Neighbor tension

Hello, I'm writing in some distress because a neighbor who had been very friendly with me has suddenly become cold and avoids talking to me. I don't want to get into the details in case there's identifying information but I just wanted to get other people's perspectives here. We're fairly new neighbors, both of us moving in next door to each other a year ago. Up until recently, whenever we'd see each other we'd have lots to chat about and there was just an overall nice vibe. I think things turned when I made what I thought were well-meaning comments about their dog but which I think they took as criticism. I truly meant no harm but I can see how a sensitive person could take it the wrong way. Since then it has been cold shoulder or avoidance. On the one hand I feel terrible because I truly like them, didn't mean to offend, and want to have a sense of community, especially right next door. On the other hand, I don't want to spend time and energy feeling bad about this because sometimes things just happen the wrong way. I tend to be a direct / straightforward person so have thought about approaching them and bringing this up but based on their actions so far, I'm almost certain I will be gaslighted, that they will deny that anything is wrong. I hate tension and unspoken conflicts but I'm leaning toward just going about my business, continuing to say hi genuinely and trying to engage when it feels natural, as long as I can keep their coldness from distressing me. Right now it feels like a terrible way to live many, many years next to each other, but I guess I've heard stories of many neighbors like this and they just cope with it.  Your perspectives or how your handled situations like this are greatly appreciated. Thank you!

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RE: Neighbor tension ()

Well, as a dog owner myself, I am pretty sensitive about my "baby" but you don't give details about what exactly was said so we can't weigh in on that exactly. Next time you run into them, I don't see a big risk in saying something like, "Oh, I've been wondering if my comment about Y read as a criticism of X, I didn't mean it that way." Even if they're not receptive or noticeably warmer, at least you've gotten it off your chest. Alternatively, if you're fairly sure it's dog related and you don't want to wait until organically running into them, you could drop off a little toy for the dog with a nice note like "I saw this and thought your cutie would enjoy playing with it!" OK, that would melt my cold dog lover's heart!

Personally, since you started off on a good note, I'd give it one more try to bring things closer to equilibrium. But then, yes, you have to let it go and recognize that some neighbors choose not to be friends and that's their right. Just be happy you don't live next to a noisy day care... or endless construction... or a person with untreated dementia...