Chicago Living

Dealing with Challenging Neighbors

Neighborliness: (noun) a disposition to be friendly and helpful to neighbors.

Neighborliness is a quality that has come naturally to people for millennia. It doesn’t take a lot to be a good neighbor, but being a good neighbor can have dramatic effects on the building’s community. With that being said, not all neighbors are perfect, and it’s possible we ourselves occasionally leave something to be desired.

Here are some simple steps for dealing with neighbor trouble in a way that keeps the building community in good shape:

Give people the benefit of the doubt.

That person who didn’t greet you in the hallway? They’re so mean! Or, they might have just gotten some bad news about a family member’s health. When we act, we tend to make excuses for why we did certain actions, but we rarely make the extra effort to add similar context to the actions of others.

If there’s an issue, go directly to the person.

Talking about someone’s behavior with other neighbors just creates a toxic atmosphere in the building. On the whole, people tend to be reasonable. If you’d like to ask your neighbor to turn down the music at 10pm on a weeknight, just go to their door, explain the situation, and ask politely. Tackling these issues head-on as they come up is much better than not saying anything and letting the resentment build up.

Lead by example.

Have you done something within the past year to make your building a better place? The best building communities, ones where everyone knows each other and gets along, get to be that way through an attitude of involvement. If we each do something small for our building, whether it’s tidying up a common area, running a food drive, or just watching a neighbor’s dog for a few hours, that attitude is infectious and tends to spread through the building.

While these tips are not anything you haven’t heard before, we all occasionally forget them in our day-to-day lives. We hope this post serves as a reminder of what it takes to be a good neighbor.

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