Kwaba Blog

Living with Neighbours

With no big illustrations, you know who your neighbours are. These are people you wake up every morning to, come home to at night, raise your kids around, share the parking lots with, split utility bills with among other things. People your day might revolve around. You need to be concious of them. If you’ve been living on a street where homes sit shoulder to shoulder, you should know that neighbours come in all shapes and forms, especially in crowded cities like Lagos. Say a good chunk of places on the mainland. Some of them are good, loving and well respected people in the community while some makes it impossible to sleep at night, some can’t keep their pets under control, while others might even practice drunk-walking around the neighborhood and scare your kids. Unfortunately, you have little or no power over the type of neighbors you find around you.

You can only control the types of neighbours you find yourself around. Location and type of neighborhood is a great factor here. We wrote an article on things to look out for when renting an apartment, especially in cities like Lagos. Read here

There are good neighbours with exceptional moral values, just like you. Ever ready to keep the peace, adhere to regulations and remarkably loving people. Also, we have the bad ones. The ones that gets on your nerves regularly by doing something that’s not particularly illegal but exceptionally annoying. Parents of not well-behaved kids who’re screaming all day long, drivers who got it wrong about parking rules, irresponsible pet owners having hard times taking care of their four-legged friends, overly friendly ladies who want to tell you their biography each time you meet, chronic borrowers, etc. If it ever becomes uncomfortable for you to stay at home, chances are good it’s a bad neighbor to blame.

What to do about bad neighbours ?

Well, when you find yourself in situations you cannot avoid, you just have to find a way around it. Simply put, the key is to keep things reasonable. Entering into a war with a bad neighbour might take you down the wrong path and cost you a lot of healthy nerves. That’s why you should always start with a friendly approach and only refer to drastic measures when nothing else seems to be working. Your reactions should always depend on the level of annoyance your neighbor causes. In some cases, the best approach would be to accept the situation and learn how to stay indifferent. In others, it might be necessary to master the art of legal torment, while in especially rare situations, it would make sense to find a way to make your neighbor move.

How to deal with Bad Neighbours:

  1. Introduce yourself and get to know them better:

That’s what you need to do first thing if your neighbours start to annoy you on a regular basis. By simply introducing yourself and letting your neighbours know what bothers you might make wonders. Firstly, because people tend to be more ashamed and respectful in regards to those they know personally. Secondly, there is a tiny little chance that your neighbors have no idea they annoy you, and telling them so will solve the problem once and for all.

  1. Dont Accuse.

One of the most common mistakes is to accuse neighbors right from the start. A very smart approach would be telling them you’re bothered and annoyed, but keeping the conversation friendly and polite.

  1. Mirror the Behavior of Your Neighbour

This is a widely-used psychological trick. Mirroring your neighbour’s behavior might help them realize their fault and never do things that annoy you again. At the same time, this approach will help you get even with bad neighbours (but only if you’re seeking revenge more than a solution of your neighbor-related problem).

  1. Introduce Mediators

So wags the world that some people get along with each other with ease, while others find it hard to understand each other’s concerns and feelings. If the second option describes you and your neighbor’s relationships, it makes a lot of sense to find a mediator who’s willing to solve the problem for the benefit of both parties. Yo can, get in touch with your landlord and ask if he or she is ready to mediate. As you’re the one sending checks to your landlord every year (or paying rent online), your comfort should be their concern as well.

  1. Give a Warning (Concrete One)

Informing annoying neighbours on your willingness to contact their landlord or local precinct can sometimes make wonders. As long as you sound confident and concrete, a simple warning might be enough to make your neighbors stop doing things that annoy you.

On a final note, like I earlier stated, the key should be to keep things reasonable. No matter what happens, remember that conflicts are best resolved through negotiations, not wars. Talk to your neighbours, tell them what bothers you, and propose a solution.

Only refer to authorities in case a friendly approach doesn’t work.

Before kasala go burst


Raji Oluwaseun

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