I live in low-income elderly housing and one-third of the people on my first floor don’t like me. My crimes? When the guy two doors down the hall had loud booze parties for 3 – 4 hours a day starting at noon I put up with it for about two months and then politely asked him to please keep his door closed. You would think I slammed him over his head with a boulder. Where has courtesy and consideration for one’s neighbor gone?
And then, there was the barking dog that started at 7:30 AM howling and yipping for about 3 or 4 hours every day. When his owner finally took him out for a potty walk the poor dog pooped in front of my door, Don’t even bother to ask the owner to clean it up… “My dog didn’t do that, yours did,” he claimed.
Yesterday, I politely asked the man who was smoking (illegally) near my air conditioner to please move further away. I am assaulted with rants and raves and told, “You are a bully.” In exasperation, I swore at him.
Today, I’m wishing that people were not mad at me but they are. I’m also confused and angry at myself for caring whether I’m liked or not. But let’s face it, folks, it’s damn uncomfortable having to walk by angry stares and looks of contempt from my neighbors. In fact, if there was an underground tunnel I could use to get to my car to avoid them, I would.
You see I am in a double-bind every time one of my neighbors causes a disturbance, I can either suffer in silence, go to management and be told, “You are the only one complaining.” Or, I can politely ask the perpetrator to please tone down his offensive actions. There is no simple solution that will please everyone I’m afraid. Damned if I do and damned if I don’t.
I had an insight yesterday. I think the universe is offering me teachable moments: I can continue speaking up and perhaps eventually my skin will develop a thickness that will not let the anger from people ooze into my consciousness.
I’ll let you know how this works out. Keep tuned. I have more stories about neighbors.