Before you say no…

Here are some mediator responses to common concerns

“I’m not doing anything wrong, I haven’t got a problem”
I understand that you feel you haven’t done anything wrong, but you’ve said you’re fed up with the calls you’re getting from the council and all the letters people keep putting through your door.  Mediation is a way of stopping all those complaints.

“They don’t listen. They want it all their own way.”
Sometimes it’s difficult to get people to listen, particularly in a stressful situation. In a mediation meeting, the mediators create an environment in which people feel calm and are prepared to listen to others. You will be able to get across to them how you feel about the situation.  The mediators ensure that everyone has their say and help people to understand what has been said by summarising and re-phrasing it.

“I couldn’t bear to sit down in the same room as that woman/man”
I understand that meeting with your neighbour is a very daunting prospect.  You don’t have to come to the meeting, it is entirely voluntary, but then nothing would change for you. If you do decide to come, you can leave at any time you want, or have a break and come back when you feel better. The mediators are used to putting people at their ease. They will get you both to agree to some ground rules for the meeting and see to it that everyone abides by them.

“I haven’t got time for this. I’ll deal with it on my own.”
You’ve told me that this has been going on for two years. If you come to a mediation meeting, you have a good chance of getting an agreement in less than 2 hours!

“I prefer to just ignore them”
When you live close by someone, you inevitably have to have some sort of relationship with them.  If you happen to step out of your front door at the same time you will probably feel uncomfortable if you have been ignoring one another. You may need to deal with your neighbour about some minor problem and will find it difficult if you are not on speaking terms with them.  Mediation gives you a chance of re-opening communications and feeling more relaxed and confident about talking to them when it is necessary. Things generally become more pleasant.

“Mediation won’t work. I’ll take them to court”
In a court case someone generally wins and someone loses. Whatever the outcome, your relationship with your neighbour is unlikely to be improved. If you lose it could be very costly.  Even if you win you may have to pay expenses. Mediation on the other hand is a process is where both sides are winners, because they have reached an agreement that they are both comfortable with. AND IT’S FREE!

Choose mediation, put the past behind you and MOVE ON WITH YOUR LIFE!


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