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How to Stop a Neighbourhood Argument Blowing Up

Unfortunately, arguments with our neighbours are inevitable and unpleasant. Noise disturbances, parking disputes and lawn upkeep can all contribute to problems between once friendly neighbours. We have compiled a list of a few ways to deescalate the situation so that you can move on with your life in perfect peace and harmony. Here are six ways to stop a neighbourhood argument from blowing up. 


Communication is key! If there is a problem with your neighbours, talk about it. There is a chance the other person won't even be aware that there is a problem. Sulking and plotting revenge will not fix your problems, so kindly approach the other person and ask them to coffee so that you can discuss your issues. And remember that a discussion is a two-way street. Both sides need to voice their reasons and explanations so a compromise can be reached.


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This is by far the hardest step for most. We love to think our ways and ideas are right and that the other person is 100% of the problem. However, it generally takes more than one party to create an issue. Reflect on your past actions, words or habits that could have upset the other person and caused them to retaliate or behave a certain way. They maybe misunderstood you and the whole problem is likely to be resolved by simple explanations and apologies. 


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We are really good at talking, but not so good at listening. Take the time to listen to the person or people you are having problems with. And don't just plan your next argument while they are speaking. Actually listen to what they are saying because you might find that what they see as the problem is a misunderstanding or a simple fix on your part. Listening is half of communication! 


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If you have tried talking to the neighbour you have a problem with and you can't find common ground, try to find a mediator to help out. They don't have to be a trained professional but maybe a mutual friend that can help you come to a compromise. A mediator can guide communication, help you see both sides and provide an unbiased opinion on the issue. 


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As hard as it is, try not to spread the word and gossip to others about your neighbour. This could make them feel attacked and ganged up on. In turn, they might try to find their own allies, which will only escalate the situation. Go directly to the source of the problem and avoid bringing other people into the issue. 


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If all else fails in your attempt to resolve problems, go to your local council to discuss the issue. Try to have the other party tag along with you so you can figure it out together. If they refuse, go by yourself and talk to your council about the problem and ways you they believe you can fix it. At the very least, let your neighbour know you are seeking the council's aid so they do not feel personally attacked. 

How do you de-escalate problems with your neighbours? Give your advice to fellow Nabo members below. 

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