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Dear Jess: How do I get my neighbour to stop pestering me?

Q. My neighbour is very friendly but she’s always asking me to do things for her – such as feed the cat/water the maidenhair ferns/turn my telly down. How do I get her to leave me alone?

A. Nice Neighbour, it sounds to me like you’ve been too neighbourly! I’m a big fan of being kind and thoughtful but unfortunately there are always some people who will take advantage of your good nature. Your neighbour has done that, so I question whether she really is “very nice” or is simply self-centred.

Try saying no the next time she has a request. Tell her you can’t feed her cat as you’ve suddenly discovered you’re allergic to them. A little white lie is okay sometimes.

Q. My mother-in-law quite often babysits for us but I’m sure she has been going through our drawers. Should I say something to her?

A. Dutiful Daughter-in-Law, I hope you’re grateful for the babysitting she does for you. It would be impossible for me to juggle work commitments without grandparents.

Does she think she’s helping by rearranging your drawers? Perhaps include a thank-you note inside one before her next visit. See how she reacts, and then you’ll have your answer.

Q. My boyfriend has been coming home from work with lipstick marks on his collar. Do I confront him about it?

A. Worried One, are you finding it hard to get the lipstick stains out of the shirts? A good spray of stain remover can work wonders. But forgive me for being flippant. This man should not be messing around with your heart.

You either trust him or you don’t. And obviously you have your suspicions. I would leave him before you get too involved! 

These answers are simply my views, and I am far from perfect. I struggle through some days better than others with the help of my family, cats, chocolate and antidepressants. Unfortunately, I cannot personally reply to questions.

Contact me via Jessica.Rowe@fairfaxmedia.com.au. Instagram: @jessjrowe. Twitter: @JessRowe.

Source: http://www.theage.com.au/lifestyle/life-and-relationships/dear-jess-how-do-i-get-my-neighbour-to-stop-pestering-me-20170813-gxamxr.html