Dealing with anger toward neighbors, need advice - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 06-04-2011, 07:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi there. I'm not sure this is the right forum, but I need some advice.


I live in a 3-apartment flat & we got some new neighbors 2-3 months ago. They have been annoying me greatly & I find that my anger prevents me from dealing with them in a sensible manner.


The boyfriend (girlfriend seems ok, raised two kids as a single mom & works often so is not always around when I am home with DS & is not a big part of the problem) plays music & TV loudly... during the afternoon (during DS's naptime) & at night (often on weeknights when DH & I are trying to sleep... DH has to wake up early for work & DS is an early bird as well). 


We have complained to them (well, to boyfriend) about the noise about 6 times now. We have been living here for 2 years... no problems with 2 sets of prior tenants. He seems to not understand the concept of toddler naps or wanting to just work/be quietly. I have sometimes during the day tried to play my own music... it does not counter the loudness of his. The first couple of times DH or I were very calm & very apologetic. I was cross once, but that was at 11:30 on a monday night... I don't know who wouldn't be upset, so I try to forgive myself for being less than friendly. 


I emailed my landlord to let her know what was going on, but not asking her to intervene (hopefully, I'll hear back soon). I honestly don't know what to do or how to deal with the neighbors or my anger. Today (during DS's nap) I tried to go to the neighbors & calmly request (yet again) that they keep it down. I feel like things didn't go well (I was probably seeming impatient though DH says I was calm & neighbor slammed his door). And later in the afternoon they were playing music loudly again (though not as loud as before). It really upset me. I just wanted to run from the house.


Honestly, I think he may not realize just how loud it is in our apartment. He seems to think that I'm telling him to not listen to music, but really it's just the volume at which he plays it (I feel it's his problem if he can't enjoy music except for above a certain level). But I feel such anger & resentment, my instinct is to just leave the house rather than confront him. And I know that I can no longer deal with them on neighborly terms. I am so angry.


I realize that my anger is an issue (though I also don't think I'm out of line in my request considering we rented this apartment understanding that it was a quiet building & there is a lease term requiring us to be considerate of the other tenants, particularly in terms of noise). I can never quite say the right thing when I go to talk to them & we don't run into each other often otherwise.


Luckily we only have 2 more months left in this apartment, but I find myself scheming all types of evil ways to get them evicted. In short I don't know how to deal with (a) the neighbors and (b) my own anger. Any suggestions?


Oh, DH is willing to go talk to them sometimes, but I am far more sensitive to sound (especially when trying to fall asleep) than him so I feel I should be the one dealing with the issue (not that DH hasn't stepped in). Also, in my pre-kid days, I would have solved this by putting in earplugs, but with a toddler who is not always in my bed this is impractical for a number of reasons.


Thanks for reading & for any advice.



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#2 of 9 Old 06-05-2011, 05:24 PM
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I would just like to say that I am sorry that you are going through this. The neighbor sounds selfish and though he doesn't care. We have been there.  Someone is invading your home and peace, that's huge. I am very sensitive to the base in music....can't stand it. 

I hope the next two months go fast and that you get peace.

Are there any other neighbors who would complain with you, that maybe connected to their apt?? 

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#3 of 9 Old 06-06-2011, 01:41 AM
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We usually get that angry when the situation is out of our control. You've tried being nice, you've tried being reasonable, and you've contacted your landlord. Yet he's still cranking up the volume. I'd be seething, too. 


At this point, would your anger go away if he stopped playing loud music? Or are you trying to deal with two separate issues: the anger as it is, and also dealing with naptime, etc. given the music? For the music, I'd personally start buttering up the girlfriend. As a single mother, she must *know* what a pain the rear end naptime can be, so I'd bake her a plate of my bestest cookies and tell her to pleeease convince her boyfriend to play NO MUSIC AT ALL between whatever hours naptime usually takes place -- noon to 2pm or whatever. And also tell her, in a super kind and friendly way, that you don't want to get the landlord involved but you'll have to if it keeps happening. If you approach her in a buddy-buddy manner it may do the trick.


But the anger. I think of anger as a temptation to do really mean things. In my head, the offender usually ends up being deeply apologetic and changed into a good and decent person, but then I remember that by doing whatever it is the anger wants me to do, I end up being ten times worse than the person who's pissed me off in the first place. I can only recommend deep breaths and meditation -- I'm sure there are others who'll have other ideas, but these are only things that have worked for me. Think of it as a challenge for your better self.


Good luck. It sounds like a miserable situation.


Oh, and feel free to call the cops if they're disturbing you after quiet hours (10pm in my old state on weekdays, your may vary).

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#4 of 9 Old 06-06-2011, 08:16 AM
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Would you feel comfortable inviting him in your place so he can hear exactly how loud it is in there?


Otherwise I'd keep knocking and keep calling the landlord, because I'm like that.

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#5 of 9 Old 06-06-2011, 09:49 AM
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I would call your local police department and find out what the noise ordinance is. I'm sure there are rules about being too loud after a certain time (probably 10pm). Then I would call and report it every time he was breaking the law. OR I would just count down the days until I would be moving:) However 2 months is a long time when you're miserable...

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#6 of 9 Old 06-06-2011, 11:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, all, for the sympathy & ideas!


It may be a little sheepish of me, but since I felt I couldn't deal with my anger & the butterflies in my stomach I decided to write them the nicest letter I could explaining clearly what we were asking of him (or them, I suppose). Who knows... I guess time will tell... But I feel better having given to them.


My landlord offered to step in if it keeps happening, so I am definitely going to go that route (or the police, as some of you suggested) if it continues & I'm not feeling calm. Will also bring in the other neighbors, who haven't complained but vouched that the music is quite loud in the evenings (I think the bass really comes through to us because we're beneath the loud neighbors). And love the idea of talking to the girlfriend, too.


As for the anger. I am really averse to confrontation of any sort, so I tend to put off confrontation until I am so annoyed that I am (literally, sometimes) burning up with bad feelings. And now we're to the point in this situation where I really just start seething everytime I hear their music & even after they stop or I complain to them I just keep thinking about it & can't get it out of my mind... I also don't know if I can really be "neighborly" with them even if they do stop playing loud music. I think the suggestion of deep breaths & meditation & just accepting that his thoughtlessness is out of my control will help me to stay more calm.


But these suggestions really make me feel like I have options without another confrontation with the boyfriend, which also calms me a little. Thanks!

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#7 of 9 Old 06-06-2011, 03:50 PM
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#8 of 9 Old 07-03-2011, 10:17 AM
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Any kind of Update? I am always so curious as to how other people handle noise violations- as I hate them!  Hope things have gotten better for you :)

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#9 of 9 Old 07-03-2011, 11:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by yarngoddess View Post

Any kind of Update? I am always so curious as to how other people handle noise violations- as I hate them!  Hope things have gotten better for you :)

Well, the letter seemed to do the trick. Me & DH edited it about 10 times to be sure there was no condescending/puritanical language in there, so it really was a nice letter that laid out what I had failed to put into words in the heat of the moment (or moments, unfortunately). (Well, I had explained myself the first time I spoke to the neighbor, but I fear he was out of it (I smelled strong alcohol on that & other occasions) & quickly forgot or misunderstood me.)


Anyway. I think I've learned a lesson... address the issue before the anger sets in. As in... don't wait two hours until it's almost midnight before saying something!


I still kind of cringe at the thought of running into them, but I always try to say "hello" & we're generally on neighborly terms. They've never brought it up, but it's definitely been quieter.... I also wonder if the girlfriend read the letter & really had no clue as to what was going on so told boyfriend to quiet down.


Thanks for the good wishes!

Mama to my little busy bee. 

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