Sometimes, People Surprise Me: Noisy Neighbour Update

Last night I was in a bit of a mess. We had been subjected to excessive noise from our new neighbours, and because of the awful experience we have had in the past I ended up having a full blown anxiety attack.

I decided to bite the bullet and spoke to one of the lads this morning. I timed it so I caught up with him when he was leaving the house for work and asked him (in my most disgustingly nice and polite voice) if he had a few minutes. I explained about what had happened at the previous house and why this still has such an impact on us now. I then told him that I felt really awful about having to say anything to him, and that it wasn’t about hating music or singing as my degree is in music and I taught music for nearly ten years, but the volume of it and the times they played it was affecting our ability to relax in our home, which should be a place of sanctuary. I explained that the walls were paper thin, and gave the example of when I was in the bath the other night (with the bathroom being upstairs, right at the back of the house) I could hear him singing Elvis Costello’s ‘She,’ from his downstairs front room, and added a joke about it being one of my favourite songs, but that just showed how much we can hear. He blushed. I also decided to be honest and told him that we had been dreading the weekend just in case they did the same as they did last weekend. I also added that we had had several sets of neighbours living in that house and had always had good relationships with them.

I braced myself for a fight or being told to f*ck off, but he was incredibly lovely and apologised profusely. Apparently, they had no idea of how loud they were being and that they had never lived in a terraced house before, and that he was really sorry that they had made us feel like that and wouldn’t ever want to cause any issues. He said he wouldn’t be playing loud music and would make sure that they were more considerate.

Then he gave me a hug.

The sense of relief was enormous – I had been psyching myself up and I was so nervous that I was physically shaking by the time I spoke to him, and I think that he could see it. Then he told me to have a lovely day and got in his car.

A few hours later there was a knock at the door. There was my neighbour, holding two bunches of beautiful flowers as an apology. He gave me his phone number and said to text him any time it was too much.

It was such a lovely surprise that I almost bloody cried on him. It turns out that some people occasionally defy expectation. Perhaps I need to stop being so cynical…

Here’s to a music-free weekend!

Thank you all so much for your messages – I haven’t had chance to reply to them all as yet but they are all greatly appreciated!

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133 thoughts on “Sometimes, People Surprise Me: Noisy Neighbour Update

    • I don’t deal with confrontation well generally – I can fight my corner if I need to but I hate doing it, and it makes it so much worse when they live next door… It could have gone so badly!

  1. OMG! We carry the wrong notion of people most of the time. Not all people are the same. I love how he decided to go an extra mile and get you flowers to make up for the triuble he might have caused you. That’s a happy ending.💕

  2. As someone who has also had her share of noisy neighbours, I can tell you I feel your sense of relief. The last dude that lived next door had mental health issues. He was up at all hours of the night, raging and punching walls, screaming, yelling. He even went so far as to harass several females in the area (restraining order ensued, which meant he had to move). He rented his place out to a few different people, but eventually he fell behind on payments and the bank seized his place. When I heard this, from another neighbour, I wanted to cry. This man had been terrorizing my family for a few years, waking my kids up at all hours, making all of us dread coming home (HOME – it should be a refuge, not a place to hate!). I know what that anxiety feels like, and I am so, SO happy that this had a happy ending for you. Sometimes it takes ne bad neighbour to make us doubt any other neighbour will be decent! ❤

  3. How wonderful! I have also had bad experiences with neighbors and their music and timing. I never care if they went all out until it hit 10PM because that’s what the stadium across the road a bit did as well. But after then… no sir! I have had both kinds of reactions! I’m so glad it went well for you this time!

  4. You must be very proud of yourself for overcoming your anxiety and confronting him Suzi. He is apparently a compassionate young man, see if he is single and give his number to someone you know who is also single! As I was reading this we have a band in the street playing classical music, it is rather lovely, which has now stopped 🙂

  5. I had a terrible experience with a neighbor in my old place. No one will ever understand the psychological trauma that can happen when relaxing in your own home or good sleep is made impossible by neighbors. It sounds dramatic, but it’s not. Everyone deserves to feel their home is a sanctuary. I am grateful that I have excellent neighbors, with whom I’ve built relationships with now. I can totally, 100% relate to the relief you felt when he was receptive to your concerns and needs. Huge hug for you, friend 🤗!

  6. There is another option since he is a nice guy. If your neighbor loves loud music, he can buy a wireless stereo headset and disconnect the regular speakers. That way he can wear the headset blast himself into deafness at a faster pace.

    Since we’re talking about music, Have you heard Angelina Jordan sing? This one blows me away — not literally. I think she was 10 when she recorded this one.

  7. Not far from me, one neighbor complained about the short term renter who was staying next door. Like your neighbor, this visitor was singing at the top of his lungs at all hours. She’d caught a glimpse of him and noticed he was a big bearded guy. She felt too intimidated to knock on his door but simply couldn’t stand it any longer. So she called the police.
    They arrived some time later and peace was restored. The next day she found an envelope under her door mat. It included two tickets to a nearby concert and a scribbled apology.
    It turns out this music-lover’s next-door visitor was none other than Luciano Pavoratti!
    Perhaps your neighbors are headed to the stage?
    Vincent

  8. I actually felt slightly emotional reading that! I think I could just really feel your pain through your writing. What a nice guy though. Sounds like he felt mega guilty. So, so glad you plucked up the courage to speak to him x

  9. I read this yesterday snd it reminded me of a time when I was once a noisy neighbour- just one Saturday when I started working in the UK and all the other Irish teachers came back to our house for a drink. I didn’t know them well enough and it was noisier than I wanted. The next day I brought the neighbours wine and chocolate and profuse apologies. The shame 😳 but we got on so well after xx you did the right thing

  10. I understand how difficult it is to approach someone in these circumstances, it must have taken all the guts in the world! Well done for stepping outside your comfort zone, and I hope they keep up their part of the deal now 🙂 xx

  11. Well done on being brave AND polite enough to have that conversation well in spite of what had happened before! I’m so glad you have nice neighbours now, it makes such a difference to being able to relax when you’re at home!

  12. He sounds like a pretty sound guy – glad it worked out. My neighbours and I have a bit of a system going – if we have a party we invite each other. Seems to work – but then wild parties don’t happen too often!

    • Hahaha! That’s so great! At the rate they seem to have them I couldn’t keep up, and the neighbours on the other side have a toddler… I think I’ll nominate their house for my parties haha!

  13. How wonderful to have such caring and empathetic neighbors! People like yourself and your new neighbors are ones who build healthy communities. They speak up in good times and in bad. I’m so glad that everything turned out so well, and I imagine it did so because of the respectful way you approached the difficult confrontation. Thanks for sharing your story!

  14. I’m glad that things went well for you! 🙂

    I live in Japan and everyone here is so quiet (especially after 8 pm, my street looks like a deserted spooky town that comes out from a horror movie) and I’ve heard cases like police showing up in front of the door because the neighbours complained about the noises.

  15. Doesn’t this just give your faith in others as considerate, kind humans a huge boost? So many people have no idea who their neighbours are, let alone communicate with them – maybe we all need to talk to each other a bit more to find out who we really are. Maybe you will be invited over to enjoy some music and a glass of something! Unfortunately for me, it is my husband who plays the loud music….the kids and I are constantly shouting at him and now he has sound proofed the room – but he conveniently can’t hear us now when being called!!!

  16. My neighbours have regular parties but mainly during the day and by mid evening it’s all winding down and then just about conversation quiet. Never really had any problems.

  17. I’m so glad it worked out! Sometimes you become your own biggest enemy, which I am guilty of doing myself. And the neighbor was so nice to give you flowers as an apology 😍 Hope you continue to have great neighborly relations.

    • Thank you! The problem is certainly more heightened in my own brain to a point, where even the slightest noise will set me off, but it is really out of control when that level of noise starts…

  18. I’m so glad your experience turned out positive! I think you’re going to be on very good terms with these neighbors. What a relief! Kudos to you for being honest!

  19. You did the right thing and ‘confronted’ him in a polite and nice manner. If you lashed out, sure it would not have had the same effect, in fact, quite the opposite. Yes it is nice to still have decent people around, and the way he apologized and then also came around with flowers, say to me he is honest about it and I just hope and trust that he will keep his promise.

  20. hope this is just the beginning of a wonderful relationship with your neighbors and that you all can truly become good friends. I hope you have had a weekend of peace and quiet and that there were no more anxiety attacks… <3….

  21. That is such a nice story, people are generally nice most of the time. Go you for being so brave! 💖

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