Being a good neighbor is equal parts minding your own business and being considerate. And while that might sound simple enough, everyone defines those words differently.
In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a woman asked if she was wrong for getting angry at her neighbor's kid for being too loud with his friend. She wrote:
So I, 29F, have lived next door to my neighbors, "Tom" and "Melinda," for my whole life and he and his family have always been really nice. He has a son, "Teddy," who's about 18-19. My parents moved out of state and left me the house when I turned 25, and my neighbor has always been there for advice if I needed it quick and we have dinner every weekend.
Anyways, yesterday around mid-late afternoon, I was watching TV when I heard some music coming from outside. I live on a corner lot and there is a four-way stop outside my house. As I stepped outside, I noticed a car sitting at the intersection with the windows down and music blaring, and the driver looking around while singing. Obviously looking to see if he's getting attention.
He turns down my street and after passing my neighbors house he does a u-turn and parks in front of my neighbors house. Music still blaring. I walked closer to the car and Teddy got out of the passenger side of the car singing the song. I yelled at them if they could be any louder and that I could hear their shifty music from inside my house.
Teddy and his friend has the audacity to start laughing at me and calling me a Karen. I yelled at Teddy that it's common courtesy to not blare your music while driving in a neighborhood. Teddy just stopped acknowledging me and went inside, and his friend just kept laughing at me and drove off.
Five minutes later I saw Tom's car through my living room window and another five minutes later he was knocking at my door. I assumed he was going to apologize for Teddy's behavior but instead he yelled at me for trying to parent his son. I explained the situation as I figured Teddy probably left out key details and explained he should teach his son common courtesy as he obviously needs some lessons.
He called me a b#$ch and said my parents would be ashamed of me if they saw me right now. That really hurt me and I shut the door on him and went to my room and cried. I just got a text from Melinda that I was no longer invited to their home for our usual weekend dinners and that she and Tom were blocking my number.
She also said I was no longer allowed to interact with her son in any way and if I "harassed" him again, they would be contacting authorities. I think they're overreacting, but I figured I'd ask for a 3rd party perspective. So, AITA?
It was the middle of the afternoon, not 4:00 in the morning. And you actually walked over to their house to confront a couple of teenagers for basically being teenagers, when the presumed offending teenager (the driver) was leaving anyway? They weren’t harming anyone, damaging any property, or driving recklessly. It seems like everyone overreacted here, but since you’re asking about yourself, YTA.
Time of day doesn't matter. People shouldn't be going through neighborhoods blaring music, period. It's rude and annoying. Also, the length of time he was there is also irrelevant. Wrong is wrong. It doesn't matter how quick it is. It is still wrong
YTA. You need to look up your town's noise regulations, because noise in a neighborhood is to be expected. Loud music under a certain amount of decibels is to be expected. The kid would have left eventually and how loud or not they listen to their music in the middle of the day is none of your business if they are obeying the noise regulations for your town.
You should not have gone and yelled at a kid, regardless of how well you know the family, because you are not his parents. You should have calmly talked to the parents about how loud it was later when you weren't upset. You owe them an apology for verbally assaulting their child. That's not a reasonable thing an adult does.
I didn't verbally assault him, I told him to have common courtesy. I may have been louder than necessary, but I didn't use any demeaning words
YTA. It wasn’t even five minutes and the driver was dropping Teddy off. Had you waited just a little bit the problem would have resolved itself. Also, they flipped and ended the friendship rather quickly. Perhaps there’s been other incidents in the past you didn’t mention?
This was the first time we've ever had any trouble.
I’m pretty sure OP was hoping everyone would side with her and pat her on the back for a job well done.
I wasn't thinking everyone would side with me. But I didn't think I did anything crazy. I told them to keep it down and have common courtesy for the neighborhood.
YTA. If this was a recurring problem and you had already asked him to cut it out, sure. The first time you heard some loud music coming from your teenage neighbour's car, you went out and yelled at him? These people have been nothing but nice to you and you took the first opportunity you could find to cause an issue.
Of course they're going to defend their kid. It makes me wonder if they ever had to put up with you being an annoying teenager and never said anything only for you to quickly turn it around on them. You need to grow up.
I get it, I'm the AH. I don't know why my first thought when Teddy's friend was at the stop sign is that he was looking for attention. I also understand that I overreacted to such a short lasting incident, and it did not call for any yelling on anyone's part. I should've just left it, especially when I realized it was just Teddy getting dropped off.
I told my parents right after the incident what happened, and they said they weren't going to get involved in my issues. My parents called me today and said Tom and Melinda both individually called them as well. They explained to them they weren't getting involved and told me Melinda thinks Tom overreacted as well but was serious about the dinners.
Melinda never blocked me, and she and my parents convinced Tom to unblock me. I messaged them once I was off the phone with my parents that I wanted to see them both when Melinda comes home from her business trip at the end of the week. I plan to apologize fully and ask if they'll let me apologize to Teddy at some point soon.
If not, I'll respect their wishes and never talk to Teddy again. I do feel bad. They've done so much for me throughout my life, and Teddy has been like a little brother to me. I overreacted and overstepped.
In original post you talked about Teddy like he was a stranger. Now he is like your brother? Seems sus.
I was in a place of anger at the time, I've always thought of him as a brother.
It still seems suspect. He's over 18—why are you waiting on the parents permission to apologize? "Never talk to him again" based on what other people say? Did they say Teddy asked you to never speak to him again, or was that their also an overreaction? Someone needs to stop overreacting in all this.
Teddy's parents seem more like your parents friends than yours, so the immediate blocking makes some sense to me. But you letting them dictate your behaviour sounds like an extension of letting other people piss you off so easily, too, that it's on someone else to manage.
I hope that makes sense, feel free to ask what I mean, but I don't actually suggest cutting relationships off based on someone else's say so, for my main point.
They never mentioned how Teddy felt. I'm asking out of respect because they don't want me talking to him. I could talk to him, but It would basically be going behind their backs and risk getting them mad at me again when I'm trying to fix my first f-up. Plus, it's also to see if he's willing to forgive me and wants to keep in contact or not.
Look, I think you were kind of a jerk, but your neighbors seriously overreacted, saying you're never allowed to talk to them or welcome in their house ever again. In my opinion, every one of you acted immature.
I'm hoping that an apology on your part will be enough to get them to chill. I've definitely done some AH things in my life that I regret and it's pretty sh#$ty of people to cut all ties with someone they claim to care about for one regrettable incident.
I still don’t get why you ever go outside to yell at them IN THE MIDDLE OF THE AFTERNOON. Sorry I don’t think the neighbors overrreacted at all, you sound the crazy lady who lives on the block. Glad you know you were wrong but it’s very weird that you had to be told that in the first place.
So many loud things happen on my block, you’d look crazy if you go out yelling about all of them IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY.
Hopefully, OP and her neighbors can move past this relatively petty situation, because yikes.