Diffusing Disputes with Neighbors

January 18, 2021

Even if you live in a beautiful home in a great community, a dispute with a neighbor can make living there a miserable experience. That’s why it makes sense to settle such disputes quickly and amicably.

How do you do that? Here are some tips:

  • Deal with the issue quickly. It’s tempting to avoid facing an unpleasant dispute with a neighbor and hope the problem just goes away. That rarely happens. To settle a dispute, you need to act quickly.
  • Avoid displays of anger. Acting angrily typically only gets the other party on the defensive. It can escalate the situation and rarely, if ever, leads to a resolution.
  • Isolate the problem. Never generalize a dispute with a neighbor. Be specific.
  • Don’t complain; propose. Rather than complaining about loud music at night, propose a solution. For example, “When our front lights have been turned off, that means we’ve gone to bed. Would it be possible to turn down the music at that time? Thanks!”
  • Say thanks when there’s a resolution. You may never be close friends, but being cordial will go a long way toward easing the tension.
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