So you’ve settled into your new apartment and want to make friends with your neighbors. Maybe they’re quiet and almost transparent, making you overly cautious – or maybe they host rowdy football Sundays when you’re trying to get in some quiet time. Either way, it’s good to know how to deal with people that you share a wall (or a ceiling) with. Here are some tips on how to keep your cool and earn your neighbors’ respect, which will become a surprising advantage in your apartment life.
Be keen with social cues
Whether you’re looking to be friends or just apartment allies, you need to figure out the ways of your neighbors. Do they avoid any and all interaction, or do they ask how you’re doing when they see you? It’s important to introduce yourself no matter their behavior, but beyond that, interact as much as they want to. Any more or less and you’re in the danger zone of either bothering the introverts or offending the talkative ones. Having a good reputation with your building-mates has tons of benefits. Neighbors can help you out of a tough situation like a dead car battery, or cooperate with you if you plan on having a holiday party.
Keep tidy…at least outside
Whether or not you’re the neatest person in your home, no neighbor wants to bear the burden of trash. Don’t let anything overflow outside the door or on your patio. In fact, a little decoration wouldn’t hurt. Creative, colorful wreaths, mats or plants can be inexpensive and brighten up your entrance – and might make your neighbors like you just a tad more. If you’re partaking in shared outdoor spaces, use these tips to keep the area neighbor-friendly.
Dealing with conflict
What if you’re nowhere near making a bad impression because your neighbors are noisy and messy and it bothers you? Unfortunately, sometimes you have to confront and handle conflicts. If you do this tactfully, there shouldn’t be a problem with awkward passing later on. Approach the neighbors when they’re alone (not with friends) and in their normal state. Be polite, even smile, while you tell them what’s wrong. Giving short, simple reasons why their behavior is inappropriate is the easiest way to cause change: “I have to get up at 6 for work” is the simplest way to say, “Keep it down at night.” Making compromises can also go over well, or giving them easy alternatives so they don’t automatically get offended.