Ways to Be a Good Neighbor

 In Blog

Did you know that September 28th is National Good Neighbor Day?

Are you a good neighbor? Or would a refresher of the qualities be helpful? If being a good neighbor is important to you, here are a few things to keep in mind and ideas to try.

Say “hello” – it doesn’t get much easier than that. A friendly greeting can set a positive tone with your neighbors. And it usually follows with mutual smiles. 

Along those lines, learn your neighbors’ names. A friendly, “Hello, Ed,” creates a better relationship and makes people feel like they’re important to you. Are you good at remembering names? If not, use these tips.

A good first impression helps create a start to a wonderful relationship. When a new neighbor moves in, offer to help with the heavy lifting, give them a list of phone numbers of local services and amenities, and deliver some cookies. 

Hold a small get-together so they can meet other neighbors.

When you’re unsure how to interact with your neighbors, use the ‘Golden Rule’ as a guide.

  • Keep your noise level in mind
    • If you’re throwing a party, give them a heads up
    • Abide by the community rules
    • If your child takes up a musical instrument, like the recorder, warn your neighbors
    • Do your best to keep your dog from continually barking – you might want to check if they bark when you’re not home. Also, dogs gnawing on a bone, scratching the floor, or playing fetch down the hallway can be louder than you think. Check with the neighbor below you.
  • Park in your designated spot – not just you, but also your guests
  • There’s a difference between watching out for your neighbors and being a nosy neighbor – be the former
    • Take note of someone you don’t recognize going into their home
    • Bring unusual noises or disturbances to the attention of management or the authorities
    • Are they at work and you smell smoke?
    • Gossiping is a definite “NO!”
    • Your fur babies are your responsibility
      • Pick up after them
      • Proper dog etiquette is essential
        • No jumping up on people
        • If you know your dog isn’t friendly, keep your distance from other dogs and humans
        • Excessive barking is not appreciated
        • Keep your dog leashed – your neighbors might be afraid of them
  • Keep it clean
    • Don’t leave trash outside your door
    • When using public spaces, clean up after yourself
    • Balconies are not a storage area
  • If you have a conflict use effective communication skills
    • Handle the issue in person and do so right away
    • Keep an open mind and don’t be defensive
    • Don’t talk bad about your neighbor to others

It’s all about the small things – kindness is appreciated, and unexpected kindness warms the heart.

  • Offer to water their plants, get their mail, or take care of their pets when they go on vacation
  • Be generous and sincere with compliments
  • If a neighbor is ill or dealing with an unexpected situation, organize a Meal Train
  • Remember your neighbors during the holidays
  • If you borrow sugar to make cookies – bring them some as a thank you
  • Help carry someone’s groceries
  • Babysit for free – Date Night can be expensive, especially when you add in childcare
  • Invite someone into your home for dinner or cocktails
  • Embrace May Day (May 1st) and anonymously leave flowers in front of your neighbor’s door

Being a good neighbor is important and usually reciprocated. Be thoughtful, friendly, kind, aware, and courteous. Also, remember to smile. It’s contagious and makes people feel good.

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