We all enjoy a good night’s sleep. And we’ve all had the experience of dealing with that loud-ass neighbor piercing you back to reality just as you we’re starting to drift off. (If you haven’t dealt with a loud neighbor, the loud neighbor is you.)
Over three-quarters of Americans live in urban or suburban areas, so even if you aren’t in a high-rise, there’s always the risk of a screaming baby, gaggling young frat-types or that couple that’s prone to weird grunting that you *hope* is sex within earshot.
And while one of the great joys of living in a bustling place is the feeling that you’re a part of something bigger than yourself, sometime Mama just wants to watch her stories in peace, feel me?
If you tend to avoid conflict like me, we’ve come up with a list of creative things to do when you’re neighbor is being too loud. Happy complaining!
1. Send them a note asking them to please keep it down
If you live in an apartment or condo, you’re probably all too familiar with the sound of your neighbor’s footsteps echoing through the ceiling. And while a certain amount of noise is to be expected, there are some sounds that just shouldn’t be tolerated. If you find yourself being kept awake by your neighbor’s late-night parties or blaring television, it may be time to take action. One way to address the situation is to send them a note asking them to please keep it down. This approach can be effective because it is polite and non-confrontational. Plus, it gives your neighbor a chance to rectify the situation without involving the landlord or the police. However, if the noise persists after you’ve asked politely, you may need to consider more drastic measures.
2. Give them a call and nicely ask them to quiet down
OK, so now you’ve tried the note thing a few times. At first it worked but, here we are again, 12:30am, and a very needlessly-screamy game of Jenga is going on. You give them a call and nicely ask them to quiet down. At first they’re hesitant, but after you explain how much their noise is affecting your sleep, they agree to try to be quieter. It’s not perfect, but it’s a start. And at least now you can get some rest.
3. Put up signs around your building telling people to be quiet
The ultimate non-confrontational move if you don’t want to be too direct is to put up signs asking people to be quiet. You can put up signs in common areas like the lobby or hallways, or even inside your own apartment. While it may not seem like much, putting up these signs can remind people to be aware of the noise they’re making and help to keep things more quiet. And hey, if you live in an apartment building, it may make further away neighbors pipe down too.
4. Drown out the noise with white noise or your own music
If you’ve tried everything else and your neighbor is still being too loud, then it may be time to take more drastic measures. One way to drown out the sound of your neighbor is to play music or white noise at a loud volume. This can be a little uncomfortable, but it’s better than not being able to get any sleep. Plus, once your neighbor realizes that they’re being too loud, they may be more likely to quiet down.
5. Block out the sound with earplugs or headphones
If all else fails and you can’t stand the sound of your neighbor anymore, then block out the sound with earplugs or headphones. This isn’t an ideal solution, but it’s better than not getting any sleep at all.
6. Talk to your neighbor in person about the noise
If you’ve tried all of the methods mentioned above and your neighbor is still being too loud, it may be time to talk to them in person about the noise. This can be a little uncomfortable, but it’s the best way to get your point across. You can explain how the noise is affecting you and ask them to try to be quieter. If they’re reasonable, they’ll probably be willing to cooperate.
7. File a complaint with the police or landlord
If talking to your neighbor doesn’t work, then you may need to file a complaint with the police or landlord. This can be a last resort, but it may be necessary if the noise is really bothering you. The police or landlord may be able to talk to the neighbor and get them to quiet down. Or, they may have to get involved if the noise is causing a disturbance.
If all else fails, you may have no choice but to move away from your noisy neighbor. This can be difficult, but it’s often the only solution if the noise is really affecting your quality of life. Just make sure you give yourself enough time to find a new place so you don’t have to deal with the stress of moving in the middle of finals or crunch time at work.
And avoid looking at yourself in the mirror: if you’re this nonconfrontational, you won’t be looking at much anyway.
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