Raise your hand if you find yourself dealing with statements and positions taken by this tenor every day: "The stroller on the landing gets in the way" or the great classic "you can't play ball in the courtyard, let alone whiz with the scooter". How many of us see ourselves in the infinite series of complaints that our neighbors make to us (or that we do in turn)? But why does it seem so difficult to get along with people across the street, or at least to manage the situation in a civilized way?
Read also: Education of yesterday and today compared: "Once" was it more polite?
THE NEIGHBOR IS NOT THE GUILTY: WE LEARN TO BE IN CONFLICT
"The others, in this case the neighbors of the apartment, are perceived as an obstacle to our being in the world: it is not an objective but a symbolic obstacle" - he explains, training manager of the CPP, counselor and trainer and author of the books ". Learning to say no. A clear and effective guide to take control of one's life at home and at work "and" The power of yes. Overcoming fears in small and big everyday choices "both published by BUR-Rizzoli.
"In this current era we are witnessing a frenzy in the search for the culprit of my impediment: the other, in this capacity, becomes the recipient of my anger and frustration. For example, if I worked the night shift and I want to rest in the afternoon, the children who play ball automatically become responsible for my discomfort. "
A further piece of this distorted view is given by representation of space in a private way. "My apartment, even if inserted in a collective context such as the condominium, is seen as my personal domain with no space for others: the same goes for landings, stairs and courtyards. Unfortunately, this vision is becoming systemic and not episodic: it is precisely the world that is often seen from this perspective ".
"But to stay there I must necessarily relate to others: it would be impossible to imagine a world without courtyards, children playing with them and strollers placed on the edge of the stairs".Read also: Teenage children: the rules to give (and not the commands)
So how to get out of this trap, specifically with the neighbors?
“You have to understand that the conflict is a mode of relating that we must learn to manage in order to live together better, not only as neighbors but also as civil society, and that conflictual competence serves to find an agreement in the interest of all ".
Returning to the example above, "if I worked the night shift and I want to sleep, I have to find an agreement with the children who play in the yard and their families, to get better: I rest and they have fun".
Screaming out the window will surely do little good. "Conflicting competence helps us to feel good in the world together with others".Read also: How to handle conflicts in the classroom
HOW TO FIND A COMMON LAND WITH NEIGHBORS
So let's see some practical ideas to better manage conflicts with neighbors.
1 - DON'T TACKLE EVERYTHING AS AN EMERGENCY
“Don't deal with every little accident as an emergency: you don't need to call the administrator if there is a stroller on the landing. The ideal is to establish a pact between condominiums. Alongside the security plan there should always be the conflict plan: what are the situations of potential friction in which we could find ourselves? We all have a meeting together, we draw up this list and a modus operandi to get out of it well and in a civilized way, understanding that everyone can do their part and that above all the condominium is a land in which to cultivate relationships. We don't all have to be friends, but it must be understood that there must be a relationship at the base ”.
2 - NO TO PROHIBITIONS, YES TO THE RULES
“Another useful step to take is to ban the bans and give way to the rules, which are clear and sustainable for the people who live in the condominium. If there are many children, it is useless to put a prescription such as "Do not make noise": you need a rule appropriate to the context. The rule "regulates" and does not "eliminate" the problem, but gives it a sustainable measure. Eliminating noise is an absurd claim, regulating it at certain times is common sense ".
3 - DO NOT ACCUSION BUT APPLY TO THE RULES
If you have built common ground, then you can safely handle emergencies. In this case, there is no need to furiously knock on the door of the tenant who makes a noise "just refer to the shared rule, choose statements such as" listen, I'll give you this information / I'll call you back to mutual commitment "is a mode that certainly provides better people listening ".
4 - MAINTAIN AFFECTIVE TIES
The "conflict plan" and relations with neighbors must then be taken care of and not considered done once and for all. “Things work out if we maintain them. If there is a problem we have to ask ourselves “Why is this not working? What can we do?". Let us remember that the bond with those who live in our building or block exists in spite of ourselves, whether we like it or not. This doesn't mean we have to be friends but it must be recognized that there is an emotional context".
5 - START THE CONVERSATION WITH A QUESTION AND NOT AN ACCUSATION
An always useful tool in conflict management is to use a way of entering communication that starts from a question and not from an attack. “Let's avoid starting by telling others what to do but let's try to use some maieutic questions". An example? "I heard that the children were in trouble last night: can we help you in any way?".Read also: Seven lies that were told to parents: let's dispel them
6 - LISTEN TO THE SECOND MOVE
Never act on impulse and do the first thing that comes to mind: “We do not indulge the anger of the moment and we do not go after the first emotion, but we take time. It is not useful to react to the first hypothesis of action (which is generally "now I'll go there and I'll show him"): the second and third moves that come to mind are generally more filtered and more useful for relationships with others " .
7 - EXTEND THE HORIZON
Always remember that common spaces are places of sociality: “our behavior is never just individual, but it is also social. This is why we must avoid always thinking in exclusive terms, in the style of "has it with me" but we must always think in the plural and don't forget that you are in a collective context. A mother does not leave the stroller at the bottom of the stairs to disturb me personally, but perhaps because she cannot always carry it on her own ".
8 - LOOK FOR A DIRECT CONTACT
Rather than resorting to the administrator for a trifle, let's make an effort to create direct relationships: "in front of an uninvolved third party one tends to let off steam without filters, but in front of the other's face one brakes and takes a step back".
Let's take a practical example:
"Good morning, I hope I didn't bother you with the kids last night"
"Yes, it actually bothered me."
"I understand that she bothers but I have two children, my husband comes back late in the evening and I am alone to manage them. I do my best. Have a good day."
"Direct contact is certainly stinging but it is the most effective one. We do not necessarily have to expect understanding or friendship, the distance in the conflict is foreseen, but the important thing is to calmly explain your point of view. The other cannot avoid acknowledging it", conclude .Read also: Today's Parents: Strengths and Weaknesses
- quarrels children
- 1-2 children years