Author Topic: The etiquette of tit-for-tat  (Read 5718 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

nolechica

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6171
Re: The etiquette of tit-for-tat
« Reply #15 on: April 13, 2014, 05:31:40 PM »
I don't think this was tit-for-tat, but then I don't try to be friends with neighbors either.  Some people prefer to only talk about complaints with neighbors and be friends with others.

Jones

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2569
Re: The etiquette of tit-for-tat
« Reply #16 on: April 13, 2014, 07:52:26 PM »
Personally I don't think it sounds like "tit for tat". It sounds like Friend was trying to be a good neighbor and not complain, but once the door was open for complaints, made her case heard as well. If she didn't speak rudely I don't see the rudeness here. But then my neighborhood is very plainspoken, there are issues when neighbors beat around the bush, as it were.

VorFemme

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 12917
  • Strolls with scissors! Too tired to run today!
Re: The etiquette of tit-for-tat
« Reply #17 on: April 13, 2014, 09:54:45 PM »
I had a neighbor who called me out of state (cell phone - she didn't KNOW I was out of state) to ask me to please turn off the outside lights around my house as they were keeping her 11 year old son awake. 

Please note that the curtains to his room were café curtains of a lightweight fabric that covered the lower half of the window and had a valance across part of the top of the window.  About a third of the window was not covered at all.  The previous residents had a teenaged girl in the same room with the same window treatment and I made SURE that our master bedroom windows and bathroom window were blocked by our window treatments.  When they had built their house, our lot was a wooded lot without a house - they apparently never got around to replacing the window treatments after we moved in. 

But the real estate agent showing the house was NOT responding to calls and it would be a day or two before Ambrosia Hino could get by with her set of keys...

I mentioned that he could do what I did - use a satin sleep mask or put up a heavier window treatment when the light from next door was too bright...

It was the first time she'd realized that her older son NEVER turned off their outdoor lights when he got home after a shift at the local fast food place (midnight or later)...I'd never complained because there was something that *I* could do to remedy the situation.

We sold the house shortly thereafter and I have not gone by to see if they ever did something about replacing the lightweight café curtains. 

I do know that I would never have café curtains in a bedroom or bathroom where someone was getting dressed & undressed - but that's because I decided that I prefer sleeping in a DARK bedroom and café curtains are too lightweight and leave too much of the window uncovered to make the room dark enough.  Other people may prefer the breezes that can blow through lightweight curtains and don't mind the light.

Their choice of what window treatments to use.  But if you don't put up curtains that are capable of blocking the light, don't complain about the light...

Someone feeding wild animals to the point that the animals are destroying the neighbor's property (landscaping & trash cans) might be in violation of various local statutes and such - you might check with the local wildlife wardens or the local sheriff. 

There may also be noise statutes that the wind chimes would be covered under - but the property owner with the wind chimes and property damage could check on both - then talk to her neighbor about cutting back due to the LAW and offer to use a "silencer" (I'm sure silicone or latex could be used to still the chimes while leaving them outside) most of the time except when outside to enjoy the "serenade" 

But I don't KNOW if there are legal requirements in the area or not - but it would be prudent to check - and it is not rude to check & warn a neighbor who might be attracting potentially dangerous animals with the access to food.

There was a story in the news about a Florida woman attacked by a black bear in her garage - http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/13/us/florida-bear-attack/index.html - your neighbor may not realize how many varieties of animals could end up on her property (and neighboring properties) looking for food.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2014, 10:02:42 PM by VorFemme »
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I say more?

sammycat

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6070
Re: The etiquette of tit-for-tat
« Reply #18 on: April 13, 2014, 10:19:28 PM »
Personally I don't think it sounds like "tit for tat". It sounds like Friend was trying to be a good neighbor and not complain, but once the door was open for complaints, made her case heard as well. If she didn't speak rudely I don't see the rudeness here.

I agree.

LifeOnPluto

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6553
    • Blog
Re: The etiquette of tit-for-tat
« Reply #19 on: April 13, 2014, 11:16:18 PM »
I think it's all in the delivery.

Deetee's husband sounds a bit like my DF too. Telling him "I don't like it when you do ABC - can you stop doing it please?" usually gets a response of "Yeah?! Well I don't like it when YOU do XYZ!" which is very annoying.  >:(

But saying "Sure, I'll cut down on doing ABC. And while we're having this conversation, do you mind refraining from XYZ?" is fine, IMO.

The problem arises when the other person refuses to stop doing THEIR thing, but expects you to stop doing YOUR thing. It seems the OP's friend's neighbour might be like this? In which case, some more tact might be needed, and you might also point out that not doing YOUR thing is a sacrifice for you, but you're doing it because you care about their welfare.

RooRoo

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 696
  • I’m out of my mind. Please leave a message.
Re: The etiquette of tit-for-tat
« Reply #20 on: April 14, 2014, 02:04:39 AM »
There's something that, to me, makes this a "safety trumps etiquette" issue. (I'm not giving Friend a complete pass, unless she complained to the neighbor before this.) My knowledge of the following would have had me knocking on her door the first time I saw a squirrel!

Raccoons can carry both rabies and canine distemper. And they may seem cute and fuzzy - well, they are - but they are also very efficient fighters. If a Labrador comes across a coon, the coon will win the fight, possibly killing the dog; at the least, stitches will be needed. No, I'm not kidding. They can also transmit something known as "coonhound paralysis," for which there is no medication and no cure. And though raccoons are cute and fuzzy, and may recognize Neighbor as the person with the food, they don't love her. If s/he was to try to take it away, they'll protect their food.

And the little fiends will make a mess out of the garbage cans.  Like the one who, once we figured out how to keep him from getting the lid off, tipped it over, broke in the bottom, and rolled it up the driveway, leaving a trail of trash! And, if they know where she keeps the food, they can break in and get it. We also had to cover the screen door with hardware cloth, after he broke in 4 times!

Deer can carry ticks, which means Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and ehrlichiosis. Since ticks drop off once they're full, guess what might be hanging around in Friend's back yard? They can also carry anthrax. Not to mention the traffic hazard, and other dangers.

VorFemme is right to mention bears, too. If Friend is anywhere near bear habitat...

I would be very surprised indeed if there wasn't some kind of ordinance about feeding wildlife.
"Someday we must write a book of Etiquette for sensible people," said Mrs. Morland, "though apart from a few rules it really boils down to an educated mind and a kind heart." ~ Angela Thirkell, Never Too Late

aussie_chick

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 370
Re: The etiquette of tit-for-tat
« Reply #21 on: April 14, 2014, 04:49:13 AM »
Is there any restriction on feeding wild animals? Because if so, that makes the two issues completely separate. and more a safety or legal versus etiquette issue.

I doubt any local noise by laws would include something like a wind chime so i'm not sure these issues are at the same level

Therefore any tit for tat is counter productive. It suggests they're the same level of concern and I don't think they are.

Having said that I think each party should raise issues as they notice them or are annoyed by them. Not sit back saying nothing getting crankier and then only saying something when the other party raises an issue of their own.

Margo

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1564
Re: The etiquette of tit-for-tat
« Reply #22 on: April 14, 2014, 08:49:59 AM »
I agree with LifeOfPluto - I think it is the delivery, not the timing which is the issue. "I'm sorry, I've had the wind chimes for a long time and not had any problems - is the a particular time of day they bother you? I could take them down at night, if you like. By the way, I've been meaning to speak to you about the wild animals which have been here since you've started feeding, they've caused quite a lot of damage to my yard, and I'm concerned about the mess they make ripping the garbage bags, and the risk of disease" would be OK.

I think "I wont do anything about my windchimes unless you do something about the animals" is different, and does come across as quite petty and unreasonable

MindsEye

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1120
Re: The etiquette of tit-for-tat
« Reply #23 on: April 14, 2014, 01:21:41 PM »
Hi all, thanks for the feedback.   :)

To answer some questions... Friend did not approach New Neighbor about her wildlife-feeding habits because other neighbors (she is not the only one being annoyed) have tried and were rebuffed.  So Friend thought that there was no point.
 
This neighborhood is not in a HOA, as far as Friend can tell, there is nothing in the township codes or bylaws that specifically addresses feeding wildlife, and Animal Control won't really do anything (other then put out traps) without concrete proof (no idea what level of proof is required) that the animal activity is a direct result of New Neighbor's wildlife feeding. 

I agree that the issue is the delivery, and in my friend's defense, she said that she felt blindsided by New Neighbor's request/demand, and said the first thing that popped into her head... which was if you want me to do X, then you need to do Y.

Friend is adamant that she will not take down her wind chimes unless New Neighbor ceases all wildlife feeding.  She is not about to take down something that she has had up for years, and enjoyed for years, unless New Neighbor is going to commit to a concession as well.

For what it's worth, my advice to Friend was to not hinge what she does on what New Neighbor agrees to do, and if New Neighbor approaches Friend about the wind chimes again to pretend that she is Nancy Regan and just say No. 

Deetee

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5573
Re: The etiquette of tit-for-tat
« Reply #24 on: April 14, 2014, 02:14:09 PM »
FWIW, I think it might work better for your friend to comply with the request at this point. Take down the wind chimes and see if the other neighbour stops feeding the wildlife. Give it a couple weeks. If other neighbour is still feeding the wildlife, then put up windchimes again.

edit: Also, some windchimes drive me batty. I've never complained about them but they make me tense in a way I don't notice until the wind dies down. I think the kind thing to do is have some way to have them not chime when you aren't outside.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2014, 02:16:24 PM by Deetee »

m2kbug

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1465
Re: The etiquette of tit-for-tat
« Reply #25 on: April 14, 2014, 02:31:49 PM »
FWIW, I think it might work better for your friend to comply with the request at this point. Take down the wind chimes and see if the other neighbour stops feeding the wildlife. Give it a couple weeks. If other neighbour is still feeding the wildlife, then put up windchimes again.

edit: Also, some windchimes drive me batty. I've never complained about them but they make me tense in a way I don't notice until the wind dies down. I think the kind thing to do is have some way to have them not chime when you aren't outside.

This actually isn't a bad idea, but I don't know that I would be too keen on taking down something I have enjoyed for years and no one has ever complained about.  I'm wondering what kind of wind chime can make so much noise, a neighboring house can hear to the point it is that annoying unless there were dozens of them.  Perhaps not have multiple wind chimes would be a reasonable solution to me, or are there some less noisy, but not remove them entirely. 

At first I thought the OP was talking about an apartment until she mentioned the wildlife and what sounds like larger properties.  For an apartment, maybe, I can understand a wind chime being bothersome.  Where I live, we're pretty close together, and I just can't see a wind chime being that problematic, even if I hated them.  I think this neighbor is being a little unreasonable, but I have no idea how loud these wind chimes are.  From the description, the neighbor didn't specify what the problem was, just demanded their removal.  I find the followup interesting in that multiple people have talked to the neighbor about the wildlife to no avail, and here she is knocking on the door expecting her demands to be met.

MindsEye

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1120
Re: The etiquette of tit-for-tat
« Reply #26 on: April 14, 2014, 02:50:03 PM »

At first I thought the OP was talking about an apartment until she mentioned the wildlife and what sounds like larger properties.

It is a development in an area that is transitioning from rural/farmland to something more like a conventional suburb.  All of the lots are about 1/3-1/2 acres.   

And there are only 2 wind chimes.  They are a matched set, and are tuned to a pentatonic scale. 

Deetee

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5573
Re: The etiquette of tit-for-tat
« Reply #27 on: April 14, 2014, 03:10:42 PM »

edit: Also, some windchimes drive me batty. I've never complained about them but they make me tense in a way I don't notice until the wind dies down. I think the kind thing to do is have some way to have them not chime when you aren't outside.

This actually isn't a bad idea, but I don't know that I would be too keen on taking down something I have enjoyed for years and no one has ever complained about.  I'm wondering what kind of wind chime can make so much noise, a neighboring house can hear to the point it is that annoying unless there were dozens of them.  Perhaps not have multiple wind chimes would be a reasonable solution to me, or are there some less noisy, but not remove them entirely. 


It's odd. My neighbour had some for a while. And they were gentle nice chimes. I like the sound for the first 15 minutes, but after a while they just start to carve away at my nerves. I could only really relax when the wind died down. Also, I had no problem with them chiming while the neighbour was outside because then I knew that someone was enjoying them.  But when they are chiming and  bothering me and not making anyone else happy, I started to hate them.

She took them down on her own so it was a moot point. And I'm sure if I said something, she would have taken them down on her own, but it  just wasn't worth it to me.

I am mainly mentioning this as I can get how windchimes can be an outright nuisance sound and I don't think you need to be someone who hates fun to dislike the chimes.

Emmy

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3799
Re: The etiquette of tit-for-tat
« Reply #28 on: April 17, 2014, 09:21:23 AM »
The story is second hand, but the OP said the neighbor complained about the wind chimes and demanded they be taken down.  If I was the friend, I would be very put off by somebody making a complaint and demand instead of a polite request.  It may be petty, but I certainly wouldn't want to bend over backwards for a person who makes a demand such as this.  Even if the request was made politely, I feel the neighbor opened up the door for complaints so I don't feel the OP's friend was rude for making a request of the neighbor.  I do feel she could have phrased it differently.  I feel the OP's friend's reply could have been different and she have said she was willing to take the chimes down or talk about another arrangement that would work for both of them.  I see how the phrase "I'll consider it if..." would be off putting to the neighbor.  I consider requests between neighbors quite different than one member of a couple bringing up an issue and the other person bring up something else the SO is to deflect the conversation.

I also agree with the poster who said the friend should take them down.  If the neighbor hasn't made a move to stop feeding the wildlife after a few weeks, back up the wind chimes go.

MindsEye

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1120
Re: The etiquette of tit-for-tat
« Reply #29 on: April 17, 2014, 12:52:59 PM »
I also agree with the poster who said the friend should take them down.  If the neighbor hasn't made a move to stop feeding the wildlife after a few weeks, back up the wind chimes go.

Would that be considered retaliatory rudeness?  You agree to stop doing Thing A which neighbor doesn't like, neighbor continues doing Thing B which you don't like, so you resume doing Thing A, which now for sure you know drives your neighbor batty.  It seems... spiteful... to me, like a deliberate thumb in their eye.  And certainly I don't think that it would do anything to improve neighbor relations...