Home Living: How to Deal with Bad Neighbors

A bad neighbor is a misfortune, as much as a good one is a great blessing. ~Hesiod

Say what you may about choosing the perfect location for your home, but it remains a fact that you can never be as discriminating and selective when it comes to your neighbors.

Where you live is of no consequence as you can have a luxurious and posh townhouse or a luxury condo Philippines Ayala, but unless you live in a gated abode with walls high enough not to be breached, interacting with your neighbors is an inevitability. No matter how you put it, living with bad neighbors is still a pressing social issue until today and unless you could afford a change of address, you would need to do something about it in order to make your home living a lot more pleasant and comfortable.

Dealing with these types of neighbors can elicit a range of reactions from being passive-aggressive to receptive and accommodating with the latter being the favorable one. Settling with irksome neighbors amicably can cause you a lot of stress but, as it would negatively affect your experience at home, it would be best if you dealt with it and communicated your concern.

The worst that could happen is that they would be uncooperative, but at least you conveyed your issues. The ball would be now in their court in addressing your complaint. If you have a bad neighbor (or think you might be one), consider the steps below in dealing with them.

1.) GET TO KNOW EACH OTHER

This is more of a precautionary measure than an actual solution, but it works. Introduce yourself to the community or befriend new neighbors, say a little “hi” and “hello”, maybe borrow a cup of sugar of some garden tools to start establishing a rapport and a working friendly relationship. Chances are, whenever your neighbor starts doing something that may cause you to take issue, it would be a lot easier to convey your problem than be all awkward about it if they were strangers to you. Additionally, constant chafing neighborly issues rarely happen between two neighbors who actually are in good terms with each other.

2.) DOCUMENT THE PROBLEM

If a certain issue arises, keep notes and photos if necessary. This can assist you in evaluating the problem (or whether there really is a problem), give you some information that would back you up when you tell your neighbor your concern. Finally, when worst comes to worst and everything escalates, you have proof to show authorities instead of looking like a whiny and finicky neighbor.

3.) COMMUNICATE

Do not readily assume that your neighbors are well and aware what your issues are—chances are, they do not know they may have less than neighborly practices. Discuss your concerns with them. Be open and direct about it and be respectful as well. Ask for their side and propose a solution that might be favorable to the both of you and compromise. Whatever you do, do not lose your temper as this will only aggravate the tension between you two.

4.) CHECK WITH YOUR OTHER NEIGHBORS

This does not necessarily mean you are snitching on your infuriating neighbors. This means you are trying to find out if you have a solid claim and whether your other neighbors are experiencing it as well. If some of your neighbors are experiencing the same predicament as you are, they may be more than willing to assist you in resolving it. So, when the time comes that you would confront your errant neighbor regarding your issue, you may have someone to come with you to talk it out.

5.) GET A MEDIATOR

A neutral party that is rather experienced in the area of settling disputes amicably may succeed in resolving your issue better than you can—especially if your bad neighbor is willing to talk. This will save you a lot of money instead of taking up your claim to court and in most cases, it is free and much less hassle. Try looking for a neutral third party or a friendly neighbor who is not involved in the issue in any way and have them assist you in dealing with your concern.

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