You may have (unluckily) landed bad neighbors; those neighbors that are too loud ALL THE TIME, the neighbors that host wild parties, or the neighbors who are just a little too sensitive. In any case, having bad neighbors cannot only be a downer, but it can also cause you and your roommates a lot of stress. Trying to sleep through those loud parties or your neighbor complaining about your every move, is certainly not going to make you feel comfortable.
You’re biggest dilemma, however, is that you can’t change your neighbors. Therefore, you have to take action. This doesn’t mean combating your neighbors or retaliating. That will only make matters worse. Instead, the best thing to do is to have a talk with them about what is really bothering you and what both of you can do to fix it.
Like with any discussion of this nature (see our roommate posts), the best thing to do is plan out what you’ll say beforehand. This way you’ll stop yourself from saying anything you’d rather not say, and that you can get your point across. Especially if you don’t already know your neighbors, it is best that you’re as clear and as cordial as possible. You certainly don’t want to come off as the nagging neighbor.
Another thing to keep in mind is to avoid blaming the problem on personality flaws. This can make matters worse and it will most often escalate the discussion into a fight. The best to do is focus on certain actions and how you are bothered by those actions. If you’re neighbor plays their music too loud, just let them know that the music is a little too high when you are trying to study.
However, this will be a little different if you’re neighbor is very sensitive. The best thing to do in this situation is to have a talk with them, and ask them what can be done to fix the problem. Like with any discussion with your neighbors, however, you should be sure to keep it civil and to keep it about specific behaviors, rather than personalities.
In any case, talking to your neighbor can help the situation. However, it is not always a long-term solution nor is it a give-in. If the problem returns, the best thing to do is to have another talk with your neighbor about the problem, and remind them of your previous discussion(s). If the problem becomes persistent and it does not seem like you can fix it, it is best that you talk to your landlord. This will prevent any major conflicts with your neighbors, and in most cases the issue will be solved. In serious circumstances, it is best to have your landlord (or the authorities, if needed) deal with the situation. You should not try to manage any situation with your neighbors where you feel you are harm’s way.
Overall, dealing with bad neighbors can be extremely stressful. However, properly managing the situation by talking with them about the problem and trying to find workable solutions can be extremely helpful in fixing the problem. While in most cases talking to them might work, in persistent or serious situations, it is best to contact your landlord (or even the authorities, if needed) to deal with the problem. In the end, it’s best not to leave any of these situations alone.