How to Get Along with a Difficult Neighbor

Dealing with a difficult neighbor can be a nightmare, and every neighborhood has at least one problem individual. If you want to live in peace it is important to get along with neighbors, even the difficult ones that you wish would move far, far away never to be seen or heard from again. With a little psychology and a lot of patience, it is possible to get along with a difficult neighbor, even if you never speak.

The Neighbor with the Perfect Lawn

I have had my fair share of difficult neighbors, and over the years I have leaned how to get along with difficult people. When I was growing up an older couple lived across the street, and they kept their yard in perfect condition. The paperboy made the terrible mistake of touching their precious lawn when riding his bike on the sidewalk one day, and I recall watching in horror as the neighbor lady stormed out of the house and ripped him off the seat of the bike before calling the police. She probably spent her days hiding behind the drapery and peering out the windows while waiting to attack someone passing by. I was able to get along with this difficult neighbor because I avoided her property. I was young, but adults who enjoy feuding and fighting would have had a field day harassing this miserable woman.

A Neighbor with an Angel Child

Another woman in the same neighborhood had an eight year old son who decided to put rocks from the alley in my six year old sister’s shorts and urinate on her, but when my dad went to confront the boy and his mother, she said, “You didn’t do that, did you Bobby?” Her reply was more of a statement than a question, and after the confrontation this defensive neighbor never spoke to my parents again. These people were clearly the kind who would defend their kids no matter what they did. I was able to get along with these people because I was young and did not involve myself in their ridiculous feud. It was not hard for me to get along with them because I avoided their kids and stayed busy while minding my own business. Adults who cannot seem to get along with others should do the same.

The Neighbor Obsessed with Trespassers

More recently I had a neighbor who was a lot like the lady that attacked wayward paperboys on bikes. Although she was young and single, it was clear she hated kids, and God help anyone who walked across her weed-filled lawn that she proudly shaved with her riding mower at least once a week. This woman was not difficult to figure out. Her anger did not come from trying to keep a well-groomed lawn in perfect condition. It was obvious that she did not want anyone touching her weed-covered yard simply because it was hers. It was not possible to hurt this woman’s weeds, but they were all hers, and she was not about to let anyone walk on them to get to or from the nearby school.

I decided this woman had too much time on her hands when she said she was going to call her lawyer and sue the cable television company because they buried old cable lines in her yard. This was about a month after she threw a tantrum because the cable television company hooked up our other neighbor’s cable television service to a line that came up through the ground in her yard. She did not have cable television, and the closest hookup other than hers was hundreds of yards away. This made me wonder how she thought she received cable television when she subscribed. Every line cannot come from a central location that is not located on private property. She was the kind of person that would not have complained if the cable company had to go into someone else’s yard to hook up her cable television, but no one was going to step into her yard without her permission.

I was able to get along with this lovely woman because I never touched her yard. It was very easy to get along. Time and time again she proved to me she was a half of a bubble off, and after witnessing her tirades I decided never to go out of my way to strike up a conversation, even from my side of the street.

Ignore Neighborhood Bullies and You Will Get Along

Never start a coffee clutch with a strangely possessive neighbor and you will always get along. After all, how can you feud with someone you rarely see and continually but politely avoid? To get along with a difficult neighbor, do not do anything that you know will create problems. If a difficult neighbor seems to go out of their way to be annoying and stir up trouble, do not let them know they are getting under your skin. Just like kids who try to bully other kids, difficult neighbors will finally get tired of their game because they will never win – unless you let them.

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