David Lader’s Top 5 Ways to Get Along With Difficult Neighbors


It’s an unfortunate circumstance when you find yourself living in close proximity to people who seem to go out of their way to bother you.  More often than not, they’re not doing it intentionally; they simply may not be aware that their behavior is irritating.  There are some simple steps you can take to resolve an issue with difficult neighbors before it becomes a serious conflict.

1) Approach the issue from an objective standpoint

Try to see your neighbor’s actions from another perspective.   You may not like their choices, but there’s often a reasonable explanation that hadn’t initially occurred to you.  After considering things from an alternate vantage point, you may see things differently and value your neighbors more highly.


2) Be respectful if you must approach them


If you have to approach your neighbor about an issue, make sure you behave respectfully.  If they are generally reasonable people, as most people are, it’s likely they didn’t even realize they were bothering you, and they will often do their best to fix the problem.


3) Give them alternatives

Think of alternate ways they could do whatever it is that is bothersome to you.  People are more likely to agree to do something differently if you provide them with a solution that works for everyone.   Be creative, and if you approach them with an alternative, things are more likely to go better for everyone.


4) Get other neighbors involved

If your neighbor’s behavior seems to adversely affect the community in a broad fashion, it may be a good idea to speak with other neighbors about it.  For instance, if your neighbor is walking their dog and not picking up their dog waste along the way, it’s pretty likely your other neighbors have taken notice as well, and they can support you in your efforts.


5) Contact your  Homeowner’s Association



If you have a significant problem with your neighbor, and your home is within a Homeowner’s Association, you can contact them to report the issue anonymously.  If the neighbor’s actions are in violation of the HOA’s CC&R’s, this may be an effective way to get the problem resolved without having to confront your neighbor directly.


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