When we move to a new neighborhood or start a new job, a lot of us try our hardest to connect with the new people around us.
But some of us just aren’t that social, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor TotalImmortal82 was among the latter group and wasn’t particularly interested in connecting with the other people in his neighborhood.
But when a new neighbor called him out on it, the Original Poster (OP) questioned if he should have gone out of his way more.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for not being a ‘good neighbor’?”
The OP recently got a new neighbor.
“The house next door to mine (40 Male) just sold.”
“I’ve been in my house for 5 years and barely knew the neighbor I had prior to him selling.”
“Today, my new neighbors were moving furniture into the house while I was on my front steps smoking a cigarette.”
The new neighbor questioned the OP’s hospitality.
“One of the new owners (50s? Male) approached me and told me he saw me sitting outside the other day and was saddened that I didn’t introduce myself or welcome them to the neighborhood.”
“I responded with, ‘I’ve been here 5 years and I don’t even know the name of the guy who you bought the house from. Sorry, I’m not overly social.'”
The new neighbor pressed on.
“He then mentioned how he likes to get to know all of his neighbors, and since I live next door, I am definitely on that list.”
“He also mentioned that since I’m sitting outside, a ‘good neighbor’ would offer to help them move furniture inside, especially since I appeared to not be overly busy.”
The OP didn’t agree with the neighbor’s expectations.
“Annoyed at this point, I informed him that I was under no obligation to be volunteered to move furniture, let alone to craft a friendship with someone simply because I live next to him.”
“I thanked him for stopping by and started to walk inside.”
“He yelled at me, ‘Don’t ask me for anything in the future if that’s how you wanna treat people.'”
“I responded with, ‘I’ve managed thus far without you.'”
“AITA for not going out of my way to welcome someone in my neighborhood and help them move their s**t inside?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some questioned where the new neighbor’s expectations came from.
“He said, ‘since I’m sitting outside, a ‘good neighbor’ would offer to help them move furniture inside.’ I’ve literally NEVER had a neighbor offer to do that.”
“And I have had some phenomenal neighbors, but none that would help me move.” – notlucyintheskye
“NTA. He started out by talking down to you, and then demanded you help him because you had nothing else going on??”
“That is no way to make friends with anyone. He obviously lacks social awareness or manners of any kind.”
“I applaud you for keeping your cool as much as you did because I would’ve told him to get the f**k off my property.” – EveryCriticism4567
“‘Hey, I see you out here, and you’re not clamoring to be my welcome party. That hurts my feelings. Also, you’re supposed to move my furniture since you’re nearby.'”
“No, you were perfectly clear about the relationship. The way he came at it was immediately an overreach.”
“He didn’t come and introduce himself to you since he cared so much about it, he came over to scold you.”
“Really, he’s mad that you hadn’t made yourself available to be taken advantage of.” – JCBashBash
“NTA of course. If he had come over and said, “Hi, I noticed you the other day when I was moving in but didn’t get a chance to introduce myself. I’m —–,” then there would have been no reason not to introduce yourself back, say the nice-to-meet-yous, and then both go on your merry way.”
“When I think of neighbors helping each other, I think more along the lines of keeping an eye on your house when you’re out of town, borrowing small items, and (very much a big maybe) shoveling snow.”
“The absolute gall of this dude is bananas.” – ApplePi61
“Student apartments were my exception to ignoring the social expectations of my neighbors.”
“Maybe it’s because of the environment (so many people don’t know anyone or have people to help), but you could go from carrying in boxes by yourself to having 10 strangers offering to help in minutes.” – mcolt8504
Others urged the OP to keep his distance to avoid setting up a precedent.
“NTA, and I bet he’s the type of neighbor who would ask for favors wayyyyy too much if you become too friendly.” – AnyEasternDERJHAJI
“The new guy was testing your boundaries, OP, to see how easy you’d be to manipulate in the future.”
“You handled that interaction perfectly! Now he knows you are NOT the one to be messed with. NTA!” – StillSwaying
“Just wait until OP barbeques outside or something. ‘We could smell the food in here, and you didn’t offer us any!'” – elleprime
“The only neighbor I ever had who did something like this is the biggest f**king pain in the a** I’ve ever met.”
“He’s a needy drunk who was just trying to do us a ‘favor,’ so my husband would drive him to f**king Ruby Tuesday. We also received a half-finished porch paint job that we did not ask for out of this ‘kindness.'”
“Now we just go out of our way to ignore him.”
“So yeah, OP is NTA.” – queenbackacidd
“My parents have been blessed with two sets of incredible next-door neighbors (same house). They have never demanded anything but have always been willing to help out (this goes both ways).”
“Just this week, the neighbor came over to unload a lawnmower for my mom because he saw her pull in.”
“If you don’t expect anything, chances are your good neighbors will make themselves known.” – mchollahan
“If I had a neighbor stroll right on up and offer to help move things in, I’d be side-eyeing them hard and hoping I knew where my keys with the mace are (to be fair, I’m a single female and walk to and from work, so I tend to be hyper-aware and suspicious of near anyone trying to seem too familiar).”
“NTA. The neighbor’s a total jacka**. I guess it’s good to know right off the bat but still, you handled it right. Give this guy an inch, and he’ll take a mile (I’m seeing Homer and Flanders from ‘The Simpsons.’).” – acegirl1985
Some pointed out that the new neighbor, not the OP, was just plain rude.
“NTA. The new neighbor was not just lacking social awareness, but presuming that OP had extra time outside the R&R (Rest and Relaxation) he was taking on his front steps.”
“The new guy is a taker. Newcomers, when they do introduce themselves, should give others a reason to want to get to know them (with a beer, or cookies, or whatever).”
“If he needed help (indicating poor planning and presumptuousness on his part), he should have nicely begged, and still accepted a ‘no’ if that was OP’s answer.”
“If that’s the guy’s first impression, OP is wise to have responded the way he did.” – FrankieLamar
“My next-door neighbor was nice. I introduced myself to him and he was like, ‘Wow, I’ve never really known any of my neighbors before.'”
“I offered them cake and stuff, and we let our dogs play. So when my s**tty neighbor’s dog attacked me, he was there to back me up and shout down the neighbor who told me to calm down after his dog attacked me.”
“The OP’s neighbor could have asked.” – bcontinued
“I only had it happen (people offering to help me move in) once. A super friendly religious dude saw us with stuff from his window, asked if we were moving into one of the apartments, and then left.”
“He then came back, telling us he had called his wife to let her know he was helping us move in.”
“Super nice guy. The type of religious that have all those decorative scripture signs and go to church every Sunday but don’t push it on you.” – TheLittleGiggles
“My wife and I had a neighbor volunteer to help us move the biggest and heaviest of our furniture into the moving truck, but we certainly never voluntold him we expected him to.” – Songwolves88
“That’s some seriously entitled energy there. If you’re lucky, OP, they hate Halloween, and you’ll get the chance to annoy them to no end by putting up super scary decorations.”
“NTA.” – kevwelch
While the subReddit could see the value in helping a neighbor out and developing a friendly connection with them, they also agreed that this needed to be something that both people wanted, not something that they were pressured into.
Even if the new neighbor had a helpful neighbor in the past, that was no excuse for him to presume how the OP would behave in their new neighborly relationship.
And considering how he approached this initial conversation, he likely would not be getting what he wanted from that relationship, either.