Effective Conflict Mediation

Noisy Neighbours
I have new neighbours upstairs, and I noticed them because they were a little loud when they first moved in. Things have settled down since then, and now I am only aware of them when they drop something heavy on the floor. So, it came as a new surprise to hear one of them yelling out of the window last night.

It was a Thursday night, and there was a hockey game on TV. I stopped watching it just before 10:00 when the Sharks were losing 2-5 to the Kings. I still don’t know what was the final score. Anyway, there had been some loud shouting and laughter coming from another unit in my condo complex, and I assumed they were watching the game. I expected that the vocal ejaculations would end soon. I was right, but not for the reasons I had imagined.

My upstairs neighbour opened her window and yelled out “If you have a mental illness, you should make more noise!”

What? I actually furrowed my brow, and I never do that because it makes wrinkles. I have no idea what she meant, but her tone was clearly angry. Surprisingly, even though her words made absolutely no sense, they had the desired effect. The partying parties ceased their jollity.

But why did she say that? It was very odd. Perhaps she meant:
• If you make more noise, I will assume you are mentally ill, or
• If you are mentally ill you have my permission to make more noise, or
• Your behaviour is so inappropriate and will assume you are mentally ill, or
• Would all the mentally ill people in the complex please make more noise, or
• It would not be wise of you make more noise because I will come over there and berate you.

I don’t know. What I am now confronted with, though, is the realization that something so illogical could have the desired effect. Apparently, I’ve been approaching conflict mediation wrongly all this time. Damn. In future, I will just say something totally meaningless in a very indignant tone. I can think of a few public figures I could use as role models. Yeah, that’ll work.


Image source: http://www.homesandproperty.co.uk/sites/default/files/media/images/noisy_neighbours_350_10320.jpg


  1. When face to face with strangers who make inexplicably rude comments, I occasionally just put on my Wednesday Addams face and begin jabbering in my made-up language while making slashing motions with my right hand. Mostly, then, they go away. 🙂

    I’m glad something worked.

  2. LBMM at least directs negativity at him/herself. I felt as though I had been punched in the stomach when I read what was yelled out a window. I’ve experienced much negativity aimed at me since I have lived most of my 70 years with a disability. The upstairs neighbor had best not direct any of her sh^^ at me because I have no qualms about sarcastically responding. I also direct my negativity at my own foibles rather a direct attack on a stranger. I so hope the neighbor is a tenant and not an owner…they may leave sooner rather than later.

    1. Mary Beth, I am so sorry my story upset you. My neighbour’s yelled comment was rude, inflammatory, and uncalled-for. I hope that it was just a momentary lapse in good judgement and that there will be no further incidents. If there are, I will certainly take issue with her. The previous occupants of that unit were renters, so I assume that the current occupants are, too.

Please leave a comment.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.