Teach Middle East Magazine May-June 2016 Issue 5 Volume 3 - Page 43

Bella Dear Maryann, Dear Maryann, I have a nosey neighbor who watches as I come and go. I’m a single woman, and I have lots of friends from Australia who I entertain at my home. I don’t like being alone. I throw these weekly dinner parties that last until the next morning. It gets a little raucous, but it's innocent. However, when my friends leave my neighbor is standing outside giving dirty looks. Her spying and giving me the evil eye is so rude. How can I tell her to leave me alone without creating an enemy? I’ve been in the UAE for almost 5 years teaching. I’m originally from the States. My contract may end soon and I am faced with going back home to live with family. However, I don’t have enough money to move alone anywhere else, or stay in the UAE without a job. What do I do? I feel trapped! Looking at the front door, Charmaine Charmaine, Loving Life, Emma Have you asked what her concerns are? You don’t want enemies that live so close to you. Smooth this out as soon as possible. Here are some ideas: consider having monthly dinner parties, instead of weekly; make them brunches or if they must be at night, end them a few hours earlier. Put yourself in her shoes. What if you had a neighbour who had lots of people in and out at all hours of the night – and day? I assume these guests have cars? This all may really be a parking issue, and not so much that she is nosey. Ask your friends to carpool, if possible. The next time you have a dinner party, invite her. Sometimes, people just want to be acknowledged. This simple gesture may change everything. Be grateful that you have a family to go back home to. From what it sounds like, it may not be what you’ve envisioned, but it is reality. Let’s deal with that. You failed to have a good exit strategy – a must for any situation that is new and ever changing. A good exit strategy is saving at least 3 months of your salary for emergencies. You need to keep your job or get a new one. Start looking, perhaps in other countries that carry the same benefits, package, etc. Have you made any contacts in your 5 years that can help you transition? Don’t feel uncomfortable asking your friends, contacts, old and new, for help. As you may have noticed, knowing the right people can go a long way. If you don’t have money or relationships, what have you been doing all this time? If not, going back home is all you can handle now. This lack of planning and lack of relationships is a sign that you’re hiding or playing small to avoid hurt or disappointment. I’m afraid it may take a while to fix something that has been broken for so long. Consider going back home, getting a new job, and starting over. Sometimes, all we need is a fresh start to get a breakthrough Maryann Maryann Emma, Maryann Reid, educator and lifestyle expert from New York, can be reached at maryann@teachuae.com After The Bell | | May - Jun 2016 | 41