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dearmargaret I've just moved into a new home, love everything about it and enjoy the neighborhood. All except for one thing. We have a busybody neighbor. My husband was away on business last week and I had a male friend over one evening. The neighbor came over the next day to say she saw a car in the driveway and wondered who was there, since she was aware my husband wasn't home. The insinuation of infidelity on my part was pretty clear. If she sees my teenage children about town, she lets me know where she saw them, who she thinks they were with, and her assessment of the company they keep. I don't need the morality police in my life. How can I get this woman to mind her own business?
Victim of a Busybody

Dear Victim of a Busybody: Perhaps the woman is lacking excitement in her own life and you're fulfilling that need. Or, she really does think she is providing a service to you by keeping you and your family on the straight and narrow. Whatever her reasons, I'd suggest that you not answer any of her questions if you don't want her to be a persistent presence in your life. A trick I learned early on when presented with an inappropriate question, is to remain silent and simply smile. The silence will be so uncomfortable for her (and for you at first) that she will probably fumble for words and walk away. Of course, she can infer all she wants from your non-answer, but she certainly won't be able to twist your words. Keep in mind that someday she might see something in the neighborhood that you would benefit from knowing. Keep a sense of humor about it and enjoy all of the other benefits of your new home.

Click Here to write to Dear Margaret.  Margaret Snow is a Life Coach in Ithaca, NY.

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