Stress-Free Tips On Handling Terrible Neighbors


It is highly ideal to have neighbors nearby. When you have kids, they will usually play with other children that you know from the same area. Community gatherings are always fun because the best cooks in the neighborhood often come with their delicious dishes. During an emergency, you can count on the people around you to help out.

The only time when you may wish that your house is in the middle of barren land is when your neighbors happen to be insensitive. They don’t segregate their garbage; trash bags are left open and smelly in front of the door. Some have no care about the time they decide to make noises. Others love spreading rumors, which can be irritating, especially when you are suddenly the talk of the town. At the same time, there are also the ones who love borrowing stuff from you, but they never return the items unless you take them back yourself.

Conflict with your neighbor can be a major cause of stress build up. Clinical psychologist Angela Clarke, Ph.D. says that, “The neighbor conflict may -reflect past conflicts…that you’d rather not revisit. Now you’re faced with the problem of living right next door to someone who is a source of tension—and that can be really challenging.”

Considering you don’t want to pick a fight with anyone, though, here are some stress-free tips on how to handle terrible neighbors.


  1. Speak Calmly

Whatever your problem is with the person or family that lives next door, it is not necessary to call the cops or file an official complaint. You only do that if folks are threatening your life in any way. In case the conflict revolves around the fact that they turn on their construction tools or play loud music in the evening, though, you can visit them one time and ask to tone it down a bit since it disturbs your rest.

Most neighbors will typically grant such a request, primarily if you spoke calmly to them. However, you can’t resolve anything once you raise your voice before the person next door even manages to say hi.

  1. Avoid Making Accusations

Another way to handle a terrible neighbor without stressing yourself out is by not accusing the individual of anything. No matter how much you want to yell once you enter a conversation with someone who, say, doesn’t clean after his or her dog or often throws parties without thinking of the ruckus they make, try not to jump the gun instantly. That will give him or her an opportunity to have something against you. If the conflict between the two of you escalates, therefore, he or she can counter your complaints with their own.

The best course of action is to make small talk with that person first. Ask how he or she is doing; give and take advice from the neighbor. When you are quite chummy with each other, you may then start inquiring (in a concerned manner, mind you) what all the commotion coming from their house may be about. The chat may eventually lead to the individual apologizing about the problem and you two becoming close friends. “In sum, for an effective launch to cooperative conflict resolution, both sides must express their initial desire or thought, laying out the wishes in a positive manner (“I would like to …”), not a negative one (“You never…”),” suggests Susan Heitler, Ph.D. She says that, “Both sides must listen like a sponge, listening to absorb and understand rather than to criticize and brush aside the other’s point of view.”

  1. Go To The Homeowner Association

“The only way to deal with these things is to get together with other like-minded neighbors and write a notice to the bad neighbors, setting out norms for behavior, appearance of the yard and whatnot with a graduated set of consequences for not conforming to those norms,” notes psychologist Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D. Similarly, every community has a homeowners’ committee to help you deal with every home-related issue. You can relay your ordeal to the head of the association in person, considering you all live in the same location. You may need to write a personal letter as well, indicating the reasons that pushed you to ask for their aid.

The benefit of going straight to the homeowners’ association is that you won’t have to deal with the neighbor yourself. The members of the committee will handle the matter, and you can request to stay as an anonymous tipper.


To Sum Everything Up

There will always be an insensitive individual that you may become neighbors with at some point. It should not be a source of anxiety as long as that person does not try to mess with you. If somebody in the neighborhood annoys you, though, then at least you know now what actions to take.