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How to Deal With Difficult Neighbors

Updated April 17, 2017

In this busy society, the words "home sweet home" are more important and inviting than ever. Home is where one unwinds after a busy day, spends time with loved ones and lives a large portion of life. In some cases, though, difficult neighbours can drain the sweetness right out of spending time in your home. When this happens, dealing with them is something that must be done.

Explain to your neighbours politely where you stand on any issues or problems you have with their behaviour. Since different people have different lifestyles or their own spin on how things are done, they might not realise that their behaviour is bothering others.

Compromise if at all possible; life is rarely such that you get your way all the time. Unless the offending behaviour is so horrible as to totally disrupt your life, there is no need to turn every disagreeable thing into who is right and who is wrong.

Make an appeal for understanding by blaming yourself. For example, if your neighbours have a garage band that wakes you up in the morning or plays music too loud at night, blame yourself. Tell them that you have to rise early for work or that it wakes your children up and that otherwise, you wouldn't even bring it up.

Obtain help from a third party if speaking with your difficult neighbour yourself doesn't work. Ask an unbiased neighbour or a member of the community to offer another helpful point of view in reaching a compromise.

Avoid gossip with other neighbours. Believing in or spreading gossip about a neighbour escalates an already bad situation. While it's a normal reaction to try to get others to support you, gossiping is not the way to do it. Instead, speak only to other neighbours that may have the same problem with the difficult neighbour. It may help if all of you speak to your neighbours in a friendly way so that they're aware that their behaviour is affecting more than one of their neighbours.

Inform management when there are management services. For example, in an apartment complex, the manager may succeed in speaking with difficult neighbours and situations when you have tried and failed to reach a compromise.

Continue your own efforts to be a friendly neighbour once the original issue is resolved. Getting to know one another creates friendships at the most and at the least, respect for each other. This makes settling any future difficulties easier.

Tip

Take a peace offering when approaching a difficult neighbour the first time. This could be a gift of cookies or even just a sincere compliment on something you like about your neighbour before bringing up the problem.

Warning

In some cases, a difficult neighbour may have crossed the line into illegal activities. If you believe this is the case, alert the proper authorities instead of confronting them yourselves.

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About the Author

Connie Whiting has been a professional writer since 1999. She is published in Red Rock Press Anthologies and "Legacy" magazine. She is also an experienced food column writer. Past positions include certified dental assistant and virtual assistant for “Your Invisible Assistant” a service focused on travel arrangements and media writing. Currently, Connie writes for Demand Studios while pursuing an Associate of Arts.