Thursday, February 7, 2013

Dealing With Noisy Neighbors

Three Common Mistakes to Avoid

We’ve all heard it: the thumping bass of a neighbor's midnight music marathon, or rolling chairs that make it sound like you live under a bowling alley. The next time you approach someone in your building about unwanted noise, try to avoid these common mistakes.

1. Calling the Landlord First The best results come from a face-to-face interaction with the noisy neighbor. By asking a third party deliver the news, you are putting yourself at a disadvantage. Your neighbor might perceive this as tattling, and treat it as such. Tell your landlord only if a calm conversation with the neighbor doesn’t work.

2. Leaving Notes As much as you may try to sound civil, your note will be construed as passive aggressive at best, and nasty at worst. See what we mean? 

3. Banging on the Ceiling (or floor, or whatever) Tempting, it's true. Reacting with anger does nothing but escalate the situation. Remember, you are asking your neighbors to respect your wishes, and jabbing a broom handle at your ceiling is not a convincing argument.

These responses are common because most people try to avoid confrontation. In this instance, keep your goal firmly in mind. Do you want to live in peace, or do you want to avoid a single awkward conversation?  

You want the best possible outcome, of course. That means you will need to be direct, but remain calm and open to what your neighbor has to say. Be sure to knock on their door when there is NOT any noise, then politely explain your situation. You might be surprised by how well things go.

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