How To Ignore Bad Neighbors [5 Ways to Deal With Them]
Bad neighbors are the bane of the homeowner’s existence. Unfortunately, oftentimes it is difficult to know how to deal with this common nuisance. In the event that you can’t get rid of them, your best bet is to ignore bad neighbors.
To effectively ignore bad neighbors, you will have to completely shut them out. Lock your doors and shut your curtains to cut off any visual contact. If your bad neighbors are also loud, get some noise-canceling headphones or invite friends over to help distract you.
How to Ignore Bad Neighbors
In this article, we will cover the best ways to ignore bad neighbors. If ignoring them doesn’t work, there are other steps you can take, depending on what your housing situation is. No one likes dealing with bad neighbors, especially if they are disrupting your life.
Method 1: Lock Your Doors and Shut Your Curtains
The best way to effectively ignore bad neighbors is to cut off contact with them completely. Sometimes this can be as simple as turning a deadbolt on the door. Locking your door can be as symbolically helpful as it is practically helpful.
If your bad neighbors are doing things like leaving trash in front of the house or making a mess on the street, you will have to do your best to not see it. One of the ways you can do this is with blackout curtains. By shutting off the visual contact, you can push it out of your mind.
There’s a reason that the phrase “out of sight out of mind” is so popular. You would be surprised how easily you can forget about something if it is not constantly in front of you. Closing your curtains or blinds is a great way to ignore any chaos in front of the house.
Method 2: Cover Your Ears
If the source of your frustration with your bad neighbors is noise-based, you have some great options. It is oftentimes much easier to block your sense of hearing than it is to block your sense of sight. This is especially true if your neighbors are rowdy and disruptive.
One of the best choices for blocking noise is a set of noise-canceling headphones. Noise-canceling headphones have gotten more advanced over the years and are incredibly effective at canceling out unwanted sounds.
If noise-canceling headphones aren’t available to you, you can always go the classic route. There have been many advances in earplugs over the years. A good pair of earplugs designed specifically for your ear canals could be a lifesaver when your neighbors start making noise.
Method 3: Practice Meditation
While we have covered some practical steps to ignoring neighbors, you may also need some emotional ones. Bad neighbors can be distressing and frustrating. They have a tendency to get under your skin and make life more difficult.
One of the best ways to not let bad neighbors get to you is to start a meditation practice. Meditation is a time-tested technique to achieve inner peace. If you cannot control your outer environment, the only option is to control your inner self.
To practice a basic form of meditation, sit somewhere comfortable and close your eyes. Take deep, concentrated breaths and focus on each as you inhale and exhale. Do this for about 20 minutes or until you start to feel more centered and calm.
Ideally, you will practice meditation twice a day. Not only is meditation a great way to ignore bad neighbors, it is also a great way to help keep yourself calm. People who regularly practice meditation report that they are much slower to anger and in general are happier people.
Method 4: Invite People Over
If you are feeling alone and frustrated about your bad neighbors, it is a good idea to invite someone over. Having someone with you when your neighbors are being the most disruptive is a good idea for several reasons. Often, other people are the best distractions.
One of the reasons to invite someone over in order to help you ignore bad neighbors is to have a witness. It is one thing to know that your neighbors are being disruptive on your own. It is quite another to have someone else confirm this frustration.
By inviting another person over, you can get some outside perspective on your bad neighbors. It is also incredibly helpful to have another person around when you are feeling frustrated, anxious, or scared. Depending on your situation, this might be crucial.
Method 5: Learn an Instrument
A fun, effective way to ignore bad neighbors is to use the opportunity to learn an instrument. Depending on the instrument, you could not only distract yourself, but you could also drown out the sound. A loud musical instrument will trump any noise a bad neighbor might make.
One of the reasons that learning an instrument is so effective towards ignoring neighbors is the mental acuity it requires. Nothing is better at distracting us from outside circumstances than using our minds. Keeping yourself occupied with a musical instrument could be a great choice.
Many musical instruments such as an electric piano can also work with your noise-canceling headphones. This is the best of both worlds in that you would be occupying yourself with learning the instrument as well as effectively blocking out any noise.
What Constitutes Harassment by a Neighbor?
If your neighbors have taken their disruptiveness to the next level, there is a chance that this could be classified as harassment. If you believe your neighbors are harassing you, there are more legal options open to you. However, there is a very specific definition of harassment.
Harassment is classified as an intentional, repeated act that the offender has been asked to stop repeatedly. This could be something like constant loud noise or disruptions from them that are only designed to intimidate you. If you feel that is what’s going on, you have choices.
If you think that your neighbors are harassing you, be sure to document every instance. Take photos, record videos, and write down any dates. All of these things are going to be incredibly helpful if you take your complaints to the next level.
What to Do if Your Bad Neighbors Can’t Be Ignored
If ignoring bad neighbors becomes impossible, you may have to get other people involved. This is especially true if you feel that your neighbors are specifically harassing and targeting you. If things have devolved to that point, a third party is necessary.
Depending on your situation, you may have to get your HOA involved. Your homeowners association should not let your neighbors be a constant disruption in the first place. However, if they have, you need to let them know about it so they can do their job. This is why you pay HOA fees.
If your homeowners association does not get involved in neighbor disputes and things have progressed to the point of harassment, you may have to get the police involved. Call your local non-emergency number to have an officer come out and try to mediate the situation.
How do you deal with a passive-aggressive neighbor?
Passive-aggressive neighbors can be as bad as disruptive ones. Passive-aggressive neighbors tend to do things like park where they aren’t supposed to or ignore your attempts to speak with them. This is just as bad as regular aggression and should be dealt with in the same way.
Should you move because of bad neighbors?
Moving because of bad neighbors is a choice that only you can make. If you feel that you have exhausted all of your options and you simply cannot live next door to your bad neighbors, moving may be the easiest option. Only you can know what is best for your well-being.
How do you deal with difficult neighbors in your apartment building?
If you live in an apartment building and have bad neighbors, there are a few more options open to you. Most apartment buildings have a live-in manager for these kinds of disputes. Take up any grievances with neighbors with your apartment building’s manager and let them deal with it.
I am a writer and editor from The Bay Area, CA. When I'm not typing, I enjoy hiking, woodworking and gardening. I love sharing tips and discovering new trends in home improvement.
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