The Art of Neighboring: Tips for Being a Good Neighbor


Being a Good Neighboor

It seems like our daily lives are flashing before our eyes as we juggle work, school, exercise, laundry, extra-curricular activities, Taco Tuesday, so and so’s birthday celebration, and, if we are lucky enough, the occasional good book or relaxing bath. Through the chaos of our day-to-day routines, it can be difficult to realize or remember the lost art of neighboring.

With the increase in technological communications like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram driving our social interactions, we have lost touch with those surrounding us – our neighbors. Many have either forgotten proper neighbor etiquette, been too preoccupied to realize or rectify their poor habits, or have never been taught the social expectations of being a good neighbor. Whether you live in a house, apartment, duplex, basement or the sixth floor of the oldest dormitory on campus, it is important keep those around you in mind.

Being a Good Neighbor Starts with Being a Good Friend

Ancient Wisdom says; “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” K.J.V. Here is a list of things good neighboors should do:

1.   Don’t gossip behind their back
2.   Make time even when you are busy
3.   Be honest
4.   Be there for support
5.   Have fun with your friend

Remember these five important tips on being a good friend.

9 Tips for Being a Good Neighbor in the 21st Century

Ancient Wisdom says “seldom set foot in your neighbor’s house…too much of you, and they will hate you.” Proverbs 25:17

For those questions you were too embarrassed to ask, or those ineffective passive-aggressive notes you have been leaving your college roommate to remind him for the umpteenth time that his beer cans are attracting bugs.

Below is a list of ways we can regain the ancient art of being a good neighbor:

1.  Meet Your Neighbors – Many people completely disregard or forget to introduce themselves to their neighbors. Establishing a cordial relationship with your neighbor from the onset will help avoid problems in the future by keeping the communication lines open for any issues that will need to be addressed. Bonus: you may find you actually like your neighbor and become good friends.

2.  Maintain Your Home – Your yard is a reflection of your neighborhood. Take pride in your home and respect your neighbors by keeping your yard tidy. Be sure to mow and water your grass or other landscaping as necessary, pick up your children’s toys, and do not let your dog leave unsightly presents all over the yard.

3.  Consider Shared Walls– For those living in apartments, do not place noisy appliances near partitioned walls. Your neighbor might not want to listen to your laundry tumbling in the dryer at midnight, or guess if the rumbling of the wall was an explosion resonating from your expensive surround sound or a cause for concern. Learn more about apartment and condo facts.

4.  Be Considerate with Your Second Hand Smoke – If you live in an apartment building, condo, or duplex, the smell of smoke can seep into the walls and furniture. You want to be sure you do not smoke in common areas, especially if your neighbors are smoke-free.

5.  Offer to Lend a Hand – The art of neighboring actually began with people helping each other build their homes in the pioneer times. If your neighbor is completing a home improvement project, shoveling his driveway or trying to carry groceries up the steps – help him out. He will appreciate the gesture and be more inclined to return the favor in the future. Connect with the city police and fire officials in your area.

6.  Learn their Lifestyle – While you may work a 9-5 job and enjoy your peace and quiet around 8:00 p.m. after the kids go to bed, your neighbor may work the opposite overnight shift and cherish his hours of sleep during the day. Be considerate of each other’s schedules. Do not hold band practice at 9:00 p.m. Tuesday, or bust out your new John Deer at 8:00 a.m. Saturday morning. Try to figure out a convenient schedule for both parties, or perhaps compromise. For instance, allow your neighbor to hold band practice on Tuesday nights if he agrees to finish by 10:30 a.m., or only hold it twice a month.

7.  Alert Neighbors of Parties – When you are planning a party, give your neighbor plenty of warning. Let them know what time the party will start and end, and offer a rough count of the amount of people you expect to attend. Even better, invite them over to enjoy the celebration. They probably won’t mind if it goes a little long if they are enjoying the activities themselves.

8.  Practice Proper Parking – Be sure not to block access to your neighbor’s driveway or car, and make sure they can easily get out of their parking spot. Unless you are having a party, park in front of your home, not your neighbor’s. Avoid slamming car doors, revving engines, or shining bright lights into your neighbor’s windows at night.

9.  Control Your Pets -Not every person is an animal enthusiast. Even if you neighbors love pets, they will not adore droppings in their yard or incessant barking at night. Be sure you do not keep your dog outside if it constantly barks or has a chronic barking problem. Consult your local vet or animal organization if this is an issue. Make sure you only keep your dog in the yard if you have a fence, so that it will not run rampant on your neighbor’s lawn.

When people take the time to follow the above tips and practice proper neighborly etiquette, the entire community benefits. These simple practices will help to foster camaraderie throughout the neighborhood, ensure safety in the community, and create a healthy social environment where people are encouraged to openly communicate about their issues. Instead of “liking” the image of your neighbor’s new deck on Instagram, perhaps you could enjoy a fresh glass of lemonade together while planning their first backyard barbecue.

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