Tips for Neighborly Communication
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1. Talk directly.
Direct conversation is much more effective than sending a letter, banging on the wall, throwing a rock, or complaining to everyone else.
2. Choose a good time.
Try to talk in a quite place where you can both be comfortable and undisturbed for as long as the discussion takes. Don't approach the other person as he or she is leaving for work, or after you've had a terrible day.
3. Plan ahead.
Think out what you want to say ahead of time. State clearly what the problem is and how it affects you.
4. Don't blame or name-call.
Antagonizing the other person only makes it harder for him or her to hear you.
5. Give information.
Don't judge or interpret the other person's behavior. Instead, give information about your own situation and feelings, and how the person's behavior affects you.
Give the other person a chance to tell his or her side of the conflict completely. Relax and listen; try to learn how the other person feels.
7. Show you are listening.
Although you may not agree with what is being said, tell the other person you hear him or her, and are glad you are discussing the problem together.
8. Talk it all through.
Get all the issues and feelings out in the open. Don't leave out the part that seems too difficult to discuss.
9. Work on a joint solution.
Two or more people cooperating are much more effective than one person telling another to change. Be specific. "I will turn my music off at midnight" is better than "I won't play loud music anymore."
10. Follow through.
Agree to check with each other at specific times to make sure that the agreement is still working.