Ways to Be a Good Neighbor
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.