Forum: Slight change in behaviour can alleviate neighbour's discomfort

I have lived in different neighbourhoods and encountered my fair share of good and bad neighbours.

Sadly, I have observed a significant decline in the level of empathy demonstrated by society in general.

Feedback about children shouting at the lift lobby elicits responses such as "all children are like that" from their parents.

Security officers at my condominium relate incidents in which residents tell them "what I do with my items is none of your business" even when these items block emergency exits.

Forum contributors have suggested solutions such as being more tolerant and wearing earplugs (A good pair of earplugs can help if one has noisy neighbours, March 1), but these do not address the root cause and only encourage more unpleasant behaviour.

It also creates a skewed dynamic, with those on the receiving end of these acts forced to suffer in silence while offenders have free rein.

Chronic noise disturbance within residential estates is a real and significant problem, especially in the Covid-19 era when many of us are working from home.

There is no quick or easy fix for this, but the least neighbours could do is take feedback in a constructive manner.

Instead of viewing it as a personal insult and acting defensively, they should practise self-reflection and make an effort to modify their behaviour. Even a small improvement could greatly alleviate your neighbour's discomfort.

Oh Jen Jen (Dr)

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