Neighbors. Everyone’s got ’em. Sometimes for the better…sometimes not.
Recently, our friends at Jezebel asked us if we could share any tips about how to get along with one’s neighbors and we were happy to oblige. Check out Jezebel’s full social minefield article and see the tips we shared below!
Should you introduce yourself to your neighbors when you or they move in? What’s the best way to do so?
When debating whether or not to introduce yourself to your new neighbors, first do some casual recon.
Does your neighbor seem like someone you’d want in your life? Of course it would be wonderful to have a great friendship with a neighbor, but there’s also reason to be cautious as well.
The thing about neighbor-friends, as opposed to any other type of friends, is that your neighbor knows where you live and has super easy access to you. It’s often easy to befriend a neighbor…it’s not as easy to “unfriend.” You don’t want someone constantly stopping by, asking you for favors, especially if it’s not a reciprocal relationship.
Once you decide that your neighbor isn’t crazy, a slow organic introduction works best. Say hello when you pass one another in the hall and gradually build up to a friendly conversation. Usually, it takes one person to take that leap from friendly acquaintance to friend, so after you make an introduction, feel free to get your bake on – but not before. Especially in New York, people tend to not open doors for people they don’t know (and for good reason!)
Any tips on dealing with noisy neighbors?
Any sleep lover can attest – noisy neighbors are the worst! Good thing one out of two noisy neighbors (ish), don’t know they’re disturbing you. As with most people problems, there’s the passive and direct way to handle it. Unfortunately, noisy neighbors are NOT going to understand your grunts or angry glares through the walls, which means that you’ll have to the direct approach.
Before you consider calling 311 on them, ring their bell and share your concerns. You might well be surprised by the positive outcome. If you’re already on good terms with them, so much the better.
What should you do to avoid angering your neighbors if you’re about to do something noisy?
Having the cops called on your party in college often meant that your party was awesome. Alas, now that we’re adults, it just means having to deal with obnoxious fines and red-tape. Save yourself the trouble by giving your neighbors the heads-up when you’ll be loud, and let them know that you can turn down the volume if need be.
If you use your apartment for band practice, try to find a time when your neighbors aren’t home. Just by asking them, you’ll often totally win them over. Also, be aware that the official NYC quiet hours are from 10pm-7am. Check out the actual NYC laws if you’d like the exact “ambient” language.
What should you do if you suspect your neighbors of stealing your mail?
Get there first, obviously! Yeah, so for all of us working folks, that’s often not possible. If it’s an item like a magazine, it may be worth it to nicely leave a note on top of your communal mail pile (if it exists) to see if anyone has seen it. Alternatively, most magazines have a customer service phone number/email for when issues haven’t arrived, that will help you get a new copy.
But, if you notice ANY of your mail disappearing, definitely get all packages/valuables delivered to another address. It’d be great if we could all afford doorman buildings, but we can’t. Most office don’t mind if you have personal mail delivered to your word address, but check with your office manager to make sure.
Do you have any personal tips to share? Let us know!
I really enjoyed your post. I have to say that I have definitely faced a few of those situations in my life, and it’s not always as easy making neighbor friends as it looks on the Flinstones.
Our favorite New York Magazine has some real life neighbor stories.
Here’s one of them.