How to Get Rid of Pesky Neighbors
It’s not always easy, or even desirable, to love your neighbor as you love yourself.
Though everyone enjoys having neighbors, life can be hell if one is cursed with annoying ones. The act of ‘loving neighbors’ is sometimes easier said than done. The whole idea of the home being a place to rest and relax goes for a toss when you come home to find irritating neighbors who make life unpleasant.
What can one do about these people who live right next door and are privy to almost every move in your life?
- For starters, let your neighbors know that something about them is bothering you. Taking that first step is essential for both of you. You will get a clearer picture of the issue, while your neighbor, who may have been oblivious to the entire problem, will be more understanding and sensitive to your discomfort.
- Accusing is not a good idea. Try not to use the words ‘always’ and ‘never’ while bringing up your complaints.
- If a polite conversation spirals downwards, it would be wise to not let it snowball into an argument. This would be the best time to bring in a neutral third party who can mediate.
- Find out if other neighbors have similar issues and check if everyone can sit down and have a mature conversation.
Bad neighbors may be tackled according to their type!
The lazy neighbors
- Offer to help your neighbor in addressing the issue at hand. For instance, if an unkempt garden is an eyesore, don’t just criticize. Go ahead and extend a helping hand.
- Pick out any one intolerable habit and request them to get rid of that for starters. If your neighbor’s laundry line in the front yard is the problem, help them find an alternative.
- Draw clear lines for the over-friendly neighbor who traipses in and out of your home all day and dispenses free advice. Be polite and firm and let them know that your privacy is sacred.
- Do not entertain your neighbors at all times of the day. Explain that the other members of your family, particularly older ones, cannot be disturbed at certain times. Mealtimes and such can be marked as ‘family hour’ where others are not allowed.
While you may face initial hiccups, the ground rules make life simpler for everyone concerned and will be appreciated over time.
The noisy/inconsiderate neighbor
- If polite requests have fallen on deaf ears, it is time to contact the authorities. If there is a neighborhood association or condominium homeowners’ groups, try getting them to resolve the issue.
- Do some research and find out if any laws are being violated. Report the same to the respective authorities (but not anonymously) after warning your neighbor.
- Calling the cops would not be an overreaction. Law enforcement agencies can often deal with the matter smoothly and efficiently.
- As a last resort, consulting a lawyer and sending a letter threatening legal action might solve the issue quickly.
In case you think your neighbor is up to no good or is abusive, do not hesitate to report them to the cops.
However, as in every relationship, accusations and indictments will only serve to hurt the ego. When one has to live beside them, it is only logical to be patient and calm. Even if you and the guys next door do not become the best of friends, it is important to not turn into enemies!