all the dishes to be served in the party, herself? Also, we love our privacy and would not like to go to her house for get together.
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@Drosophila (16695)
• Ireland
10 Apr 17
@dpk262006 well, you can always tell her the food is terrible
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@dpk262006 (56566)
• Delhi, India
11 Apr 17
@Drosophila It appears that next time, I will have to apply this trick.
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@celticeagle (120554)
• Boise, Idaho
5 Apr 17
We have one neighbor who brings us food and shares her food baskets with us. She is from a foreign country and does eat all the stuff we do so she gives us what she won't use.
2 people like this
@dpk262006 (56566)
• Delhi, India
5 Apr 17
There is a different angle in case of your neighbor, as you said that she belongs to a foreign country. We sometimes get curious to taste dishes of other countries and I believe same goes with you.
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@celticeagle (120554)
• Boise, Idaho
5 Apr 17
@dpk262006 ......Sure. Sounds good.
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@dpk262006 (56566)
• Delhi, India
5 Apr 17
@celticeagle You are lucky to have such a neighbor.
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@allknowing (70977)
• India
6 Apr 17
You do have a problem . How about returning the vessels without putting anything in it.
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@dpk262006 (56566)
• Delhi, India
6 Apr 17
We could even do that but you know our in built Ethos (sanskar) prevent us to do so but a day might come, when we will have to resort to your suggestion.
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@allknowing (70977)
• India
6 Apr 17
@dpk262006 No point in sticking to the old school of thought if it only brings you misery
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@dpk262006 (56566)
• Delhi, India
6 Apr 17
@allknowing Yes, you are right. A day may come, when we will have no option, but to leave old school of thought.
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@PainsOnSlate (20670)
• Canada
12 Apr 17
I don't have that problem, best friends bring things to the house when we are having a party or someone is sick but never just because. I guess if it happened and she doesn't listen, it must mean something to her that makes her fell better...
2 people like this
@dpk262006 (56566)
• Delhi, India
13 Apr 17
Your neighbors bring something occasionally and that too on special occasions. Here she not only brings food on special occasions but on normal days also.
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@LadyDuck (183352)
• Switzerland
5 Apr 17
No, we never had this problem, we have different habits, at most we offer cakes or sweets to the children of the neighbors, but offering food in containers would be considered very rude.
1 person likes this
@dpk262006 (56566)
• Delhi, India
5 Apr 17
You live at such a wonderful place that you don't face these kinds of neighbors. You are indeed lucky. How are you doing.
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@LadyDuck (183352)
• Switzerland
5 Apr 17
@dpk262006 I am doing well thank you. When I lived in France, one of my neighbor, an old woman, was pretty nosy, but she learnt not to come to knock at our door.
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@dpk262006 (56566)
• Delhi, India
5 Apr 17
@LadyDuck Good to hear that you are doing well. That lady might be scared of you, therefore she didn't use to knock your door.
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@diosabella (4809)
17 Apr 17
In our old neighbor hood when we have occasion like birthdays and anniversaries, my parents will ask us to bring food for our neighbors and even on days we have some rare dish we share it to close neighbors only and they also give us food when they had occasion. We rarely do this but we really appreciate it and say thank you all the time. We don't stress ourselves giving the dish back empty because in the future we know that we will give something too. Now, our neighbor hood its nothing like the old one. When you give out something they will expect that you do it all the time so we don't give anymore with the exception of few families that my dad like. Maybe your neighbor just like to give. She likes to share what she have. Mostly its a tradition where they came from.
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@dpk262006 (56566)
• Delhi, India
18 Apr 17
You see on special occasions liked birthdays and anniversaries, it is alright to offer dishes/sweets to a neighbor but not on a normal day. May be she is in the habit of preparing extra and offer it to neighbors. We just cannot return her empty containers to her, as it is against our culture and traditions we follow.
1 person likes this
18 Apr 17
@dpk262006 Sometimes when we need to put something we put some fruits in return.
@dpk262006 (56566)
• Delhi, India
19 Apr 17
@diosabella It is a good idea to put fruits but even fruits are not that cheaper.
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@Shavkat (66274)
• Philippines
5 Apr 17
I think it is better to say to stop. Frankly speaking, it is better to be honest.
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@dpk262006 (56566)
• Delhi, India
5 Apr 17
We have requested her many times not to bring food in such a fashion but it doesn't make any affect on her.
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@Shavkat (66274)
• Philippines
5 Apr 17
@dpk262006 I guess you just let her be.lol You just pretend that she is just being nice.
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@dpk262006 (56566)
• Delhi, India
5 Apr 17
@Shavkat We are nice and polite to her but who will eat extra food, which she brings unannounced.
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@dhoyalahoy (1418)
• Philippines
6 Apr 17
Talk to that in peaceful restaurant. Maybe it works
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@dpk262006 (56566)
• Delhi, India
6 Apr 17
I am not clear about your response?
• Philippines
6 Apr 17
@dpk262006 treat your neighbors
1 person likes this
@dpk262006 (56566)
• Delhi, India
6 Apr 17
@dhoyalahoy We always do that.
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@ShifaLk (8539)
• India
8 Apr 17
Oh no.! Make it sure that she's giving it for 'no bad reasons ' I never believed that until that happened to me. I had a neighbour in inlaws place, she gave me dry fruits n eatables, but it was all black magic. I didn't believe that all so I ate but if you believe, I remained sick for 1year n to be clear - I was nearly dying but thanks to GOD who saved me.
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@dpk262006 (56566)
• Delhi, India
8 Apr 17
I am sorry to hear that you remained unwell for an year and you have your doubts that it happened because of a neighbor offered you some dry fruits to eat and probably did some black magic. Everything is possible in this world. We have not looked at the problem from this angle but now your reply has made me think again.
1 person likes this
@ShifaLk (8539)
• India
8 Apr 17
@dpk262006 ya, I actually hated that kind of things. Magic, witchcraft n all.but life made me believe. And how do I know she did was because the reason was disclosed later But i just wanted to make you aware. Actually, your neighbour might be good but you know I am now suspicious
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@dpk262006 (56566)
• Delhi, India
9 Apr 17
@ShifaLk There is a saying - "Once bitten twice shy" ......Therefore I can understand you suspect others, if they do something unusual. I hope no such thing happens with you in future, what happened with you is really sad.
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• United States
6 Apr 17
I lived in a house when I was younger and I was friend with the girl that lived there and her dad loved to cook. For the first 6 months, we never ate in our house, cooked, or bought food because he would cook and invited us over or his wife would bring plates of food home from her job for everyone. We loved it because it saved us a lot of money on food. They never asked for us to feed them or do the same and we never felt obligated to do it back. Just tell your neighbor no thank you the next time she offers the food and don't take the food. If she gets upset then oh well she wasn't a good friend/neighbor, to begin with. You shouldn't feel obligated to return the dish with food when you aren't asking for her to send you food to start with or set up an agreement to give each other food.
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@dpk262006 (56566)
• Delhi, India
7 Apr 17
It is really heartening to know that your friend's parents used to cook food for you without expecting anything in return. I can understand that it was one of the sweetest gesture on their part and it will ever remain engraved in your memory. As regards our neighbor and your suggestion, we have refused her many times, but she seems an incorrigible soul. We just do not want to be rude with her. It is a culture and tradition in India not to return empty containers, we should put something in the container, before returning it. If we have nothing to offer, we simply put some sugar in the container, before returning it. We are following that culture.
1 person likes this
• United States
7 Apr 17
@dpk262006 It's great to follow traditions and culture but if it is draining you specially finacilally then you have to draw the line somewhere. In my ethics class we talked about donating & helping others is a part of our duty but once we start to take from ourselves or our families is where we draw the line because you're not helping anyone if you can't help yourself and take care of yourself.
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@dpk262006 (56566)
• Delhi, India
9 Apr 17
@CaseyRoss9966 I would not say that reciprocating her gestures is draining us financially but physically sure, as my wife needs to prepare some dishes to fill her empty containers.
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