Let’s be honest for a minute. No matter where you live, there’s one thing almost all of us will be faced with at one point or another: a difficult neighbor. Oftentimes, a negative interaction with a neighbor is a result of a simple misunderstanding. Other times, your neighbor may just be a generally grumpy person. (Sad, but true.) Either way, knowing how to deal with a difficult neighbor could help diffuse a situation which, let’s face it, is in everyone’s best interest. Because at the end of the day, you still have to live near each other. Here, some of our tips on how to deal.
A difficult neighbor may just always have a chip on their shoulder. It could be because they’re generally misunderstood. Take a moment to introduce yourself. The simple act of acknowledging them as a real person, one worthy of getting to know, may be enough to quench the flames.
A simple introduction may not be enough to bring about smiles and idle chatter. Though you might not feel compelled to—and it’s a judgment call depending on your particular situation—extending an invitation to chat a little more might be what’s in order. This can be particularly true for those who often feel overlooked and disregarded. You never know, they may actually have a terribly interesting life story that you’d never get the chance to learn by dismissing them.
- Offer a Helping Hand
Is your neighbor always visibly struggling with basic tasks? Next time you see them having difficulty with, say, carrying a bundle of groceries to their apartment, offer to lend a helping hand. This simple act could change everything.
- Address the Actual Situation
You may be having difficulty with a neighbor because of something specific. Maybe they got mad at you because they felt your music was too loud or you looked at them strangely. And perhaps you initially snapped back. Whatever it is, if you know the reason behind the animosity, it could be time to address it and make peace. It’s easier to apologize for something than it is to live next to someone that wants to make your life miserable.
- Speak With Your Landlord
If the behavior being exhibited is pushing the limit and you’ve been unable to successfully make peace, it may be time to speak with your landlord. The last thing they’d want is for a situation to escalate beyond rude words.
How to deal with a difficult neighbor all depends on the situation at hand. At the end of the day, everyone is generally happier when they are getting along with their neighbors — or at least respectfully distant.