Someone new just moved in next door and we don’t get along? What do I do now?
We’ve all had a neighbor or two we didn’t exactly see eye to eye with at some point. There are choices we can make along the way that can help us prevent neighbor trouble and that will allow us to enjoy a more peaceful outcome when it does come up.
Let’s focus for a moment on what we ourselves do have control over when having neighbor trouble. We cannot control others or what they say or do but we can practice being aware of our own actions or reactions and reach out to available resources when needed. Here are some things to try that may help.
Be gentle with yourself and others as much as you can. Sometimes being human can be really hard so take it easy on yourself and those around you. We have no idea what others may be struggling with.
Take a moment to check in with yourself a few times a day if you can, especially if you are managing a situation that has you stressed out. Take a moment to sense how you are feeling? Are you angry, sad, hurt, happy or joyful? Make a mental note or jot it down without any judgement towards yourself, pretending to be just an observer. How would you like to be feeling? What are some things you can do that make you feel that way so you can shift into feeling better?
Take A Step Back
Allow yourself the time to acknowledge and feel what you are feeling. When feeling overwhelmed with one or more emotions its helpful to take a step back from whoever you are with or whatever you are doing until you feel a bit calmer. Approaching the people that are an issue when you feel calm and centered. Notice where you feel these emotions in your body. Are there any sensations attached to them? Make a note as the curious observer.
When your brain gets stuck going over and over what happened or different scenarios of what could happen this leads to excessive stress. Excessive stress effects our sleep and overall health. It is difficult to work successfully towards any solution when you are not feeling well. Make sure you are getting enough sleep and eating or hydrating properly. Our bodies use up additional resources when we are stressed so this is crucial. When all else fails find something to do to distract yourself. What are some things that you enjoy doing?
Let It Out
Writing out your observations, feelings and thoughts can be a helpful tool for some people. In becoming more aware of what you are feeling you can be more aware of what you are doing or how you are reacting throughout your day in different situations. Finding different ways to express what you’re feeling in a positive way prevents things from getting bottled up. When we bottle things up we will explode at some point, most likely at an inappropriate time and place. Go for a drive and sing at the top of your lungs or scream into a pillow. Get your body moving like dancing, running, martial arts, yoga, working out or going for a walk. Sometimes gentle rocking, bouncing or shaking helps us to shake it off. Just find a way that works for you to let it all out without negatively impacting someone else.
Get to The Root
If you are unhappy or upset with a situation or person try to narrow it down to find out exactly what the issue really is. Is this really an issue with them that needs addressing or is it something you have the power to change by perhaps changing your perception? Some days we see things in a completely different way depending on how we are feeling. How are you feeling today? Things or people can bother us more or less depending on our own emotional state. Before reacting to a situation take a moment to think about what the issue is at hand and what the ideal solution would be for you.
Ask for Help
Talking things over with a trusted friend or family member or reaching out to a counselor or local church can be effective in helping us see all sides to our situation. Quite often just having another ear to share what you are feeling or going through with is all you need to feel better. What once seemed like such an awful unmanageable situation no longer seems that bad.
Communicate to the Source of the Problem Clearly
Speak to only the people involved for a more positive outcome. Communicate how you are feeling and being effected when you are calm. Use sentences that begin with “I feel” such as “I feel very tired and irritable when I’m unable to sleep because I can hear loud music or a television all night in my apartment. Is there a way we can figure out something where you can still hear your TV but that I can get some sleep?” Refrain from accusatory tones or language and ask your landlord or someone who is not directly involved to help mediate when needed.
Know Your Rights
If you are renting, make sure to review your lease agreements and Schedule A – Standard Conditions of a Tenancy Agreement which applies to all leases in Saskatchewan verbal or written. This document can be found on the Office of Residential Tenancies website. Know and understand your rights and obligations as a renter. Ask your landlord or a family member to help you understand if you are unsure. When your right to quiet and peaceful enjoyment is being effected, contact your landlord and or the Office of Residential Tenancies (if you’re in Saskatchewan).
Make A List of Options
What are your options that you have control over if the situation has not improved? Have you spoken with your boss, municipality, landlord or the proper authorities if the situation warrants it? Can you take action yourself to alleviate some of the problem? For example, when you are unable to sleep due to neighbor disturbances. The issue is not being able to sleep. Try things like incorporating white noise, asking for a transfer or moving to another building.
Remember when you’re experiencing neighbor trouble, you have choices and options even when you sometimes feel like you don’t.
If you are experiencing mental or emotional crisis, please reach out to services available in your area.
Kindersley and Area Resources:
* West Central Crisis & Family Support Center Inc. – (306) 463-6655, after hours 306.463.1860, website: http://westcentralcrisis.ca/
* Mental Health Help Line – Phone 811 for professional health or mental health and addictions advice, education and support.
* Kindersley Churches – https://www.kindersley.ca/tourism/places-of-worship/
* 211 Saskatchewan – visit https://sk.211.ca/ is a free, confidential information and referral system for thousands of community and social services available across Saskatchewan