31. Get Your Neighbor to Keep It Down
Forget about filing a complaint or calling in lawyers, says estate attorney Doug Brown, who's turning down your good money in saying so. You may resolve the immediate situation, but the behavior will persist—with an extra dose of angry mixed in. "The only way you'll get any real resolution is if you can convince your neighbor that he wants to change his ways," says Brown. The better your relations are, the easier this task will be. (One more reason to always have a kind word to share on the street.) So don't approach Mr. Ruckus with a confrontational attitude. Be pleasant but straightforward: "I'm sorry, but my 3-year-old keeps getting woken up at 5 a.m. by the barking. I've tried cranking up the white-noise machine, but it's just not helping. Is there any way you can wait until 6 to let Sparky out?" Don't expect change to happen immediately—it'll take a few conversations—and don't expect a 100 percent resolution. And if you live in an urban neighborhood, says Brown, "the thing you should expect? Some compromises on noise."