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The Slamming Doors Problem

Life in neighborhoods involves adaptation to specific conditions since for normal social interaction, concessions and compromises are natural aspects of healthy communication. However, in conditions of obvious irritants and neighbors’ incorrect behavior, many questions arise to one another, which creates inconveniences for a normal lifestyle. In my neighborhood in Woodlands Hills, I have to face the problem of slamming doors, which leads to anxiety for pets and makes life filled with constant stress. It usually has a perpetrator, although other factors may lead to the issue. After analyzing its causes, I can see that they can be divided into two groups: technical and psychological. Thus, in order to effectively solve the problem, people in the neighborhood should consider the nature of the reasons behind the noise and apply appropriate measures, sometimes in combination. For instance, if people are asked not to slam, they might want to stop it, but their faulty lock can prevent this. That is why it is necessary to eliminate technical problems before addressing the social part.

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The slamming doors problem belongs to the overarching issue of neighborhood noise, which also includes barking dogs, amplified music, crying children, and other sources. It occurs when people act inconsiderately while opening and closing doors, causing loud sounds that disturb the environment (“Noise Control”). Another noise characteristic is being “detrimental to the health, comfort, or safety of any individual” (“Noise Control”). Thus, even if a sound annoys a person, it can be a legitimate reason for a complaint. Furthermore, noise can affect one’s cognitive tasks through “a disruptive effect as a result of startle responses,” which is relevant for those working from home (Kurra 621). Adverse psychological consequences, such as negative feelings, aggression, and unwillingness to help other people are also present (Kurra 628). However, the local government will not address all the complaints, and the slamming doors problem should be resolved by the building manager (“Noise Control”). Therefore, some prefer to confront the issue within a small circle before consulting higher authorities, which can be fruitful since the human factor contributes to it.

The slamming door problem can occur for two primary reasons: human activity intertwined with psychological precursors and technical factors. The first point concerns such exhibitions of behavior as emotional outbursts. While they are common in children and adolescents and require special control techniques, adults are also prone to them. An outburst is on the more severe end of the anger continuum, “typically of shorter duration,” which is sufficient to perform such an act as slamming the door (Cassiello-Robbins and Barlow 68). A door can also slam due to reduced air pressure, which is caused by open windows (“How to Stop Doors from Slamming”). Another potential reason is a door not being fitted correctly, which means that it lacks “perfect vertical alignment” (“How to Stop Doors from Slamming”). In such an event, its weight will not be distributed correctly, leading to a swinging motion and an act of slamming (“How to Stop Doors from Slamming”). Altogether, the door slamming problem can result from human activity and technical factors, such as air pressure and alignment.

One of the potential solutions is to apply a coping strategy, which works if the relationship between the affected side and the neighbor is cordial. In such a case, the priority will be to understand another person’s experience without taking any actions against them, which can be achieved through empathy or repression (Park and Lee 1920). It is called “cognitive coping,” where the priority is to “maintain a positive relationship with others,” so any confrontation is excluded (Park and Lee 1920). If a neighbor is considered a stranger or an acquaintance, then the avoidant strategy is likely to occur (Park and Lee 1921). It involves distracting oneself from the noise by watching TV or using earplugs (Park and Lee 1921). Such actions are one-sided, meaning that they “may not be recognized by the neighbours” (Park and Lee 1921). Although the described strategies do not resolve the issue, they imply the acknowledgment that it can happen for technical reasons or without malice. Furthermore, if one has a positive or a neutral relationship with neighbors, an amicable resolution is more likely to happen.

If neighbors are regarded as enemies, people are more likely to confront them with vigilant strategies. They involve indirect and direct complaints, which involves contracting the management office and more “retaliatory actions,” respectively (Park and Lee 1921). While consulting the manager could be effective, one is likely to paint the neighbors as villains, even if the door design is the primary cause. It will further strain the relationships and increase tension in the neighborhood, making future collaborations on shared problems difficult. Retaliatory actions range from pestering the neighbors about the issue through in-person visits, e-mails, and phone calls to “making revengeful noises,” suggesting that one might mimic door slamming (Park and Lee 1921). Such actions appear counterproductive and can lead to one being accused of the misdemeanor by the other side. While it is understandable that one might develop negative feelings due to the discussed psychological effects of noise, belligerence will only exacerbate the situation. Thus, the amicable approach of informing the neighbors of the problem and letting them resolve the issue without taking more radical actions appears sensible.

Works Cited

Cassiello-Robbins, Clair, and David. H. Barlow. “Anger: The Unrecognized Emotion in Emotional Disorders.” Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, vol. 23, no. 1, 2016, pp. 66–85. Wiley Online Library, Web.

“How to Stop Doors from Slamming.” House Trick, 2019, Web.

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Kurra, Selma. Environmental Noise and Management: Overview from Past to Present. John Wiley & Sons, 2021.

“Noise Control.” Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection, Web.

Park, Sang Hee, and Pyoung Jik Lee. “How Residents in Multifamily Housing Cope with Neighbour Noise: The Role of Attitude Towards the Neighbours.” Journal of Community Psychology, vol. 47, no. 8, 2019, pp. 1909-1925. Wiley Online Library, Web.

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