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Taming your bad neighbours

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Taming your bad neighbours

Inside the Beehive

 

Bewitch them

Bewitch them

The Bible emphasizes that love your neighbor the way you love yourself. Unfortunately the bible is not aware that I have a monster and not a neighbor. My neighbor has to be sued and not loved. May be the bible meant something else in the word ‘neighbor’ because it speaks in a language somehow figurative. I’m talking about that neighbor whose house is close or next to mine; the one who has chosen to become a pin in my throat and a total nuisance.

Neighbour disputes are nothing new, but the ways people deal with them are constantly evolving.  If you have not known how bad your neighbor is wait until your son accidentally hit a ball through your neighbors’ living room window. Read the neighbor’s reactions and then conclude if he or she is the right neighbor.  Today it’s a little bit difficult to meet your neighbors. Both parents wake up in the morning to go for work and little time is spent at home. So, it is becoming increasingly common to buy a house and eight years later realize that you have never met your neighbors.

If that’s your situation, consider yourself lucky, because oddball and unusual neighbors do still exist. You may find yourself in constant contact with them, especially if you live in a community with yards that are just about a yard long. How you co-exist can make all the difference between living happily ever after or litigiously ever after.

Creating a good neighborhood is everyone’s responsibility. In case you are faced with bad neighbors there are certain things you should do to make the situation better. First of all get to know each other.Being a good neighbor doesn’t mean taking family vacations together. Just knowing them well enough to say hi, or maybe borrowing a cup of sugar or loaning a gardening tool, can build trust and understanding. Issues are much more likely to escalate among strangers than even casual acquaintances.

There is also a need to head off problems before they’re problems. If you are throwing a party at your place, go to all neighbors who might be affected and offer them two things: a verbal invitation to the party and a card with your phone number. If the noise escalates or there is another problem, your neighbor can call you instead of the police.

In the event of a problem communicate to the concerned neighbor after knowing what the problem is. This is always the hardest part, because no one wants to seem like a scold. The trick is explaining how their actions have made your life harder.  Remember to work on the assumption that they are just good people who made a mistake. If you stomp to their house and hit on their door, jutting your finger in their face and accusing them of being rude and thoughtless, they will just get defensive, even if it’s true.

Did you know that a calm and courteous conversation between neighbors might be all that’s required to put an end to the torture?  But not all neighbors are bad.  There was a group of neighbors who were upset that a house on their block wasn’t taking care of the lawn.

The neighbors assigned a delegate to knock on the door to discuss the yard, and when the owner came out of the house and the problem was explained, she broke into tears. It had turned out that she was in the midst of a divorce and an aggressive chemo treatment. The neighbors then organized a rotating schedule of lawn care for the ill neighbor.

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