Help Me Deal With This User

@AmbiePam (59229)
United States
June 19, 2011 7:00pm CST
I'll try to summarize this as short as possible. I'd like everyone's opinion regardless if you're a pushover or a rude person. Maybe you can help me find a middle ground. I have a neighbor (she lives in the same building as me, but not right next door), and I need advice. I first met her when she asked me stand outisde last winter and hold her dog's leash while she went inside the office and made a call. After that I saw her outside a couple of times and her dog and my dog played with each other. Then a couple of weeks ago when the bad tornado hit and I was going to find a safer place to wait out the warnings, she let me inside her apartment because it was on a lower level (I'm at the top). I stayed there about 30 minutes until we got the all clear. The next day I brought her a Diet Dr. Pepper as a thank you for that because I had heard her comment once that it was her favorite drink. Okay, then go back just a little while ago, a few days when the roof came off half of our apartment building. Although both her and my apartments were okay, all of our electricity was out. When I saw her outside I asked her if she needed a flashlight and she said yes, but she had no money. I said don't worry. So I went to my parent's house, and my dad gave me a flashlight and told me to give this lady a flashlight as well. He even put fresh batteries in it. I went back that night and gave it to her. The next night she knocks on my door with her dog, and I let her in, with the dog. She sits down and starts watching TV with me. I'm thinking, this is nice, I've met a nice friend for a neighbor (it's not relevant, but she's around 58, and in good health). I don't think anything of it at the time, but notice her eyes light up when she finds out I have a car. About an hour after coming in, she leaves. Thirty minutes later she knocks on my door again. I let her in. She asks if I have a washer and dryer. I told her no, I can't afford that (I do my laundry at my parent's home and do my parent's laundry as well). She said she is out of clean clothes, and it costs $1.50 to do a load of laundry, and then $1.50 to dry it (we have a laundry on the premises). She asks if I can give her the money. Well, this is when my heart sinks. I think oh great, a user. So I give her the money, and she leaves. I'm very disappointed because I know people like this, who like to take whatever they can get out of you. So the next day she knocks on my door. I'm not feeling well at all, and have a slight migraine. I don't get the door. She has her dog with her and I can hear her dog scractch at my front door. This agitates my dog and Annabelle starts going nuts which does nt help my migraine at all. She comes back to my house 4 times that day, ringing my doorbell and knocking on my door. I do not answer it. The next morning around 8am she comes back and knocks on my door and rings the doorbell. I don't answer it. I leave for the day and around 6pm when I'm home, she knocks on my door again. I answer it, and there she is. You might think, oh she wants to pay you back the three dollars? Nope! She wants me to drive her to the library! (that is why she pounded on my door the day before) The library on the other side of town.I told her I'm not going to do that because I am tired, and she moans that her books are due back tomorrow. I told her she could go get her books and bring them to me and I'd take them back for her. She comes back with her bag of books, and her dog. Her dog comes into my apartment and promptly pees on my carpet. She comes in with a book bag full of hardcover books. I can barely pick it up. With the 10 or so back surgeries and procedures I have no idea how I'm going to get it down the stairs the next morning (I end up getting it down the stairs, but have to take a pain pill that night for the first time in days). So, she and her dog stay and watch TV, and then leave an hour later. She shows up the next morning at 9am. She tells me the two books on the top of her bag need to be re-checked, she wasn't done with them. I told her I am not going into the library. I will drop them off so she won't get a fine, but I'm not going to go in. She looks upset when I tell her that, but then leaves. That afternoon I bring her her bag back. By this time I'm sick of this. She wants to watch my TV, get money, me to take her places... And let us note that she smokes. So if she really needed money she could just not smoke. They give away things to help stop smoking. So she could very easily use her cigarette money for something else - even bus fare to go to the library. And obviously she has another way to get there. I mean someone brought her to the library in the first place. And gas is expensive! I cannot drive her all over town. I even know how much money she gets per month (she told me). She gets more than I do! She is not nuts, she has a nice family... So yesterday night I put up a hand written sign that says DO NOT DISTURB. I left it up yesterday and today. I heard her and her dog come up to my apartment four times, and when they saw the sign they turned back around and left. But I can't keep that sign up forever! I don't want everyone to stay away, just her. And how do you politely tell someone to leave you alone? Especially when you live in the same place and don't want to make enemies? I'm not required to do anything else right? I mean it's like she sees me as her new way to get what she wants. And she totally expects me to take her to the library again next week. I'm not going to, under no circumstances.
13 people like this
43 responses
@Opal26 (17682)
• United States
20 Jun 11
Hey my sweet sis! You don't have to put up with anything that you don't want to! If this woman is "using and abusing" you and making you sicker you have only one choice and that is to [b]tell her exactly how you feel![/b] Sometimes that is the only way! As I have told you I have "gotten rid" of a few people in my "real life" for using me and talking sh1t about me! One of them really wants us to be friends again and the other, as I thought, who I sent a "closure letter" to doesn't give a "rats azz"! Sometimes I "misjudge people's intentions and wind up like you do with people trying to take advantage because we are nice caring people. My advice to you in this situation is speak up, kick her to the curb NOW before things get any worse!
2 people like this
@AmbiePam (59229)
• United States
20 Jun 11
It's a shame because she seems like she would have made a nice friend. She was very friendly.
@AmbiePam (59229)
• United States
20 Jun 11
That's a good point.
• United States
20 Jun 11
If you have a chat with her about everything you're concerned about, maybe you will still end up with a friend. You certainly are a good friend to her! Maybe she can do something to help you, and you could exchange that for rides to the library, etc. You are a very sweet person, and you act like a Christian is supposed to act. If you start talking about her to others in your building, instead of telling her to her face, you're going to be getting away from being the kind of person you want to be. Right?
1 person likes this
@Hatley (163984)
• Garden Grove, California
20 Jun 11
oh Ambie Pam she has picked you out to be her fairy godmother I guess. right she is indeed a user. i would have asked her for some gas money before taking books to the library.right if she quit smoking she would have money for bus fare. I have often gone to the library using the bus.I am trying to think of a way to get her to leave you alone. She seems to have a lot of gall as my mom would have said.Maybe you are gong to have to tell her the truth. you cannot afford to be her unpaid taxi service and banking lender. as she makes more than you do suggest she pay you if she wants help from you and i bet she decides to find another fairy God mother instead. lol lol lol.tryh iot reverse psychology. he he he.
2 people like this
@AmbiePam (59229)
• United States
20 Jun 11
She seems very chatty with other people in the building I like, so I guess I might be concerned she would try to bad mouth me if I handle her wrong. But then again, I can't be worried what everyone thinks. Thanks, Hatley.
1 person likes this
@mentalward (14692)
• United States
20 Jun 11
Why don't you bring up this subject to the people you like in the building? They could very well be going through the exact same thing you are or they've already told her they can't help her. Maybe ask something like "Has [the neighbor] been asking you for help or is it just me?" That will open the conversation up to where you can tell these people just how far over the boundary this neighbor has gone. You may be surprised at how much she's done this with other neighbors, too.
1 person likes this
@barehugs (8978)
• Canada
20 Jun 11
I think you are catching on to this awful person. She will use you as if she owned you, and will never give anything in return. Your only recourse is to always be too busy, or to broke, or too sick, etc- to see, or chat, or walk, or to hold her dog, etc. She would never get into my house if she smokes, and never get to see me if I could help it. Try to be honest,and distant, but firm, and never give into any of her wants, or needs! Never! Soon she will give up and go away!
2 people like this
@AmbiePam (59229)
• United States
20 Jun 11
She was sitting in my chair and she coughed (didn't cover her mouth by the way) and I said is the smoking getting to you? She said, no, just my asthma. Asthma?! She has asthma and she still smokes! When I went into her apartment it was really hard to stay because it smelled of smoke so badly and the smoke smell triggers my migraines.
1 person likes this
@daeckardt (6237)
• United States
20 Jun 11
I think you are right to not want her around constantly. I don't mind helping people out, but there is a point where people must do for themselves. She has gone beyond that point by asking you to take her to the library and pay for her laundry. There is no reason she should be knocking on your door all day just because she wants something else out of you. I'm glad that she respected the do not disturb sign. It does show that she has SOME respect for others. I hope that you are able to set her straight on what limits you have as far as she is concerned. Have a great week!!!
2 people like this
@AmbiePam (59229)
• United States
20 Jun 11
Thanks. I hope this week goes easier for you.
1 person likes this
@bellis716 (4800)
• United States
21 Jun 11
Try asking her for the 3.00 she owes you every time you see her. After a few times, ask in a manner that someone else can hear.
• United States
22 Jun 11
If i was in this situation i would have to s come out and tell her how you feel but not in a bad way try to be kind with it. And let her know to not take advantage of you. I think she well calm down with all these things she want you to do and give her. I sorta understand that shes an elder person but still it doesnt makes a differnces. Yeah i agree with the other person about the gass prices people cant go everywhere then do it for free and its not that neccesary ..gas prices are high these days. :-) i wish you luck with your neighbor
2 people like this
@AmbiePam (59229)
• United States
22 Jun 11
She's 58, but she certainly looks younger. She's pretty spry.
• United States
20 Jun 11
Wow!!!! This lady would get on my last nerve. I know aboue begging neighbors but darn it. The money was not even paid back and she wants more from you. I would just have to say I am not feeling up to visiting and let it be that. She did not clean up the floor I bet. The nerve of people. Always remember she can't get away with what you don't let her. Ask for the money back and that is that. She smokes so I would never have given it to her.
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (59229)
• United States
20 Jun 11
She caught me totally off guard when she asked for the money. I was like, uh..uh.. If I tell her I'm not up for visiting, I think she'll still come back the very same day and try again. But I'm okay with telling her that. It's just that when I open the door even slightly, that big ol dog comes in, and she has to come in to get him, and never seems to take the hint to leave. I think I'll just have to let her think I'm rude if she sees fit to see me that way. It wouldn't be as bad if she didn't bring the dog. Even when she goes away, Annabelle remains hyper because that dog always accompanies her.
2 people like this
• United States
20 Jun 11
I can understand that. I think she is the rude one bringing the dog all the time. That should be easy to stop because your dog won't settle down. so there you have what you can say to her..
2 people like this
@AmbiePam (59229)
• United States
20 Jun 11
It's a good point about not getting away with what I won't let her. I'm just going to have to put my foot down.
2 people like this
@GardenGerty (147275)
• United States
20 Jun 11
You tell her that you are out of gas money, that is the first thing. You do not need to tell her how much you make, just say you are out. I know you do not want to lie, so you tell her that you have to save what little gas you have in case you need to go to the ER with your migraine, or have to go help your parents. I imagine that she has worn out her welcome with whoever usually takes her to the library, so you are the next victim. I would worry about Annabelle catching something from her dog, honestly. When someone else takes her to the library and she has books that are due, tell her to call them, most libraries will re check by phone. Have you given her your phone number? If not, then don't. Make your sign say, please call first, I am resting, or something like that. She cannot call you, and people who know you from church or your parents can call you then you will let them in. The smoke that lingers on her hair and clothes is not good for you to breathe. Then of course you could make a sign that says "Failure to plan on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part."
@apples99 (6556)
• United States
20 Jun 11
Yeah I hate to lie or be rude, but sometimes there's no choice I agree I sugested teling her that the car needs to be put in the shop, and work has cut back on hours and you no longer can help as much as before wish her well, after that stop answering the door as much and pretend your not home I know that souunds awful but its quite posible the only way.
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (59229)
• United States
20 Jun 11
I haven't given her my number and I am so glad I haven't. There is no way I would now.
@Shaun72 (15960)
• Palatka, Florida
20 Jun 11
It sounds to me that she is taking advantage if you. I would tell her I need money to take you places. Maybe she can get a family member to take her places. I know I have tried to help some of my so called past friends just to learn later that they were just using me which I hate but it has happened in the past.
2 people like this
@carmelanirel (20948)
• United States
20 Jun 11
Wow, she really clung to you, didn't she? I'd tell her the truth, that you don't mind helping out when you can, but you can not drive all over town and that you occasionally suffer from migraines and need to rest when you get these headaches. When you do help her run errands, I don't think it is rude to ask for some gas money, not with todays prices.
@AmbiePam (59229)
• United States
20 Jun 11
If she says she didn't have money to wash her clothes, I know she'll say she doesn't have money for gas. I think I'm just going to have to make a point of helping her to realize it's on the other side of town. Maybe she thinks because I have some nice things (every single thing I have in my apartment has been given to me out the niceness of someone's heart except for my computer which I bought myself) then surely I can afford the gas, but I'll have to set her straight on that.
1 person likes this
• United States
20 Jun 11
That's true, I forgot she said that about the money..Well, like you said, set her straight and let her know that you are not better off than she is financially and you can only help her so far..
2 people like this
• India
21 Jun 11
i guess you might have got migraine because of her... well, have you tried to suggest her directly on how to save money? if that too isn't working, i would rather recommend you to her the same as what she is doing to you.. as in, you ask her certain favor, which she may find difficult to do for you, by which she might start avoiding you...
@yoyo1198 (3641)
• United States
20 Jun 11
Wow, Pam!! I've had to deal with users over my lifetime but not to this extent and it has been a while. I think it's time for you to have a sit-down with her and explain to her that she gets more money than you do and you just physically cannot do some of the things she is expecting you to do. Talk to her and be specific. You will need gas money for any errands. You can't be loaning money that you expect you will not have returned. Friendship should not bear a price. Friends do things for each other because they want to do so. It looks like she thinks she's found someone to use and that is not friendship. She will continue to ask as much of you as you allow her. It's time to set some boundaries.
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (59229)
• United States
20 Jun 11
Very true. And I know that she looks at me like most people do and thinks that I am healthy. She knows I'm on disability, but to look at me you wouldn't think it. So perhaps I should be more specific on why things like picking up all her books are hard on me.
@yoyo1198 (3641)
• United States
21 Jun 11
I don't know as it would be beneficial to cut off all contact with her. After all, you are neighbors and most likely to remain so for some time. It is very stressful being in bad relationships with your neighbors, I know. But boundaries do need to be set. Having a frank conversation need not end up making you enemies. There is always a middle ground. Who knows? Maybe you could end up being half way friends if the situation is handled correctly.
1 person likes this
@catdla1 (6005)
• United States
20 Jun 11
Talk about biting the hand that feeds you. Again and again and again. You'll have to decide if you want her friendship at all, and ask her to call you before she comes over. Just because you are home, does not mean that you are there to be at her disposal. Right now, you have enough on your plate with your mom, and to take advantage of your kindness is inexcusable. If she is low income, she can get free assistance to break the smoking habit. She can also apply for a free bus pass, so that trips to the library (or anywhere else) are at a reduce fee, or free. You can also mention her to your landlord, to see if she's been a problem for others. Being polite might work, but there's a bigger likelihood that it won't. Sometimes being blunt is the best way to handle some one like that. Let her know that you have a full plate, and that just because you are home doesn't mean that you want to entertain others. By calling first, she can easily find out if you are up to a visit. And if she asks for money again, tell her that it's your policy to loan only after the 1st time has been repaid. You may find that once she learns that she can't prey on you, that she isn't as interested in friendship as she professed. Good luck!
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (59229)
• United States
21 Jun 11
I'm too afraid if I give her my phone number she'll call me all the time.
1 person likes this
@bunnybon7 (51404)
• Holiday, Florida
21 Jun 11
also, you should tell her you have these awful migraines and cant stand to have company when its going on.
2 people like this
@catdla1 (6005)
• United States
21 Jun 11
At least with a phone, you can screen calls. Blunt honest sometimes works. You could tell her that while you enjoy occasional company, that you need your solitude to help you deal with other issues going on in your life. What those issues are is none of her business, unless you choose to share that information. In doing that, you risk her throwing you a 'crumb' to help in some way, while expecting a whole cake in return. Not easy to handle, until she latches onto some one else.
1 person likes this
@rosegardens (3035)
• United States
20 Jun 11
Be honest with her, and tell her how you feel about how she treats you. It is a shame to meet someone who only wants to take advantage. Did she at least offer to clean the dog mess up when she was there?
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (59229)
• United States
20 Jun 11
No, she didn't offer. And once I saw her dog pee on the carpet I just hurried to get it up before it soaked in, so I didn't ask her to clean it up. The more I read of your response and others, the more I think I'll be able to find the right things to say if she bothers me again.
• United States
21 Jun 11
Wow. I would not be happy about that. At least offer for goodness sake, most especially since she is a new friend.
• United States
20 Jun 11
Wow Ambie, Sounds like she is really taking advantage of your generosity. I would also feel like you and at times find it hard to flat out and tell anyone and instead I go the extra mile. It is unfair when people take advantage. As hard as it may seem you may have to the next time she comes over, simply smile and say you are very sorry but you cannot take her to the library and or say you are not up to company today. It is not easy, as I know I would have a hard time to, but as you say you can't avoid her forever, and the more you entertain the more she will think it is okay. I do hope she understands that it is enough already. So try telling her and if she gets upset, really it will be her loss as you have been nothing but kind.
@Lindalinda (4111)
• Canada
20 Jun 11
Hi Ambie, She has picked you out as a sucker. Next time she knocks at your door be polite but tell her it is not convenient for her to come in and watch TV with you. Also ask her when you can expect your $ 3.00 back unless you indicated that it was a gift. As far as the library is concerned, obviously she had another way before you took her books back. She should stick with that. Do not drive her or her bookds to the library again. Explain about your injuries that you cannot carry sacks of books, explain tht you have limited funds and unfortunately you can not run errands for people because gas is expensive. Please do not be a door mat bcause people will step all over you.
@AmbiePam (59229)
• United States
20 Jun 11
It would have been so much easier had she been a guy. I have no problem turning down the guys here who ask for rides or money.
@carpenter5 (6784)
• United States
21 Jun 11
It sounds as though you are going to have to be ugly to her and just tell her that you refuse to be her chauffeur, laundry woman, errand girl, and dog walker unless she is willing to pay for these services. She doesn't seem to be willing or able to take the hint.
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (59229)
• United States
21 Jun 11
I'll tell you something, and I know I'll sound like I'm way too much of a softie. But I almost cried tonight. Maybe it's because so much is going on with my family and I'm close to tears already. But tonight my dog was barking at the window. And my head was just pounding so I went to the window to see what she was barking at. And the lady was below staring up at my window with her dog. And the lady looked up at me with a sad expression on her face. I drew away from the window and got tears in my eyes. I really wanted to be her friend. But I can't let my life be taken over by someone else. If she wants to start over I'm game, but she can't just ask me for things all the time.
@Mirita (2668)
• United States
20 Jun 11
I know that you don't want to have enemies in your building ,but you need to tell her exactly how you feel. She appears to have no common sense and no manners ,so this is not going to end until you let her know that you are not obligated to do anything for her. You can tell her that you are on a limited budget and you cannot help her anymore. You can also tell her that the doctor advice you to rest more. If it was me I would tell her no anytime she ask me for something and if she does not like it too bad.
• United States
21 Jun 11
Yes! You are right. She needs to tell her NO every time. She needs to let her know she can't be used like that.
1 person likes this
@CatsandDogs (13964)
• United States
21 Jun 11
Sweetie, you really need to put your foot down with this lady or she'll continue to use you for all you're worth and then some more. Let her know that you're not a taxi and you don't grow money on trees and you don't want her dog in your apartment because it upsets your little one. If she gets all upset then LET HER get all upset. It's her own undoing so let her stew in it. Another thing and this is VERY important! Let your landlord know exactly what's going on just in case she decides to talk about you to them and make you look like the bad guy. Trust me on this because I've been there and done that and thank God I went to our landlord and let them know what was going on with our downstairs neighbor. She caused us so much hell that our landlord let us out of our lease to move elsewhere and then later on, they kicked this gal out after she caused more trouble with the next tenant. I wish you the best of luck sweetie! You're going to need it!
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (59229)
• United States
21 Jun 11
You know, I had wondered if I should mention it to the apartment manager or not. They really like me, and I think they would be receptive to whatever I had to say. I thought about asking if they had ever had any complaints about her before. It's funny, but before her dog peed on my carpet, I enjoyed having her dog come over because it made Annabelle happy. It's when she would knock on my door all day long when I wouldn't answer that would cause the trouble. Annabelle knew the dog was on the other side of the door and would not calm down. Even now she gets agitated when she hears the distinctive sound of a dog collar (you know what I mean? The sound of the tag hitting the collar?). It wasn't until the dog peed on the carpet and I started having to watch it every minute that the dog itself got to be an issue.
@chaska (170)
• United States
20 Jun 11
OMG! she is definitely trying to use you. I am also tooooo nice and people try to take advantage. I do not ask people for stuff because, I do not want to bug people. I see that your neighbor does not mind bugging you. I am glad that you put the sign up, because she probably feels that you have nothing going on and she can be over all the time. I like having friends that are self sufficient whenever possible. I do not have many friends, because it is hard for me to say no. Since I have had children I have began to assert the word "NO". I am very proud of you for asserting your "NO". Whenever you can help her that is good, but if you can not, please continue to just say you can not.
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (59229)
• United States
21 Jun 11
I am the same way. I am so afraid of bugging people that I can't remember the last time I asked anyone for anything. I am conscious of it being a hard time for everyone, and I don't want to be a burden on any person. I can see asking to borrow sugar from someone, but hardly even that.
• United States
20 Jun 11
Your best route at this point is to politely explain that you cannot continue to keep doing things for her and that you really do not want her dog in your apartment because of it peeing on the floor. Once you continue to refuse things she will find some one new to sponge off of. These are what we call user friendly people they are your friend as long as they can use you once you stop them from using you they move on occasionally they will return to see if they can use again but eventually they give up. If this does not work you have no choice for your own sanity but to be blunt and tell the her what the problem is. Hope this helps in some way.
@AmbiePam (59229)
• United States
20 Jun 11
What's funny is that I like her dog. If I could have her dog come visit and her stay home, I would. lol It's not that I just want the dog to come over, it's just that her dog and my dog get along really well. And since Annabelle is my only pet, at first I counted it as a blessing that she brought her dog with her so Annabelle could expel some of her energy (she's only 6 months and so hyper still). Until the dog peed on my carpet, that is.