What to Do When Your Neighbors Drive You Nuts

Had it up to here with the folks next door? Take a deep breath and heed this expert advice.

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7. The Oversharer

Who needs reality television when you have neighbors who get dressed in front of open windows or who have heated arguments on their doorstep when your second grader is within earshot?
Stop the peep shows: For the exhibitionist next door, proceed with humor — which worked for Patricia when she caught a glimpse of her own neighbor stepping out of the shower. "I said a few days later, 'Girl, I saw you in your birthday suit!'" But that's a good strategy only if you know them well. If not, Patricia suggests finding their email (most are easy to look up online) and trying something like, "I'm a neighborhood mom, and I wanted to let you know that your windows are disclosing your intimate moments."

If your neighbors are bickering at high volume, resist the urge to confront them midspat, suggests Patricia. Later, put in a call and say, "I wanted to zip over for a moment to share something with you." Then you can say, "We've all had shouting matches with our spouses, but I can hear yours from my house. I just don't want my kids to hear them too. You can understand that, right?"

Stop — Don't do the driveway ambush!

No matter how well you know your neighbors, confronting them when you're less than cool-headed is never a good idea. If you're friends, or even sort of friends, call or send an email saying there’s something you'd like to discuss, and set up a time to talk. If you don't know them well, pop over next time they're outside and invite them to come by at their convenience.

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