Why can’t we all just get along? Let’s face it, living with parents, roommates or neighbors isn’t always easy. The key to successful Philadelphia apartment living? Good communication. It’s often the best way to prevent and resolve conflict before it boils over. You don’t have to be best friends or spend the Super Bowl together to achieve a peaceful coexistence, but you should try to be a good neighbor and follow these tips:
Smile and say hi! At the mailbox, while walking your dog or when you see a moving van arrive and stressed out new people move in, introduce yourself. You can bring a box of cookies or brownies, a bouquet of flowers or a basket with handmade soap. Learn your neighbors’ names and try and offer a friendly greeting. A smile is contagious!
Advance notice. If you’re planning on hanging a bunch of pictures after work or hosting a big party in your apartment, contact your neighbors beforehand. It is a simple courtesy that can avoid resentment.
Remember the golden rule. Treat neighbors as you would like to be treated. Be thoughtful about noise from vehicles, stereos, pets, etc. Our residents have very diverse work hours and someone is probably sleeping somewhere, sometime.
Respect differences. Make an effort to understand each other. Differences in age, gender, ethnic background and family lifestyle can lead to different expectations or misunderstandings.
We share hallways, common areas and elevators. Keep common areas that others can see presentable by clearing boxes, garbage and mail.
Appreciate. If your neighbors do something nice, let them know. They’ll be pleased you noticed, and it’ll be easier to talk later if they do something you don’t like.
Stay positive. Most people don’t try to create problems, we all get a little wrapped up in our own lives sometimes. If a neighbor does something that irritates you, don’t assume it was intentional.
Talk honestly. Tolerance is important, but don’t let a real irritation go because it seems unimportant or hard to discuss. Let your neighbors know if something they do annoys you.
Be respectful. Talk directly to your neighbors if there’s a problem. Gossiping with others can damage relationships and create trouble.
Be calm. If a neighbor mentions a problem, thank them for sharing and don’t jump to play defense. You don’t have to agree or justify any behavior. Count to ten before responding.
Listen carefully. When discussing a problem, try to understand your neighbor’s position and why he or she feels that way.
Take your time. Don’t be afraid to take time to think about what you and your neighbor have discussed and table the conversation for a later time. Sometimes a little distance can lead to a little more clarity and understanding.