Re: The Martial Art of Difficult Conversations
I'm a little confused here. When and how did it become a bad thing to defuse an angry incident with a neighbor? Having pleasant relationships with your neighbors seems like a positive to me - having lived with some neighbors from Hell once before. Sure, he could have kicked the woman off his front porch and called the cops for a neighborhood disturbance and that would have been the end of that incident, but probably not the end of the war to come.
And when did it become my obligation to provide for the character development of neighbors? I find developing my own character to be a full-time job. Did the neighbor learn anything from the episode? Did her son? At least they learned that they couldn't park in that parking space without permission and the lesson cost them a towing and storage fee.
I spent a lot of time rolling out on neighbor disputes that had far less cause than the one described and frequently someone went to jail or the hospital. I would have preferred to have some of my clients at least try to communicate like rational human beings without calling me - fresh donuts cool very rapidly.