It’s a sad reality, but sometimes we have difficult or sensitive neighbors who complain about everything.
Maybe you are a little noisy sometimes or your friends park in front of your neighbor’s drive sometimes.
There are better ways of dealing with things than complaining, especially if they’re escalating their complaints to your landlord or building management.
Here are 10 tips on how to deal with neighbors that complain about everything!
How to Deal With Neighbors That Complain About Everything
1. Find out Exactly What’s Upsetting or Annoying Them
The first step is always to find out exactly what your neighbor is complaining about.
I know this sounds obvious, but if they’re complaining about the noise, for example, ask them when and what they could hear.
At the end of the day, the better you understand their issues the better placed you’ll be to find a solution.
2. Take an Objective Look at Their Complaints
Once you know what they’re complaining about, it’s time to take an objective look at their complaints.
Are they being unreasonable?
Do you think their complaints are valid?
It’s normal to get a little defensive and think other people are being unreasonable. But it’s helpful to put yourself in their shoes first.
If you think the complaint is fair then it’s time to start thinking about how you can address it.
3. Keep a Record of Everything They’re Complaining About
It’s a good idea to start making a note of your neighbor’s complaints, these details will prove invaluable if they start to escalate their complaints.
Be sure to include the date, time, and what they’re complaining about.
It’s an annoying task, but trust me when I tell you that it might save you in the long run.
4. Never Argue with Your Neighbor
This is probably the most important tip on this list.
Arguing with your neighbor will only make things worse and could potentially escalate the situation.
No matter how confrontational, aggressive, or outright annoying they’re being, never, ever get into an argument with them.
Simply thank them for bringing whatever it is to your attention and tell them you’ll look into it and get back to them.
5. Try and Speak with Them to Find Some Middle Ground
Once you’ve had time to think about their complaints, the first step to finding a resolution is to talk to your neighbor about it.
This conversation can be difficult, but it’s important to try and find some middle ground.
For example, if they’re complaining about the noise levels in your apartment, maybe you can agree to keep the music down after a certain time at night.
The key is to be reasonable and try to find a solution that works for both of you – even if it means you bending a little further to keep the peace!
6. Change Your Behavior to Try and Appease Them
Once you’ve spoken to your neighbor, it’s time to change your behavior accordingly.
It’s up to you how far you go to keep the peace. But what I will say is that the last thing you want is to go to war with your neighbor.
There is rarely a 50/50 split or situation where both parties are 100% happy, so be prepared to change some things to try and make them happy.
But the key here is to be the one willing to make some changes to try and keep the peace.
7. If Nothing Works, Speak with Your Landlord or Building Management
If you’ve tried everything on this list and nothing has worked, then it might be time to speak with your landlord or building management about the situation, if applicable.
If your neighbor hasn’t already spoken to them first, bringing their complaining behavior to their attention is just as important.
A word of warning though, don’t rush to get to this step as this is only going to make your neighbor more bitter and likely to complain more!
8. Escalate the Issues to The Police if You’re in The Right
If things are really getting hostile between you and your neighbor or they’re persistent complaining is bothering you, another way of protecting yourself is by filing a police report.
Again, think carefully before doing this as it’s more likely to make the situation worse and ruin any chance of you two becoming friends.
But if their behavior has become unreasonable and is affecting your life, you should seek legal advice.
9. Set Some Boundaries with Your Neighbor If They’re Annoying You
It also helps to try and set some boundaries with your neighbor – both on your part and theirs.
For example, if they’re constantly knocking on your door or dropping off notes, it’s perfectly reasonable to set a boundary and say that you don’t want to be bothered after a certain time.
The key is to communicate these boundaries clearly and calmly so that your neighbor knows where they stand with you.
You deserve to be able to come home and relax and not be bothered all of the time. Just as they do, and I’m sure they’ll say that.
10. Accept that Some People Are Never Happy
Lastly, it’s important to accept that some people are just never going to be happy.
No matter what you do or how reasonable you try to be, they will always find something to complain about.
In these cases, it’s best to just try and keep your distance and not let their negativity affect you.
If you go through the steps I’ve covered in this article I’m sure you’ll find a way to either find a happy compromise, make them back off, or even become good friends!
Getting along with neighbors can literally be the difference between having a happy or unhappy home life – Good luck!
Image credits – Photo by Derick McKinney on Unsplash
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.