Deadly Places

Helpful Hints for Dealing with Neighborly Conflict

posted: 05/19/14
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Fear Thy Neighbor

Fear Thy Neighbor is a show that deals with what happens when neighborly disputes are taken too far and have dangerous, or even fatal consequences. Here are some tips that could help you during your own dispute that could keep that from happening.

1. Be Considerate of Your Neighbors - Be a good neighbor and go out of your way to communicate. For example, if you are having a party, make sure that you let your neighbors know. Give them your phone number so they can call you rather than the police if they have a problem.

2. Talk to Your Neighbors - If you have an issue, talk it through calmly and explain your point of view. Be diplomatic but don't be a pushover either.

3. Never Argue - Don't get drawn into this cycle of negativity; if the situation gets really bad, it's best to stop talking and reduce contact with your neighbors.

4. Know Your Rights - Research the local laws so you know where you stand and also seek help online. There are many websites and forums that offer support and guidance.

5. Deal With Issues As They Happen - Don't let things build up and fester. If you have a hard time talking about it, write a letter and lay out all the facts and offer solutions. Sometimes by documenting the problem, it helps evaluate how serious the situation really is.

6. Your Home is Your Castle - Rather than having to move to get away from a nasty situation, consider bringing in a mediator to help solve the problem. A third party can often help smooth ruffled feathers.

7. Document Your Case - If you have tried all of the above with no success, install video cameras and document everything - dates, times, etc. - which will help your case if the law gets involved.

8. Get to Know Your Local Police - Most departments routinely assign the same officers to the same neighborhoods. Build a rapport. Cordially solicit the local patrol person's advice and by all means attend community meetings. Sometimes it helps if local community leaders know you.

9. Neighborhood Watch - Contact the police about starting a neighborhood group. It's synergistic and helps the police and the neighborhood.

10. Vacations - Let the police know when you take vacation so they can check your house. Sometimes the most they can do is drive-by, but everything helps.

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