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Dealing with Difficult Neighbors



Steps to living with irritating neighbors

Living with neighbors is something most urban dwellers have to bear with. Dwelling with neighbors is however not a walk in the park. Although many people have a cordial or friendly relationship with the person next door, there are a few cases where neighbors are a bother and difficult to live with. Given that most of these might be with you for a long time, it is good to know how you can deal with different cases and reduce the discomfort you might have to endure. In fact, most neighbor problems can be resolved amicably if the right approach is taken.


Start by looking inside

Before you pint fingers at your neighbor, you need to first look at yourself. Do you think your neighbors enjoy living next to you? What strategies do you have to ensure you are not a nuisance to the neighborhood?. Most people complain about living with bad neighbors without looking at their contribution to the problem. Every person ought to take deliberate steps to foster good neighborliness before expecting neighbors to reciprocate. It boils down to ensuring your limit noise, fair use of common amenities and adherence to applicable municipal or city codes. Besides, you also need to respect property lines and keep your items and plants to your space. Is your compound well maintained; lawn manicured, clean frontage and backyard and regularly painted walls. Neglect on your part might be affecting the feelings of neighbors and raising conflict.


Keep a record of complaints

It is always a good practice to document incidents where complaints are made against your or what you complain to others. Put down the issue of conflict and what steps are taken in addressing it and any commitments given on future incidents. This record serves and an important reference whenever there might be a recurrence of the incident or in case the matter is escalated further.


Report to the Police

Some neighbors can be so arrogant that they never listen to complaints or are unwilling to change even after much discussion. You don’t have to suffer forever. You can involve the police especially when you think your rights are being violated. This helps in that it takes the matter out of your hands and it helps the neighbor come to terms with the impact of their actions. This is not always the best approach but it is becomes necessary at some point. It is however necessary to have proof of your complaint before you escalate to the police. A well detailed explanation of the problem will help the police get off to a good start with your case. You may need to have taken a form of evidence like video, audio or photos to further prove your case.


Don’t be a stranger

Becoming a friendly neighbor is an effective way to reduce and resolve conflict. If you join a new neighborhood, take the lead in introducing yourself to your neighbors to create rapport. Some people are shy especially when amongst new people. Being friendly will ease that tension and open communication channels just in case you need to use them. A friendly neighbor will rarely cross paths with others because people generally take care of friends. It will also be easy to solve conflicts with people you are acquainted with rather total strangers. The American culture of people minding their own business and living in isolation does not help much in a community setting. Be friendly even when there is conflict over a matter. Instead of shouting over the fence, you can invite the neighbor for coffee at a restaurant and raise the matter there. You might be surprised the neighbor did not even mean to irritate you or things just went out of hand against their intentions.

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