It’s one of the most common complaints of a wood floor when you live in an apartment. Noise, and the impact of it on your downstairs neighbours. In this article I’m going to offer some practical advice to alleviate the tensions this can cause..
Firstly, it’s fair to say that very few of us actually want to cause our downstairs neighbours – or anyone for that matter – distress. We typically strive for a live and let live mentality, whereby we hope that will be reciprocated. Unfortunately, we’re sometimes not aware of the impact we have on others.
Let’s look at this from the point of view of the downstairs neighbour. I’d also like to point out this is not an attack on you personally. It’s just good to know what they are going through so we can get a better understanding, empathize, with their situation. You’re simply living your life, however, your downstairs neighbour is also living your life at the same time.
Every step you take, you’re broadcasting that to your neighbour. They know exactly where you are and roughly what you’re doing. Trust me when I say, they don’t want to. In some ways and deep down, the neighbour can often feel like they’re being forced into a type of none seedy voyeuristic act. They want to give you your privacy, whilst at the same time retaining theirs – reciprocation. In that sense, it can feel unfair. You can’t hear them, but they can hear you. We don’t all want to be nosy.
Over time, as the reciprocated wanting is not met, feelings can change. When we are being forced into a position that we don’t want to be in, this can stew into resentment and anger. You may not even be aware of this. Completely oblivious. You may wonder why your downstairs neighbour is always a little grumpy with you, or why there is a certain uneasy tension. The question begs, “Well, if there’s a problem, why don’t they just come out and say it?”. We don’t all deal with confrontation well. We certainly don’t all wish to instigate confrontation at the fear we may come across wrong or the other person will take us wrong, which in turn may exacerbate the situation. So the downstairs neighbour simply puts up with the situation. The continued feeling that they are intruding on your life, and that you are imposing on theirs.
You may have already been notified by the neighbour, in the form of hints. “I heard some loud banging yesterday, is everything ok?”. This and similar, is their way of letting you know in a polite and none confrontational way. They’re not being a nosy busy body (Of course some of them may be), they’re just trying to get a message across.
Make no mistake, noise from a wood floor, can be absolute torture. The simple act of ‘waiting’ for the next series of noises alone can be torture. “Anticipating torture is like living it twice” ~ A doctored quote by Robin Hobb. That statement is not said to draw pity out of you. It’s merely to help you understand that to some, noise like this can be extremely distressful.
Can you help?
Of course carrying on from the assumption that you are a nice person, can you help this situation? Can you dilute the tension and return to a place of harmony. Yes, you can. The answer lies in RESPECT.
It’s often not an easy task to lower the impact noise when walking on a wood floor. Unless, you master the art of levitation..
There are several practical steps (excuse the pun) you can take to help this situation.
- Ask your neighbour if they can hear you walking around. What this does is show your neighbour that you are aware and seeking to minimize the impact on them. Even if in a practical sense it’s hard to minimize the noise, simply bringing up the subject can mean a lot.
- Get in the habit of taking off your shoes, perhaps even swapping them for slippers or shoes with softer soles, when you enter your apartment. This simple step can drastically lower the impact sounds and subtly without words, express to your neighbour that you are briefly thinking about them.
- Generally be aware of your actions. For instance, doing diy or slamming doors later on in the evening most certainly shows a lack of caring for others and will upset your neighbour.
- If possible, change your floor covering to carpet. I know this may sound like a drastic step, but a floor covering isn’t everything. A peaceful life weighs more. Feuding with a neighbour can really take its toll on you and your families well being as well as theirs.
Don’t take this wrong, I’m not talking about walking around on egg shells here. We all have moments when noise is unavoidable. For example, If you have young children, you may well be scoffing at everything I’ve suggested above.
In reality, people crave understanding/empathy. Laps’s in empathy isn’t the end of the world. A lot of us have busy lives and forget about others while we’re focusing on our daily objectives. In general, your neighbour will understand that..
However, once in a while, think. Perhaps display your empathy to your neighbour with an apology or an action. A simple thoughtful action can diffuse a long standing argument. A simple thoughtful action can remove the perceived thought by your neighbour of malice.© Copyright 2016 Wes, All rights Reserved. Written For: Fitmywoodfloor