Dealing with Difficult Neighbors – TSMP #81

Matt and Jay discuss difficult neighbors, how to be a good neighbor, setting good boundaries and what to do when the guy next door turns out to be nuts.

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Intro: Living Near Other People

  • Hard to do. Many complications.
  • Everyone has bad neighbor stories

Why is it hard to live near other people?

  • People do better with space (but there’s not much nowadays)
  • Not everyone knows how to respect others 
  • MANY people are bad at conflict…and conflict is a requirement when neighbors have differences of opinion

Are People More Angry These Days? 

  • Maybe

How to Deal with Difficult Neighbors/co-workers/family members/etc

1. Be a Good Neighbor Yourself

  • Be polite 
  • Be respectful
  • Be positive 
  • Look for ways to help out 
  • Occasionally offer gifts (small, thoughtful, inexpensive)
  • Harbor no ill will
  • Remember important dates/facts/names that your neighbor cares about
  • Always be impeccable with your word…aka Don’t lie (show up when you say you will, do the things you commit to, don’t commit if you’re not going to do it, etc.)

2. Set Boundaries When Necessary

  • Politely but firmly confront them on issues that must be resolved 
  • Explain your side but listen to their side as well
  • Spend the time to work to a common goal
  • Compromise if you can’t agree on a solution (both sides sacrifice something)

3. Determine If You Truly Have Bad Neighbors 

  • If they’re REALLY difficult:
    • Go to landlord/HOA
    • Go to other authorities
    • Go to a lawyer / court
    • Consider moving?
  • If they’re DANGEROUS…
    • Go to police
    • Probably moving
  • If you find you have multiple bad neighbors
    • Definitely time to move

However…The truth is, you probably don’t want to be friends with your neighbors

  • Why don’t you want to be friends with your neighbors
  • Space is good
  • Like dating a co-worker, if it breaks up then you live next to someone you hate. Not fun.


  1. Be a Good Neighbor Yourself
  2. Set Boundaries When Necessary
  3. Determine If You Truly Have Bad Neighbors
  4. You probably Don’t Want To Be Friends With Your Neighbors


Your peace of mind is highly dependent on your relationship with your neighbors. Do the necessary work to make sure you can relax, feel safe and enjoy your neighborhood.

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Dealing with Difficult Neighbors - TSMP #81 1

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