If you share a porch with your neighbor, please don’t stand outside for five minutes and yell at your dog. Or your mother. Or into your cell phone.

If, in fact, your porch is connected to your neighbor’s bedroom window… Please don’t discuss your traffic tickets, or your public disasters, outside the privacy of your apartment. Please don’t play with the dog and whistle tunes for half an hour during your midnight smoke-break—your neighbor may, at that moment, be trying to fall asleep.

Please don’t shriek “FUCK!!” seven times as you slam the front door on your way to work, especially if it’s eight in the morning.

Please don’t fight loudly with your family members there on the porch, outside, where everyone (but particularly your horrified, sleep-deprived neighbor) can hear you.

And please don’t stand outside and talk about your neighbor during the day, especially if she works at home. Because chances are, she’s trying to take a nap and can hear every single word you say. To date, I would suspect that she knows too much about your life—far more personal information than you would ever volunteer face-to-face.

If you have been in the habit of doing any of these things… especially over the last ten months or so since your neighbor first moved in… consider this your official heads-up.

Save Your Dignity Now.

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