Handling noisy neighbors without being passive-aggressive

April 4 |
LOUD speaker
Photo by woodleywonderworks. Used under Creative Commons license.

Hannah wrote in to ask us about her apartment dilemma:

Offbeat Homies, How do you deal with noisy neighbours?

We frequently hear a kid crying, people arguing and loud music during the day and evening. It's can be very disturbing — I'm a full time student and at home during a large part of the day.

I don't want to be a cranky neighbour. I haven't met the people but I don't know how to approach them!

Noisy neighbors can be such a pain. I never wanted my neighbors to think I was an overly-sensitive stick in the mud, and sometimes even when you talk to the noisemakers they shrug you off. And we've probably all been the noisy ones at some point — nothing like a bleary-eyed neighbor knocking on the door when you thought your Rock Band drumming wasn't disturbing a soul.

What plan of action would you put together for Hannah, a perturbed neighbor who wants to be pleasant, but who hasn't even met the offenders?