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Had issue with a neighbor, need advice
Old 01-14-2013, 11:01 AM   #1
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Had issue with a neighbor, need advice

Back in October, I got into a blow out with a neighbor who lives across the street. Without getting into specifics, I did a lot of name calling, swore, yelled etc. The neighbor remained relatively calm. I also called the cops.

A few days later, I realized that I was way out of line and was thinking of apologizing but did not want to go over and enter their property unannounced so I figured I would wait until I could catch the neighbor on the street. Well, 3 months went by before I saw the neighbor getting out of their car parked across the street and just as he was to walk in his yard, I called out that I wanted to apologize, but the neighbor kept walking very fast and went right into his house, totally ignoring me, so I never got a chance to explain myself.

I now feel like I lowered myself and wondered if I just should have not tried to apologize since nothing really came of it. I feel like an idiot.

Just looking for advice. Thanks
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:06 AM   #2
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thinking of apologizing but did not want to go over and enter their property unannounced so I figured I would wait until I could catch the neighbor on the street.
Telephones can be very useful. So can letters in the mail.
It's certainly not too late to use one of those means of communication if you want to avoid a face to face confrontation.
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:11 AM   #3
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Just my two cents, but I think your neighbor is probably avoiding any situation where there would be a potential for face-to-face contact with you. You may want to try emailing this person or writing a nice apology note in a letter and dropping it in their mailbox.
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:12 AM   #4
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He must be somewhat leery of you. Perhaps you could just drop him a note explaining you hoped to apologize sooner, but hadn't seen him. I would say you feel bad for what happened that day and just wanted to let him know. He might not ever respond but at least you could gain some peace.

Best of luck.
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:19 AM   #5
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He must be somewhat leery of you. Perhaps you could just drop him a note explaining you hoped to apologize sooner, but hadn't seen him. I would say you feel bad for what happened that day and just wanted to let him know. He might not ever respond but at least you could gain some peace.

Best of luck.
+1
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:21 AM   #6
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Back in October, I got into a blow out with a neighbor who lives across the street. Without getting into specifics, I did a lot of name calling, swore, yelled etc. The neighbor remained relatively calm. I also called the cops.

A few days later, I realized that I was way out of line ....
I would be scared to death of you forever (and would never get over your calling the police on me). I think you should just chalk this up to a life lesson and limit yourself to a friendly wave from across the street if you see him.
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:25 AM   #7
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He must be somewhat leery of you. Perhaps you could just drop him a note explaining you hoped to apologize sooner, but hadn't seen him. I would say you feel bad for what happened that day and just wanted to let him know. He might not ever respond but at least you could gain some peace.

Best of luck.
+ 1. Not infrequently we read about some neighbor losing his cool and shooting a neighbor he is annoyed with.

If I were your neighbor, I would be considering moving, and I would be in no mood to engage you.

I am not sure what is best to do, at this point maybe just keep to yourself and be sure your behavior can always be seen as nonthreatening. Almost anything you do may be perceived as violating a boundary that he feels must be there. If he has a wife and children they may be terrified.

Ha
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:04 PM   #8
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+1 to the idea of writing a letter to let your neighbor know that you realize you were in the wrong. It may be too much to expect that he will talk to you again, but it may help him to no longer see you as a threat.

If it were me, I would write a letter to apologize, and then carry on with my life.
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:05 PM   #9
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Since you wanted to apologize, and the first attempt to do so wasn't successful, I think you should make another attempt. As others noted, a written apology - dropped in his mailbox or actually mailed - or email or whatever else might work. If the second attempt is likewise futile, you can sleep at night knowing you made the good-faith effort.
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:08 PM   #10
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+1 to the idea of writing a letter to let your neighbor know that you realize you were in the wrong. It may be too much to expect that he will talk to you again, but it may help him to no longer see you as a threat.

If it were me, I would write a letter to apologize, and then carry on with my life.
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:11 PM   #11
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I agree with the others that a written apology is a good approach.
Make sure you admit you were wrong. That you are culpable. That goes a long way towards giving your apology some credibility.
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Old 01-14-2013, 01:20 PM   #12
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I now feel like I lowered myself and wondered if I just should have not tried to apologize since nothing really came of it. I feel like an idiot.

Just looking for advice. Thanks
Mike,

I'd definitely send that letter. You may never get an acknowledgement much less any friendly waves but that isn't the point. To say you now feel somewhat in the wrong doesn't even strike me as the major issue. Rather, the sort of negative encounter you describe can create a pervasive sense of unease. For both families. No one needs that kind of stress where they live.

So mail that letter. There's no need to go into details or admit any wrongdoing if you feel uneasy about putting stuff in writing. Can just leave it at you wish the incident had not occurred. Could say something like you've learned to count to 10 before reacting. And that should there ever be an emergency and/or help needed in the future you will be a good neighbor. Maybe finish with a sentence saying no response is needed.

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Old 01-14-2013, 01:27 PM   #13
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The fact you waited for 3 months shows you are not serious about apologizing. If I were your neighbor I would called the police once you come near my property. Maybe is easier if you send your wife over to calm the situation.
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Old 01-14-2013, 01:28 PM   #14
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Oh, and Mike, one more thing.

After sending the letter, make it clear you aren't trying to engage in any way. When you see them in the street I'd raise my hand in a friendly greeting but lower my head, keep moving and try not to make eye contact. At this point it's all about defusing tension.

Just my thoughts ...
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Old 01-14-2013, 01:32 PM   #15
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The fact you waited for 3 months shows you are not serious about apologizing. If I were your neighbor I would called the police once you come near my property. Maybe is easier if you send your wife over to calm the situation.
Not necessarily. An apology that comes too quickly may appear to not be heartfelt or truly thought-out. Besides, it is never too late for an apology.
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Old 01-14-2013, 01:33 PM   #16
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The fact you waited for 3 months shows you are not serious about apologizing. If I were your neighbor I would called the police once you come near my property. Maybe is easier if you send your wife over to calm the situation.
Yes. At this point the issue isn't so much apologizing so *you* feel better. It's more letting the other family know you've come to your senses so to speak. A necessary gesture to give *them* some peace of mind.
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:09 PM   #17
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I have learned to be wary of people's so called apologies. Many of them are just one more gambit, like making the malefactor feel better. Which in my opinion is not a very important goal. And if you are going to send a letter, stay the heck away from his house and mailbox. He feels that you are a loose cannon. If you send a letter, use US mail. And if you plan to send a letter that carefully avoids accepting respnsibility, don't bother. He will see through it. Probably this is a done deal, and it will change when one of you moves away

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Old 01-14-2013, 02:16 PM   #18
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I can't imagine any issue that would require me to yell or curse at my neighbor, and I have had a number of neighbors in my life, some good some no so good. I can't really respond without knowing what on earth triggered the event ? That fact that he stayed calm while you blew a gasket shows some discpline and maturity on his part.

That said, man up, grow up and ask to meet him in a neutral place and apologize face to face. Email or snail mail just would not show true sincerity on your part, IMHO.

You may want to seek counselling for anger issues as well.
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:56 PM   #19
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me thinks you scared the crap out of him.
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Old 01-14-2013, 03:31 PM   #20
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Look at it from your neighbor's perspective. A guy curses you out and makes trouble. Then a few months later wants to make contact with you. I am sure the guy has you figured as trash. Leopards don't change their spots.
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