Part of being good neighbors with someone means respecting their boundaries and being open and communicative when things (inevitably) go wrong. So long as folks are willing to hear each other out and come to some sort of compromise, there’s hope for peace in your building and neighborhood. However, older buildings can make tensions flare because the sound filters through the walls, ceilings, and floors.
Redditor u/lunamoth25 recently shared just how entitled her downstairs neighbors are and how they’ve been badgering her, non-stop, about the ‘noise’ she and her family cause going about their everyday life. Things came to a head one night when the couple called the police over the most minor sounds ever. Read on for the full story and check out how the internet reacted to it. Bored Panda has reached out to u/lunamoth25 via Reddit and we’ll update the article as soon as we hear back from her.
Getting along with others in your apartment building means tolerating the noise from daily life
Image credits: Rido81 (not the actual photo)
However, some neighbors have absolutely no chill. One woman shared how the couple living downstairs harassed her over the tiniest peeps
Image credits: Sergey Sechko (not the actual photo)
Image credits: Daria Shatova (not the actual photo)
Image credits: Matt Popovich (not the actual photo)
Image credits: EntitledPeople
The authorities were less than amused that they were called out over the sounds of a cat running
Image credits: Ron Lach (not the actual photo)
The redditor’s story on r/EntitledPeople is a prime example of how quickly the situation can deteriorate when one side (in this case, the elderly couple living downstairs from the OP) is completely unwilling to have a normal discussion or look for some sort of middle ground that would work for everyone. From the OP’s story, it seems that the seniors are absolutely set on ignoring anyone else’s opinion or admitting that, hey, they might be in the wrong.
When the police arrived at the OP’s home, they quickly realized that they’d been called over an extremely minor issue. Specifically, redditor u/lunamoth25’s cat running around and one of her kids using the microwave. Basically, everyday stuff. This prompted the cops to say, “Jesus Christ, what a waste of time,” which sums up the entire situation incredibly well.
You’d think that was that and that the elderly couple living on the first floor would at least feel embarrassed over having called the authorities over a non-existent issue. However, the very next day, one of the OP’s downstairs neighbors screamed at her that they’re entitled to silence whenever they want it. She also threatened to get the OP kicked out of her apartment.
The thing is, the redditor is moving out in less than two months, meaning that she won’t have to deal with the constant harassment anymore. Though we kind of feel bad for whoever has to live above the belligerent couple next!
Both sides need to be willing to hear each other out if there’s any hope for a compromise
Clearly, the seniors need to either move somewhere where there’s proper insulation (and possibly no neighbors) or they have to shell out to make improvements to their own apartment so that they can live in silence like they want to. Or, there’s always the possibility that they enjoy causing drama and grumbling about everything just for the heck of it. The situation would be entirely different if they actually did have upstairs neighbors who played music at night, partied every night, and caused a massive ruckus throughout the day.
When you find yourself in an argument—with anyone!—it really helps if you take a deep breath, take a step back, and consider your options. What’s your end goal here? Even if you’re totally in the right, it’s probably best to try and defuse some of the tension. Hear the other side out and actively consider their perspective (even if you think it might be bogus at first).
The more you know what kind of person you’re dealing with, the better you can get along with them. You might find out that you should never mention certain topics around your neighbor, for instance. Meanwhile, you may figure out that your neighbor is very susceptible to flattery or they’ll be friendlier if you take the time to ask them how they’re doing. At times, the problem they’re complaining about might not be the actual issue at the root of their unhappiness. They might simply need a friendly neighbor who listens to them.
At least some level of noise is inevitable. Nobody should expect their neighbors to know how to levitate above the floor
Image credits: Andrea Piacquadio (not the actual photo)
The OP’s story is far from the only case where neighbors complain over completely normal levels of noise. Dr. Mike Talbot, the CEO of UK Mediation told The Guardian that some cases involving neighbor quarrels end up going to court.
“There was a case that went to mediation: a posh flat downstairs complaining about neighbors upstairs moving around. Upstairs said they’d already put rugs down, they didn’t put the washing machine on after 9 pm and if children visited they only played in the carpeted room. It went to court,” he explained.
“It came out that it was the noise of walking around upstairs that was upsetting them. The judge applied the reasonableness test and said: ‘They can’t hover above the ground, so live with it.’”
According to Talbot, broaching problems with your neighbors should happen on ‘neutral ground’ and you should try to time the meeting right. You shouldn’t storm up to their door, angry, in the middle of the night, for instance. What’s more, you should avoid accusing your neighbor and try to find a diplomatic way of phrasing your complaint. “Talk about the future, don’t argue over the past: ‘Can I ask that in future you keep it down after 11 pm?’ And when things improve, acknowledge it,” the mediation specialist advises.
Taking someone to court is a measure of last resort. It can be expensive and, frankly, unless you’re dealing with absolute chronic chaos, it’s unnecessary. It’s best to avoid making mountains out of molehills, stay calm during your face-to-face talks with the neighbors… and renovate your apartment if the sound of a cat running upsets you enough to call the cops!