DEAR HARRIETTE: I live in an apartment building -- a high-rise, to be exact. I moved in a few years ago. For the most part, I like it. My one problem is my next-door neighbor. She works from home and lives alone. Like clockwork, when I come home from a long day at work, I can count on her knocking on my door a few minutes after I walk in. I like her and all, but when I come home, I want to relax and decompress. I am not sure of the etiquette in a situation like this. I don't want to be rude to my neighbor, but she needs to understand that I need my privacy, too. -- Where to Draw the Line, Detroit
DEAR WHERE TO DRAW THE LINE: You have the right not to answer the door when your neighbor rings the bell. If you don't let her in, you don't have to try to figure out how to get her to leave. You can also tell her that, as a matter of course, you need space when you come home, so you want her to respect you by not coming over right away without being invited.
That may seem harsh, but in order to get her to change her behavior, you have to identify, articulate and enforce boundaries on her visits. Because you have consistently allowed her to visit with you at her leisure, she probably has no idea that it is annoying to you. Let her know what you need at the end of your day, and ask her to honor that.