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Perchik's avatar

How can I tell someone that they're heavy footed...?

Asked by Perchik (4982points) March 4th, 2008

Kind of a lot of background goes into this. One of my good friend’s girlfriend [Sarah] moved into the room above me. I don’t know her that well, but she moved in with a girl that I’m really good friends with.[Lisa].. They don’t really know each other and don’t talk much, but Sarah got assigned to the room (college dorm)

Recently I’ve noticed that I get woken up in the mornings, by Sarah walking. It sounds like she’s stomping around, but in reality it’s just that she’s extremely heavy footed. (she’s not a big girl either, if I didn’t know it was her, I wouldn’t believe it). Lisa has noticed it’s a problem and wants to approach Sarah about it. What is a good way for her (or me) to approach Sarah to bring this up without being rude?

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8 Answers

ironhiway's avatar

had a similar problem with an upstairs neighbor once. It sounded like she was jumping over the couch “bounce, bounce, bounce.” I didn’t know her and just lived with it.

I suggest asking if she’s exercising up there. Then after her response say, “it must be the insulation I can almost hear ever step you take.”

This way your not really accusing her of anything. She may step quieter, because she doesn’t want you hearing every step.
Good luck

treloni's avatar

I’ve had this happen, and just approached it as a joke. “You growing a herd of elephants up there? grin” Tone is crucial.

On the other hand, it’s kind of hard thing to “fix,” though, because it means you have to think about something you don’t normally think about: walking. Is it really fair to ask her to change something she doesn’t have a lot of control over?

scamp's avatar

Just be polite and honest about it. Tell her you don’t want to hurt her feelings, but when she walks it wakes you up. My upstairs neighbor is the same way. I have an arrangement with her. I told her that it doesn’t bother me when I am awake. And that if I am trying to sleep, I will tap the ceiling with the broom handle to let her know. She has a little dog, and I can hear it running around when she plays with it. It doesn’t bother me because I know if I give a tap, she will quiet down, and she knows I am not being nasty when I do it.

Emilyy's avatar

Someone I lived with used to call me “cement shoes.” Do you know if she’s walking in heels? I realized a while ago that if I am wearing heels or boots and live on the 2nd floor, it’s better to wait until just before leaving to put them on (especially if walking on hardwood floors) so as to not disturb the downstairs tenants. You might ask if she could rock stockings in the house. Unless she really just is “heavy footed” in which case I’m not sure what you can do other than bring it up politely and hope it isn’t a sore subject.

delirium's avatar

See if there’s carpet/rugs there. If not, offer to chip in on getting some put in if they’re willing.

maggiesmom1's avatar

Yeah, I’m heavy-footed, too, and until I was made aware of it, I didn’t know. If you just politely say, “Hey, would it be possible for you to wait to put your shoes on until you’re walking out the door because the sound proofing in here is awful & I can hear every step you take.”
As everybody else said, if you’re polite about it and simply making her aware, unless she’s a total witch, she won’t take offense. Now I’m really aware of how stompy I am and try to at least wait till I leave until I put my big ‘ole horse clompers on.

Perchik's avatar

Ironically enough Lisa has told me that most of the time Sarah is barefoot…and it’s just her normal walking .I do feel really bad about it because it is hard to tell someone “You walk wrong” or something. Thanks for the input, I’m gonna try to say something soon.

Zaku's avatar

I tend to walk heavily too and have been wanting to answer this, but not sure how. I’ve been told several times and sometimes got a bit upset and other times not at all. Usually the upset came from being told in a way that projected to me that I was doing something wrong, which got me more defensive than sympathetic.

I’d suggest first you get clear of upset or apprehension. Then talk to Sarah asking her how she’s doing etc and communicating by your manner that you don’t have any hard feelings, then mention that you’d already talked to Lisa about how the ceiling/floor has you hearing them, especially some of their footsteps but not all of them. Repeat that the ceiling/floor is the issue and be clear you’re not upset with them, and maybe just suggest indirectly that they could think of you as they step sometimes. Or directly, but not making her wrong about it. In other words, communicate you like her/them, the effect on you, and the possibility of them helping you by keeping it in mind.

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