Whenever you reside in a community with other individuals, there is always a chance of disagreement over one thing or another. Maybe they listen to loud music, their dog barks constantly, or they park in your designated spot. Whatever the reason is, a huge confrontation does not have to occur. Instead of living with this resentment or frustration toward your neighbor(s), let’s learn how you can keep the peace for a happier home.
Tips for handling disagreements:
1. Take Time
It can be very hard to reign yourself in when you have become frustrated or angry with the actions of another individual. The first thought is to handle the issue right then, but researchers say this is the worst thing you could do if you would like a positive outcome. How many times have you been angry in your life, reacted, and then later thought that maybe things would have ended differently had you had the chance to think before you acted? This is common, and happens to everyone. If something is bothering you regarding a neighbor’s behavior, don’t immediately go knocking on their door. This will most likely end with a verbal confrontation without resolution. Instead, take a couple of hours to step back from the situation, collect your thoughts, and assess the situation. This way you can approach the individual in a calm manner, allowing for a more open dialogue.
While you are taking that time to calm down before approaching the individual, you should also be considering what resolution you would like to have happen. For example, if the neighbor in question is having all night gatherings with loud music or other noise coming from their home, what would you like to see happen? Do you want the noise to end by 10PM on weekdays and 12PM on weekends? Make sure you are being reasonable in your request, and be able to calmly express why you would like to see this resolution in place.
This video is intended in jest, as a little comedy in dealing with neighbors. It is not meant to be taken seriously or as advice.
A huge issue that seems to happen frequently is gossip. I know we don’t like to think of ourselves as the stereotypical gossiper, but you would be surprised how often we “accidentally” bring up situations that involve others whom are not present while we are talking. When it comes to something that is emotionally charged, we have to be careful about gossiping as this could further increase the complications with the other individual. Keep issues with neighbors between you and that neighbor (and possibly the leasing office if needed). Attempting to handle a situation one-on-one without involving other neighbors will bring better results, improve resident relations, and increase the likelihood that you will be able to come to a positive resolution with the individual.
4. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
One of the biggest issues in any relationship arises because of a lack of communication. Verbal communication is always best, so this is the preferred communication style whenever possible. When you are ready to confront the neighbor, remember to stay calm. Your approach will definitely dictate the direction of the conversation.
If you do not feel you can calmly address the situation with the individual, you could try writing a neighborly note discussing what your concerns are. Make sure in your writing you are not accusatory, abrasive, aggressive, or vulgar.
Please keep in mind that there are some individuals who have a heightened response to any criticism. Although it is very hard, remaining calm and being the “adult” in the situation is crucial. If this is the type of situation you find yourself in, involving the leasing office or police may be required. Never put yourself in a dangerous situation in an effort to confront a neighbor about an issue.
5. Keep it to a Minimum