It seems like our daily lives are flashing before our eyes as we juggle work, school, exercise, laundry, extra-curricular activities, Taco Tuesday, someone'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.
Tips for Being a Good Neighbor
Below is a list of ways we can regain the age old art of being a good neighbor:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.