I have to say, while she was telling me about her problems, I felt lucky to live where I do. Sure, we have the odd argument with people, but in general, life is peaceful, and there’s a great community spirit. I would hate it if things ever escalated, so I thought I would put my thinking cap on and try to give my friend some advice.
So, this is what I have come up with. It’s a mixture of research and my experiences - I have certainly had my fair share of troublesome neighbors in the past. If you are having any issues, please feel free to take a look, and of course, share some of your experiences in the comments section below!
The first step to finding any kind of resolution to a particular conflict is to talk to each other rather than shout. In my friend’s case, that’s what she has been trying to do, but when two parties are in an explosive mood, there’s always the chance of fireworks. In my experience, it’s best to have a cooldown period before going in guns blazing.
That can be tough to do - especially if a neighbor has shouted at your child. But, if you want to resolve things peacefully, don’t head around there straight away. Get your facts in place, and plan a course of action first.
Find a mediator
In some cases, there will be times when the two parties just cannot bear the sight of each other. However, it only takes one argument between two families to start a longer-term process of division in the community.
That’s when things can start getting really silly, so try and find a mediator for your problem. Meet on neutral ground, too. It can be threatening for somebody to have someone angry turn up on their doorstep, and they are likely to be far more defensive from the off.
Get to the cause
Perhaps your neighbors feel that your children are running amok, even though you don’t feel that they are. Maybe you feel your neighbors are lowering the tone because their home looks a mess, they always have parties, and their dogs roam the place. Or, maybe, your neighbors think that of you!
We all have different ways of living - and expectations of others. The point is to get to the cause and agree on a way of moving forward. One good way of doing this is to look at a home owner’s association. HOA specialists Cedar Management state that having a set of ground rules in place can help lift a community. And, I’m pretty sure it will help you create some boundaries, too.
At some point, one of the two parties is going to have to hold out an olive branch. Perhaps you could suggest something community-spirited that you could arrange together? Maybe you could get the kids together for a day out of the neighborhood, and get to know each other better? It won’t work in every situation, but it might help you understand each other more than you have previously.