One of the relationships that can be the best or the worst is that of neighbor relationships. Having a neighbor who is your friend can be so wonderful. It means having someone to borrow that cup of sugar from, or to run over and talk to when you just need to vent, or to rely on to pick up your mail when you head out of town, etc. However, a neighbor you don't get along with can be just as bad as a friendly neighbor is good.
Neighbor problems can arise from any number of reasons, it might be because of a shared border. It might be because of noise or traffic. It might be because you hit their garbage can when backing out of your drive. The possibilities are endless, so when dealing with a nasty neighbor, it is important to realize that it doesn't matter that much what the nastiness is about. Often, if it is not one thing, it will be another. So, in order to overcome the problems associated with having a nasty neighbor, which might be as little and insignificant as dirty looks, and could be escalated to phone calls to the cops, etc., you need to focus on improving the relationship.
The following are a few tips for improving a relationship with a nasty neighbor:
1. Include them. If you are having a neighborhood party, or are standing out in the neighborhood talking to someone else, always be sure to include them. If someone feels excluded they are likely to lash out, or act unkind, maybe your nasty neighbor just needs a friend.
2. Remember them on holidays. Neighbor gifts, and kind gestures, cards, etc. can be a nice way to help repair some of the nasty neighbor damage. So, always think of them on holidays.
3. Get togethers. One great way to get over some of the tension or drama with neighbors is to become their friend. Invite them over for a BBQ, or for dinner, or to play games, or watch a movie, or something so that you begin the bonds of friendship.
4. Extend the hand of friendship, offering to pick things up for them at the store, etc. It is easy to get past problems with someone when you are giving them service. So, if you are mowing the lawn that borders theirs, why not just mow theirs right along with your own? If you are running to the store, and pass them by, ask if you can pick anything up for them. A kind gesture can go along way to patching wounds and starting friendships.
5. Talk to them when problems arise. All too often the reasons neighborhood problems lead to nasty neighbors is that no one says anything because of awkwardness or fear of stepping on toes, hurting feelings, etc. However, often, something as simple as a conversation should eliminate a great deal of problems.