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How to Adore the Nuisance Next Door

Annoying people can be so ... annoying.

Can we all get along? – Rodney King, May 1, 1992

Every multifamily property has those one percent of residents that it’s just hard to get along with.  I suppose you don’t have to adore your annoying resident, but at least reaching a degree of vigorous tolerance can be a good thing.  For that matter, it doesn’t have to be the next-door neighbor, it could be someone on your own team at work.  Either way, can we all get along?

Here are a few ideas:

  1. Safety first. We’re not talking here about physical and emotional abusers.  There will still be some folks where the only remedy is to avoid them.
  2. Give them a second chance. Look for something to like about them.  Try to see them as human.
  3. Or not. Maybe they’re not human.  Maybe they are really trained chimpanzees.  See the humor in that?  Maybe your annoying nemesis can launch your comedy career or at least help you gain a few chuckles around the water cooler.
  4. Think blind spot. Maybe they don’t know what they do is annoying.
  5. Be Nice. Ever heard the cliché about catching more flies with honey?  I’m not sure that I get this one.  First, who wants to catch flies?  And once you catch them, aren’t you going to kill them?  I should be nice to people so I can set them up for the kill?  Maybe I’m over thinking this.  Just be nice.
  6. Watch how you behave. Body language counts.  Uncross your arms!  Remember to smile.  I’m starting to feel like your mom.
  7. Drop the gossip. Don’t start the conversation by broadcasting you can’t be trusted.
  8. Do a favor. See them in the parking lot with a trunk full of groceries?  Help them in with that.  Hold open the door. Walk together with them to their car under your umbrella when it rains.  Help scrape the snow off their car.
  9. Try to have a relationship outside of the conversation you’re always having about their [insert annoying habit here].
  10. Pay a compliment. Be honest, their miserable barking dog can be cute sometimes.
  11. Ask for a small favor unrelated to any problem. That gives the other person the chance to be the hero.  It softens them up a bit and saves you an extra trip up the stairs with those paint pales.
  12. Move out of the glass house. Maybe you’re the one with the blind spot.  Make sure you’re not giving folks reason to retaliate because you’re annoying too!

See how easy that was?  Just keep on smilin’.

Dave Decker is the author of three books, including the upcoming How to go to the Super Bowl for Free and Other Lessons from a Lifetime in Business.  Click the red button below to be notified when the book is available and get 15% off the cover price when you note 15% off in the subject line of the email.