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Carl Bishop


Difficult Neighbors

Difficult Neighbors


Have you ever purchased and moved into your dream home only to find out that your neighbors are your worst nightmare? Not such an uncommon thing these days, as more people are spending time on “social” networking and spending less time getting to know what makes your neighbors tick. So, you have in front of you several choices on how to handle this issue. I recommend making the best out of a bad situation. Here are a few ideas to keep the peace.

Try to remain calm and avoid confrontation if at all possible. Once you confront your bad neighbor in an aggressive or irritated way, remember you cannot take it back. You never know how they will react or possibly even retaliate against you. If you have to speak with them to resolve an issue (for example, to ask to turn down the loud music) try approaching them in an apologetic manner by saying, “I’m sorry to have to ask but ...”

I believe this will help them feel as though they are not being accused or attacked even if they are in the wrong. Try to keep your distance and only deal with these unruly people when it is absolutely required. Patience is of utmost importance when dealing with bad neighbors. We have to accept that people all have different ideas of what is acceptable and respectable based on many contributing factors, so try to remember that point when your neighbors are doing something that seems clearly wrong to you. If a situation escalates and something has to be done you can always call the police anonymously so it will not create a rift between all of you. While they may have their suspicions you do not have to confirm or deny and this allows you to handle bad situations without creating unnecessary drama.

Another proactive way to gain some understanding and to work to build some bridges with your neighbors is to think about hosting a neighborhood-wide BBQ or luncheon in your front yard or at the end of your cul-de-sac. You’d be surprised what kind of similarities might show themselves over a plate of some delectable brisket!

Unfortunately, difficult neighbors are increasingly common in today’s world. While we can hold our breath and pray they move away, in the meantime these are a few good methods that will allow you to make the best out of a bad situation.