Thursday, April 11, 2013

EXCERPT: Harassment

Better neighbors don’t want to be immersed in our conflicts, and can’t be counted on for support in most cases I’ve studied, even if they’re our close friends.  Teaming up against a neighbor is the stuff of the bad guys – they involve others who readily become part of the conflict because, like our Neighbors From Hell, they are idiots.  Why else would they be associated with our stupid neighbors?  Our good neighbors, like ourselves, are positive people, not seeking a fight.  Confiding in friends to a limited degree is understandable and I’ve done this, but be careful not to overdo it.  Better neighbors may come to view you as exceedingly negative and whiney when we fall into a cycle of being victims, focused too intently on the jerks next door.  Don’t make the mistake of further isolating yourself by pushing away the better neighbors.  Share an issue if you’d like, but leave it at that.  Accept the fact that you’re going this alone.

Similarly, do not become engaged in the battles of others.  You can offer moral support, but anyone who becomes involved in someone else’s war is still liable for damage – even damage done to a bad neighbor.  Teaming up with a friend who thinks his is a Neighbor From Hell, exposes you to a harassment complaint brought by the person you teamed up against.  And, whether that person was right or wrong to begin with, your decision to join the fight against him rightly makes you potentially culpable in a harassment charge and/or lawsuit.

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