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  1. #1
    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
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    Default When to get involved?

    I live in a pretty rowdy apartment building and I'm always overhearing some turmoil from my neighbors.

    I don't know what to ignore and what is legitimate. Either the ones above me or below are always screaming and cussing. The woman below me is at the least verbally abusive towards her children and I've come home to the couple above throwing clothes off the balcony before. Right now they're fighting and it sounds like they're dropping bombs. I don't know if any of this is my business, but I feel like I shouldn't just ignore what I'm hearing. If someone is getting hurt, I'd feel responsible in some way because I overheard it and did nothing.
    Relationships have normal ebbs and flows. They do not automatically get better and better when the participants learn more and more about each other. Instead, the participants have to work through the tensions of the relationship (the dialectic) while they learn and group themselves and a parties in a relationships. At times the relationships is very open and sharing. Other time, one or both parties to the relationship need their space, or have other concerns, and the relationship is less open. The theory posits that these cycles occur throughout the life of the relationship as the persons try to balance their needs for privacy and open relationship.
    Interpersonal Communication Theories and Concepts
    Social Penetration Theory 1
    Social Penetration Theory 2
    Social Penetration Theory 3

  2. #2
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    I would at least go and knock on the door- that would clue them in that they do have a concerned neighbor and prevent them from doing anything too extreme. I've done it before and nobody ever stabbed or hit me for getting involved!

  3. #3
    にゃん runvardh's Avatar
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    I guess I have a few throwback attitudes from when I was growing up; if my parents weren't yelling that means one wasn't around or I was home alone. I hate getting involved in shit and for some odd reason when I do I tend to get my ass handed to me in some way.
    Dreams are best served manifest and tangible.

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    I accept no responsibility, what so ever, for the fact that I exist; I do, however, accept full responsibility for what I do while I exist.

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  4. #4
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    all I know from past experience is that there were times in one relationship that I wished that the neighbors would knock on the door.

    You'll never be greeted happily for stepping in though!

  5. #5
    Per Ardua Metamorphosis's Avatar
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    I would definitely not recommend saying anything to them. The last thing an angry couple wants is someone interfering. Then they can just both hate you together. If it bothers you, call the police then they can go check it out/noise complaint/whatever and they will never know it was you.
    "You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit."

    Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office
    than to serve and obey them. - David Hume

  6. #6
    RETIRED CzeCze's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whatever View Post
    I would at least go and knock on the door- that would clue them in that they do have a concerned neighbor and prevent them from doing anything too extreme. I've done it before and nobody ever stabbed or hit me for getting involved!
    Apparently you have never lived in DC.

    HAHAHA.

    Seriously though, you are a good neighbor, Whatever! I'd like to have more people like you in my building.

    Protean, from your building description, I think I can guess what neighborhood you live in! (Don't worry, I'm not getting stalkerish on you).

    Some options:

    1) I would get to know your neighbors first before knocking on their doors. If you don't even want to get to know them on a first name basis, chances are, your instincts tell you to keep a healthy distance.

    It also depends on how big your building is. In smaller buildings, people are more invested in their immediate 'community' and so put more effort into keeping the peace. In larger buildings, it's very anonymous, but that will help if your attempt backfires and you end up with a neighbor with a grudge.

    2) Another tactic is anonymously calling the police. I'm a big advocate for calling them ANONYMOUSLY because you don't want some psycho violent person with access to your front door to look up your name and address on the call records and stalk you down (this is my paranoia, but I think it's paranoia grounded in a good bit of realism)

    3) Perhaps the most fun and most effective if done right and precludes the use of 1) or 2). Go CRAZY on folks. With some people, you just have to get...hmm....'down and dirty?' for them to hear and respect you. Of course, this works much more for when something bothers you and you want it to stop like 'noise'. If you are worried that there may be abuse going on, going crazy doesn't work so well... so --

    4) I have read somewhere that when you want to intervene in publicly escalating parent-child situations, the best way is to empathize with the parent. Don't make them feel ashamed or defensive or even angrier because they will just take it out on the kid or go somewhere private where they can do maximum damage. Supposedly you are to make comments like, "Wow, kids can be a handful huh?' And other soothing inane banter to distract and calm the parent down. This is only good for incidental episodes of violence or to prevent it. If you're talking about a CYCLE of violence --

    5) Call the police anonymously. If you have to call more than 2x a month though, I think the cops will be less likely to keep coming. Especially in DC.

    or

    6) What 'Whatever' suggested.

    These are just some thoughts, did not mean to malign your hometown. Good luck!

  7. #7
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    I think that you probably shouldn't do anything if it's just yelling/cursing, but if you hear something that makes you think someone is being injured, that's when you should call the police.

  8. #8
    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
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    I called the police. I heard them arrive about 20 minutes ago. I like the way it took them so long, but whatever.

    I have no intention of knocking on anyone's door. I don't even talk to my neighbors and I don't want them knowing I hear everything that goes on up there. It's just hard to listen to, especially the ones below me and the way she talks to her children.

    Quote Originally Posted by athenian200 View Post
    I think that you probably shouldn't do anything if it's just yelling/cursing, but if you hear something that makes you think someone is being injured, that's when you should call the police.
    I usually ignore it if it's just yelling but it sounded like they were knocking over the appliances. It's never been that bad before.
    Relationships have normal ebbs and flows. They do not automatically get better and better when the participants learn more and more about each other. Instead, the participants have to work through the tensions of the relationship (the dialectic) while they learn and group themselves and a parties in a relationships. At times the relationships is very open and sharing. Other time, one or both parties to the relationship need their space, or have other concerns, and the relationship is less open. The theory posits that these cycles occur throughout the life of the relationship as the persons try to balance their needs for privacy and open relationship.
    Interpersonal Communication Theories and Concepts
    Social Penetration Theory 1
    Social Penetration Theory 2
    Social Penetration Theory 3

  9. #9
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    I wish that people didn't feel so reserved about getting involved!

  10. #10
    The Black Knight Domino's Avatar
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    In my old hood, you never got involved. It might've meant getting shot. If there's something serious going on, you can never go wrong by calling the authorities.
    eNFJ 4w3 sx/so 468 tritype
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    Researcher: VDI-P
    Dramatic>Sensitive>Serious

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