Every condominium or apartment building in Miami (I’m sure other places too — but Miami is what I know) has what are called “common areas.”
In a condo, of course have your actual living space — where your bedrooms, bathrooms, closets, kitchen, etc. are. You might call this space your apartment or condo or home or house.
The common areas consist of the gym, pool, lobby, resident lounges, and any other bells and whistles that the building offers. Some even offer office spaces (like I wrote about last month), kids’ play rooms, bowling alleys and basketball courts. These spaces are available to all residents.
The great thing about the common areas is that you can get out of your house, hang around your building and meet some of your neighbors.
The BAD thing about the common areas is that you can get out of your house, hang around your building and meet some of your neighbors.The great thing about the common areas is that you can get out of your house, hang around your building and meet some of your neighbors. The BAD thing about the common areas is that you can get out of your house, hang around your… Click To Tweet
I was working on my laptop in one of the common areas of my building one morning last week. I was the only resident using any of the vast space (as is usual in the mornings).
Then some woman came in there with a few young kids in tow. I’d guess their ages to be 7, 3 and 2 years old.
She brought the kids into an area away from me. I couldn’t see them, but I could hear the kids frolicking around, and I could hear the sounds of the videos the woman was watching on her phone.
The noise was slightly annoying, but it was in a common area in the building, after all — not my house, and not a library. I turned up the volume on my earbuds and kept working.
The kids played around in the big space away from me while I worked. We were all in there for about an hour before they left, a few minutes before I left.
I was back there the next morning when I heard the door open. I saw the three bad-ass kids come trotting in.
This time around, the kids obviously had a lot of energy to burn. They were louder and more active, running around in the lounge space, jumping on the couches, and making the kind of noise that little kids make when left alone to play amongst themselves.
I got up to go to the restroom, and going through the door, I could see the four of them — the three kids and the woman — in their area.
The woman was seated, with no shoes on, with her feet propped up on an adjacent chair. She never looked up as I walked by, just kept watching the video playing out loud on her phone. None of the kids had shoes on either.
I had only heard the scene the day before; after seeing it this time, I started wondering what was wrong with me (I’ll explain in a moment).
About 20 minutes went by. The kids kept playing; the woman remained aloof watching her phone.
Then, two people from the management office came to the common area. They went straight to the woman and kids.
I stopped my music to listen to the conversation.
I couldn’t hear everything that was being said, but I did make out “So, we have a problem…,” “…all over the couches” and “this is not a playground.”
The woman and her kids got kicked out of the common area.
I myself haven’t been back down there since that morning, so I don’t know if the woman and kids have returned. But I highly doubt it.
Here’s the thing about that situation: I wasn’t mad at the woman or the loud kids.
Though that’s not the way I would supervise children, they were merely loud and inconsiderate of the space they were in (my building does not have a kid’s playroom). It’s not like they were breaking the law or anything.
Here’s what I was considering before management came up and regulated: How did I end up living in a place where people like them (the aloof woman with the bad kids) could also live?
My approach is not to try and change people. I identify the people who want to change and work with them. People like this woman exist; there’s no future in trying to get rid of them all or hoping to change their habits. That’s too much damn work.My approach is not to try and change people. I identify the people who want to change and work with them. Click To Tweet
The better strategy, to me: go where that type of person can’t get in the room. Do things that their type can’t be involved in. And everyone can remain happy.
No one has to alter who they are. They can still be them; I can still do me.
If we find ourselves all in the same place, I’m the one who must have done something wrong.
Have you ever found yourself in a place with people who are so much different from you that you’re questioning how you ended up there in the first place? Reply and let me know — I read all responses.
Check out the following MasterClasses on association —
#1058: Limiting Your Associations: 3 Levels Of People
#1364: Rejection Marketing: Drawing People In By Turning Them Away
#1357: Let Stupid People Be Stupid
#1354: People Offended? So What?!
#1309: How To Assess People
#1297: How To Master Your “Anti-People” Skills
#1282: The “51/49 Rule:” Helping People Who Help Themselves
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