Social quandary: In a pickle with my neighbour

What would you do in this situation? Help this reader by giving your two cents.

neighbour woman wearing sunglasses and hat looking over wood picket fence

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Have you found yourself in an awkward situation? Has someone irked you and you’re not sure how best to proceed? If so, you’re not alone! Every week, we’ll be featuring a reader-submitted quandary so that you can help weigh in and give your input. What would you do in their situation? Please comment below and help this reader with your feedback! If you’d like to submit your own quandary, click here.

Quandary of the week:

We have a neighbour, sweet as pie, who has a pool in her backyard. But she always leaves the gate to her yard open. For a long time we would just go and close the gate, but now the darn thing is broken and won’t close. We’re concerned that our kids could easily walk into her yard and fall in the pool — and not even just our kids, but our pets as well. We have asked if she could please fix it and keep it closed, but unfortunately it is still open, and always is. The pool is not even 10 feet away from this gate, so something bad could happen quickly. How can I ensure my children’s safety, but also maintain a friendly relationship with my neighbour? – Stephanie, Toronto

Read our previous social quandaries here.


Social quandary update:

We posted this quandary on Facebook and got a lot of great feedback. Go to and scroll to April 24 to read the comments. After reading everyone’s advice, this reader decided to talk to her neighbour again and let her know how concerned they were about the broken gate and offered to help fix it. The neighbour accepted the help, but provided the latch. Problem solved!

Since posting this quandary, we got a lot more neighbour-related submissions, so we contacted an etiquette expert to get advice on how best to deal with problem neighbours. She came back with solid advice for four specific situations from readers and words of wisdom to keep the peace. Read it here.