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Monday, March 28, 2011

Advice me on this

My neighbour’s children do not greet!
It is crazy I have to begin a post with that line. But the sooner I find a solution to this, the better I would be because I am used to being friends and at peace with my neighbours whether young or old.

I am almost 2 months old in this compound and I have a particular neighbour with grown children. A boy and three girls. I’m sure there are others from the same flat because I saw a smaller boy sweeping their balcony yesterday. Anyway, my concern is with the big boy and other girls. Initially, the youngest girl would stare at me, but having realised I’m in the compound to stay, and probably realising we are no mates at all, she greets.

Now her sisters. At first, I always saw one frequently because we meet at the gate most times so I’m either asking her if she is going out or coming in so I could lock the gate behind me. I see it as nothing to say hi to anyone, older or younger than me. So when she and her brother passes me, I nod a greeting ‘hi hello’ at them or even good afternoon. But one day, I was spreading my launderings; she came, stared past me and walked away. And her brother does same. Since then, I stopped my ‘hellos’ or any greetings because they expect it from me and I think it is wrong. So now when we see at all, we just walk past ourselves. And I still think, that is wrong.

The other day, I returned from the market to meet the boy washing his dad’s car. He stared at me without a welcome or even offering to help with my obviously heavy bags. Now, I wasn’t expecting the help but it is the polite thing to do. It is what my younger brother would do. And it is left for me to say, no don’t worry, thanks.

It takes nothing out of me to greet or say hi, but I feel if I continue at it, they will see nothing wrong in their behaviours. And these children are no mates of mine! The oldest of them would be at least six years younger than me. Seriously, maybe if I was plump or bigger a little, maybe they would know we are not mates because people find it difficult believing I am an old woman. They think I probably left secondary school 2 or 3 years ago and got married because I wear jeans and Tshirts with them. And seriously, what will I wear, how will I dress that will make me look older or at least my age? I am being harassed constantly and it is neither funny nor complimenting. I guess I will have to learn how to harden my face or something. My only refuge will be going about tying two wrappers and gele. But who can do that anyway? Everyday cannot be a traditional marriage ceremony na.

I thought the next time I saw the girl who loved to stare, I would ask her her name (don’t know any of their names) and whenever I see her, I will mention her name and greet her, since that is what she wants. But I didn’t think that approach was nice. So if you were in my shoes, what would you do?


  1. I would suggest you just greet them without waiting for or expecting a response. That way, you wont feel awkward or disappointed.
    The dressing, well, may have an impact. But i really dont think it is worth it.
    Stupid shiren!

  2. I understand your dilemma but at the same time you can't go and train children who obviously have no home training. You don't have to harden your face or dress older. I think you should strike a conversation with the younger girl, ask her her name and you can ask her how she's doing when next you see her. Maybe the more they get to know you, they might be friendlier.

    Other than that, there's really nothing you can do or you can do what we do here which is smile or nod, or just a simple "how you dey?". You could have even asked the dude to come assist you with your stuff in a playful way.

    If it didn't bother you so much, i would have asked you to bone them, but seeing how you want things to be friendly and amicable, you can try this. IF it doesn't work, you might just have to bone them.

  3. Lol. Training begins with their parents, they won't listen to you if you try to tell them anything. But if you're consistently kind to them, they might change.

  4. ok, great advice guys. a problem shared is a problem solved.

  5. i think you should ignore them really. don't let them get to you like this.

  6. Hmmm, (being the devil's advocate) why do they really have to greet anyway?

    That we choose to greet people (older or younger than us) is a matter of choice which often times is enhanced by the 'training' bestowed on us while we were much younger.

    You are not obligated to greet them, neither are they obligated to greet you. However, if you choose to greet them, be willing (and ready) to accept the fact that they may not respond to you; not to talk of reciprocating the gesture.

    Tough one, but, a sincere fact.

  7. I would have said you should ignore them, but the truth is that their continual ignorance will keep bothering you. So i will say you should greet them. It won't take anything from you. If you do that, they will be ashamed (I hope).
    First time here, nice blog. I am definitely followin you

  8. hmmm....i absolutely get irritated by children who lack manners. I simply would call them and speak to them!

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  10. Honestly! All you can do is just keep saying those HIs & HELLOs. In my own case what i do is, i just call aside the child/individual and say 'A little hello wouldn't hurt' ...Sometimes you can't blame these kids. Poor home-training could be the bedrock of this misdemeanor(Saying Hi to anyone around you is very polite)


  11. I think that you should say hello when you see them, it probably has something to do with their upbringing. They may warm up to you when you exchange greeting regularly.
    As you said you're not their mates so show them that you're the bigger person.

  12. Blessings.....
    Let go of the expectations it will only set you up to feel disappointed and do not let their behavior dictate your own. LIke HoneyDame I think you should continue to say hi, hello, good morning, good evening and leave it at that with no expectation of a return greeting.

    Absolutely you are right that things would be better because everyone would be neighbourly and it would make for a friendly atmosphere however it isn't that way so just go with the flow. The not greeting you is not about you, it is about them, don't own it. Just live your life, be happy and do you.


  13. So much good advice has been given. I think if you were to stop greeting them entirely you'd be sending the wrong message. However it's possible that with time they'd start to follow your good example. Rethots is right that greeting is a choice, but I think exchanging genuine pleasantries with other human beings is great because you never know how badly someone needs to hear a kind word or see a friendly face.

  14. Why are u worried wen they mean nothing to you, at least they don't play around with ur laundry. Just say hi hello, i wouldn't suggest u go ahead with good morning good afternoon cos that sounds like ur mates.
    The best part is not to expect any greetings from them, not with d dressing or make up either, just live ur life like dey do not exist simple. they're not worth u changing urself, so Just be u

  15. This is really really realll really realllllllllllllly annoying!!! It pisses me off when younger people act stupid and mistake it for being smart. I'm tempted to say ignore them but I dont know how right that sounds... greeting them isnt an option either cos they may think its their right or that u're mocking them. Infact dont greet them! Ignore them biko! what rubbish?!

  16. *hands on hips* shildren on nowadays
    @rethots go away jor :)_

  17. Greet them like you would your younger one - How are you? When you have time, you can add 'how is school?'