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7 Ways to Be a Bad, Bad Neighbor

It might be a flat-out refusal to play nice, but in all likelihood, most people probably don’t set out to be bad neighbors. Maybe they don’t know any better. Or maybe they’re depressed. On the other hand, we’ve all seen the willful, neglectful neighbors who irk the rest of us, often in multiple ways. They figure they can do what they want with their own property, and they’re going to prove it. You have to wonder if someone should slip a what-
not-do primer in their mailbox.

1. Let Your Pets Become the Neighborhood Entertainment

If you fail to spay and neuter your critters, the neighbors can enjoy the operatic arias of your cat in heat. And the acrobatics, too—dogs climbing on top of one another is always amusing. Also, let your dog run loose. After all, you love your dog—why wouldn’t everyone else? Those steamy muffins make good fertilizer, and everyone loves a good foot race—when they win. Do you know that German Shepherds can sprint at speeds of up to 30
mph?

2. When Mom Said, “Everything In Its Place” She Wasn’t Referring to The Lawn

In the right light and artfully arranged, faded toys the kids never play with, unregistered cars, and bits of trash that float from flooding trash bins have a certain avant-garde beauty. And they have their place, too, but your neighbors will probably like you better if you agree that their place is not on your lawn. Plus, if you clean up the yard, you can mow it, too.

3. Let the Music Ring Out

Surely everyone shares your taste in music. And while you’re at it, one howling, barking dog who manages to sound like an entire choir of dogs can fill in the gaps when your sound system is off. Then when you leave for work at 5 AM, rev that engine. Sound the clarion—after all, you paid good money for that super-sonic muffler. Now imagine yourself as your neighbor, trying to put the baby to sleep. Or trying to get some sleep.

4. Love Thy Neighbor

Well, maybe not. Not this way anyway. Flirting with a neighbor’s beloved significant other is not a good way to become popular, no matter how crazy-gorgeous the object of your desire may be. It is, however, a good way to promote unhappiness and become the object of gossip.

5. Don’t Love Thy Neighbor

On the other hand, maybe love is not your thing. Try the other direction. Never say hello. Glower a lot. If someone says hello, pretend you didn’t hear. The guy who’s out raking his yard and looking in your direction so he can give you a nod? Ignore him. When a new neighbor introduces herself, adapt an aloof posture and act startled. Or eye the new neighbor suspiciously. Make her feel welcome and safe. When someone’s little dog gets
out and poops on your lawn, get out your 22 rifle and go hunting.

6. Stock Up On Complaints

Chit-chat on the street is a good way to get to know your neighbors. But if you’re the reclusive type and want to avoid people, complain like crazy every time you have a chance to talk to someone in the neighborhood. It’s too hot, too dry, too rainy and too cold, and don’t you hate the new siding on that house over there? Furrow your brow a lot while you talk. The economy stinks, after all. Then complain that you wish people around here were
more friendly.

7. Be the Non-Conformist Who Doesn’t Believe in Materialism

Let your house go to wrack and ruin. That way every other house nearby will go down in value. Peeling paint, warped siding, fragmenting fences, and curly shingles all contribute to that lived-in feeling, but not the cozy kind. OK—home maintenance is expensive, and sometimes you have to put off a repair. But when temporarily deferred maintenance starts looking more like plain-old run-down, face it: it’s time to start making repairs.

Happily Ever After

In the end, neighborliness is all about decency and thoughtfulness. Fortunately, most people try to cultivate those traits. It’s not that hard. They also just want to mind their own business, get along, and maybe show up if someone needs a hand, maybe even for the irksome and quarrelsome among us. That’s something worth thinking about.

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  • LOL

    Number five reminds me of my neighbor.

    Hey, I tried to +1 this but the button isn’t working ):

    • Yup

      I have a few coworkers like #5.

  • LAME

    7 tips? Really ??? I already have better shit in mind

  • http://twitter.com/valeriekeener valeriekeener

    Re: #7 – As a Realtor, I received an irate phone call last week from a neighbor who was angry about the condition of the home I was representing for sale. At this point, it had already gone to foreclosure and I had removed my sign. While I understand the frustration of a home in your neighborhood falling into disrepair, there may be valid reasons, as there were in this case. If you do have a neighbor whose home seems to be “distressed”, it would be “neighborly” to see if a group of neighbors could pitch in and help maintain it. It would at least be more proactive than blaming the wrong party.

  • http://twitter.com/PsychoChick966 PsychoChick966

    There are sometimes things one cannot change or fix, and so I would say, that if you would be bothered by some of these, then maybe you should not live in a neighborhood with other houses. You need to live in a more rural area by yourself. Live and let live people.

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