I am a sociable, vocal, outgoing, confident person. Those who know me in writing, across the internet, see that. There is one exception that might be the same for many of you: I’m reluctant to broach confrontations! My fiancé is the same; something has to darned near be killing us before we have the guts to tell a neighbour, for instance, that something they do isn’t working for us. I thought this might be the case with our west neigbhours because the lady & I are friends. However when there was an issue with our previous south neighbours, who weren’t friends, it took us just as long to speak up and ask if they would compromise.
I don’t know if I believe in reincarnation but one thing that might bite, for not overcome it in this lifetime, is conflict resolution! Tonight, I believe I dodged that karma and brightened it up a good deal. I dragged my fiancé with me for support, sharing points with him even though I spoke. The thing people like us are timid about did occur. They weren’t as understanding as we hoped. We had to state our position repeatedly and firmly. The outcome isn’t ideal but I am very proud that we grew brave enough to march over there and be direct with them.
I think people timid about facing colleagues, Mother-in-laws, and neighbours – all tricky – get the warped idea that we are “being good friends” if we bottle it up / don’t rock the boat / keep the peace. That compounds with discomfort over an unwanted reaction. Well, the response *was* a polite argument again in the present scenario but we survived! We’re just proud and relieved we did it! Feeling miserable, worrying about “bothering” other people instead of being honest about what’s bothering us, doesn’t make us good friends. It makes us doormats and we needed to change that.
What were the issues? From 2011 to 2013, the south neighbours caged a Border Collie at their back door; overlooking our whole property! We couldn’t take a step without her wailing. If we hid inside and she went nuts over something else; the sound pounded our walls. We felt trapped. Simple rights, like sitting in a lawn chair to read or have coffee, were ruined. They refused to move the dog to the opposite side of the house and finally moved to another rural street.
With our friends west of us, their sons have ridden dirt bikes without cessation for 2 1/2 months. If they went someplace else, on a proper trail, we wouldn’t care. However one has vision problems and their Mother doesn’t trust them to go far. We’re being reluctantly understanding that she obligates them to ride in circles in front of our residential houses. We could handle it *if* the kids rode twice a day, for a half hour at a time. They don’t. A third disadvantage is not leaving my sacred hours in peace and serenity. I could handle them riding after 4:00PM. We would happily go inside and ignore them. Alas, we were told “depriving kids during the day is outrageous”. Is it not summer for us too? Do I not work from home, pay or no pay? Today: they rode from 11:00AM to 5:30PM! There was no more than 20 minutes of quiet in between! Six and a half hours? This makes us party poopers?
Other neighbours vented today that they are sick of the riding but aren’t comfortable telling those folks. The solution offered a short while ago, is that they promise quiet on odd hours and could ride on even hours. For example, I have until 10:00AM to suntan or write my book in the grass and open air (one reason we bought this property). At 12:00, 2:00, 4:00 the children may ride. I was honest that this is more staccato than I care for but politely accepted giving it a try. I can somewhat visualize my day! This is less than what is reasonable and what we deserve but what is important is that we spoke up! I am no doormat. Maybe, in ways we won’t foresee, this will establish a level of respect for us that wasn’t present before.