Q. Our landlord and his wife are very very nice people. They helped us a lot and I don't want to make anyone mad. She is always coming down to my place, for hours, like anywhere between 5-8 hours each time she comes down. Their 5 year old son is a huge brat. They used to live in my house before we moved in and act like they still live here. I am dreading them now.
A. You MUST say something at some point, and sooner rather than later. I would have gone off my head by now if someone spends so much time at my house. If you don't say anything it will begin to affect the quality of your life badly because you will find yourself with less and less time, and less and less resources, for your own family. Pointless complaining in silence, or quietly. Nothing will ever happen because you are simply reinforcing the behaviour each day with your silence. Hence you will continue to get more of the same.
First thing to do next time they come round, within an hour of them being there, is to sit them down and say something like this. "I really value you both as my neighbour. You are lovely people and we have shared some great times together. But I am beginning to feel a little stressed with life at present because I am finding that I do not have enough time to do the important things for my family, and in the house, at the moment because of your long visits. I am feeling very anxious about it as it is beginning to make me feel irritable. So, can I ask you a small favour, which will help us spend more quality time together? When you do come to visit, I can only spend an hour with you, maybe two on a good day. But I cannot have you round for so long anymore. Otherwise, if this continues, I will be only able to see you occasionally on a weekend. It means that when we meet up, I have the time for you then. I hope you understand that and thanks for your support as a friend."
If they still insist on doing coming round to suit themselves, just don't open your door a few times when they come round. Pretend you're not there and then only have them in when you're ready to do so. After an hour, say you have to get ready as you're going out and can you see them another day and physically say goodbye at the door to them. My guess is that you are so used to each other, or you feel obligated for their kindness, and also because they are your landlord, you feel afraid to tell them how you feel. But if they don't know how you feel, and you are getting stressed, they cannot act any differently. It is always best to be honest, and FIRM, with people otherwise you simply get more of what you don't want as they will keep doing what makes them happy, regardless of its effect on you.
You are entitled to the life you want, and your privacy too, not what others impose upon you. Bite the bullet with this one, now!
Elaine Sihera (Ms CYPRAH)
Emotional Health Consultant
"Respect and love begin with the self. If we have none, how can we give away any?"