There are many different types of neighbors: the tattletales, gossipers, one-uppers, eavesdroppers, yard addicts, party animals, and most importantly, the good neighbors. Believe it or not, the human being living next door, irritating or not, can benefit you and the entire neighborhood. When you’re good to your neighbors, they will be good to you. Not to mention, they’re perfect for last second favors: pick up or drop off the kids at school or activities, water the garden and feed the dog while you’re on vacation, borrow any cookware that you’ve seemed to have misplaced, spy on your children when they’re home alone, etc. If you don’t have a good relationship with your neighbor, here’s how you can start.
Introduce yourself. Waving as you drive by is polite, but not enough. It’s a start, but properly introducing yourself–in person–will be much more effective when starting a relationship with your neighbor.
Step out to visit. If you see your neighbor in the yard, take a quick minute to walk
over and say hello. The more you get to know your neighbors, the more considerate you will be with their lifestyle.
Be mindful. Once you become more acquainted, you’ll be able to pinpoint your lifestyle differences. For example, keep your dogs, children, and toys out of their yard as much as possible.
Help out. If you’re mowing the lawn, raking leaves, or shoveling snow and time permits, why not do theirs too? Doing small favors for them will certainly strengthen the neighborly bond.
Return the favor. “I scratch your back, you scratch mine.” No one likes someone that takes, takes, takes, but doesn’t give. If you find them doing you a favor, make sure to pay it forward.
Get involved. When you make a conscious effort to be involved with the community, they tend to trust you. Inviting them over for dinner, holiday parties, or even throwing a block party is an open invitation for a healthy relationship–maybe even friendship!
Be on the lookout. Watch over your neighborhood–without being creepy–and let your neighbors know about anything suspicious.