How To Deal With Difficult Neighbors, According To A Conflict Expert

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neighbors fighting with neighbors

Source: Peter Muller / Getty

Deemphasize the behavior

Another thing you can do to help your neighbor feel this isn’t an attack on them is share with them where you’re coming from rather than harping too much on their behavior. Peterman says, “Separating positions from interests means parsing the what from the why. A person’s position in a conflict is what they say they want, i.e., ‘I want you to stop playing loud music at 2 a.m.’ The interest is the underlying need or concern. It is their why, i.e., ‘I am unable to get a good night’s sleep when music is playing at 2 a.m.’ Having a conversation from the interest level will help to detoxify the situation and de-escalate tensions. It will also bring you closer to finding common ground to start from instead of feeling like adversaries.”

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