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How to Handle Neighbors Who Are Disrespectful

by Sam Grover

Part of being an adult human being is living around other adults. Unfortunately, not everyone knows how to do this correctly. In the course of your life, you are going to have to deal with neighbors who are rude, impolite and disrespectful of the fact that they live around other people. If you live around people like this, you don't have to suffer in silence. There are a number of steps you can take that will help you deal with and eradicate your neighbors' disrespectful behavior.

Vent your problems to family members and other close people, or write them down. Either way, it can be extremely helpful to get your problems off your chest. Often, you'll find that if you do this, you'll feel better without having done anything to actually solve the problem.

Approach the neighbors face to face. This doesn't mean yelling and screaming but rather just a polite, reasonable request that they change their behavior. Most people are fairly reasonable, and may just not know that they are being disrespectful. Telling them that their behavior bothers you is often all you need to do to change disrespectful behavior.

Approach a mediation service if you cannot reach an agreement on your own. There are expensive private services and less-expensive nonprofit and government-run services; either way, they provide a neutral, third-party facilitation service that will help you compromise.

Approach your homeowners' association or other small body in charge of your neighborhood if you can. This is not always an option, but if this option is available, you should exercise it.

Call the police if you cannot deal with the problem on your own. You should absolutely do this if you fear that someone may be in danger, but you can also do this if there is excessive noise.

Sue your neighbor in small claims court. This is always expensive, but if your neighbors are illegally affecting your life with their disrespectful behavior, you have the right to sue them. This is another last-ditch effort; it's expensive, time-consuming and should only be exercised when everything else has failed.

About the Author

Sam Grover began writing in 2005, also having worked as a behavior therapist and teacher. His work has appeared in New Zealand publications "Critic" and "Logic," where he covered political and educational issues. Grover graduated from the University of Otago with a Bachelor of Arts in history.

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