Simple ways to be a better neighbour | homify | homify
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Simple ways to be a better neighbour

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Atkinsons Fencing Work Scandinavian style garden by Atkinsons Fencing Ltd Scandinavian
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Cities are not going out of style, and Millennials like it more than all generations before. What they also like is to move around often. This is not necessarily bad – it can be exciting and a lot of fun. There can be some draw-backs, though. Moving so often can lead to people treating their homes like hotels and their neighbours as transient guests. It is not uncommon these days for neighbours to exchange no more than a nod of acknowledgement in passing, and that’s where it stops. Living in an urban environment has the implication of having many neighbours, but the transitory nature of our urban lives has led to us not wanting to waste time in getting to know them.

Neighbourliness has many benefits, though. It is hospitality in its most basic form, and it allows easy access to socialisation outside of the family. It is also a quick step into building valuable social networks. Let’s not forget, neighbourliness is good in itself – everyone wants to be a decent human being to others.

Well, regardless of the reasons why you’d like to be a better neighbour (whether for your own or for mutual benefit), we at homify are going to share a few pointers with you today.

1. Resolve disputes

If there are any issues coming up between you and your neighbour, especially originating from their side, rather talk to them in person about it. You do not want to create misunderstandings or offend people you probably will have to see every day. Also try not to involve third parties if it is not absolutely necessary.

As we will see a bit later on, nice notes can be great. But angry or passive aggressive ones… not so good. This is especially true for a neighbour whom you do not know very well. You have no idea how they will react. Anonymous notes and snippy comments are definitely on the worst side of the spectrum, as your neighbour will surely have no problem in discovering the origin.

2. Party time!

Traditional Garden - Decked Seating Area and Vertical Wooden Screening Country style garden by Unique Landscapes Country
Unique Landscapes

Traditional Garden—Decked Seating Area and Vertical Wooden Screening

Unique Landscapes

Sharing a meal and beverages with others is a sure-fire way of building relationships and drawing people together. Add some music and a few fun games, and you can hardly go wrong. A block party is an excellent way to become fast friends with your neighbours, or at least create a spirit of goodwill between you.

Another option would be to have a communal yard sale, where you and your neighbour/s pool together to create an awesome shopping experience in the neighbourhood. This will give you the opportunity to work closely together with your neighbours, as well as to meet even more neighbourhood people!

3. Exchange details

Your best course of action is to provide your neighbour with your contact details as soon as you meet them. This will avoid future awkwardness when having to remember names and trying to establish a connection without any opportunities. It will also be a sign of good faith if you provide your details, as it will mean that you are inviting your neighbour to inform you if there are any problems or if they need help.

So, upon your first meeting, write down your name and number for them to keep. If it is already far beyond that point in time, run over for a sincere apology that you realise you have never given your details before.

4. Share expertise

Benjamin Franklin had the notion that if you show kindness to someone or do them a favour, you will be more inclined to do so in the future. This seems a bit like a strange idea and you might think it is the other way around, but actually, it holds much truth. If you help someone out once, you will feel much more inclined to do it again, especially if such help was well received and appreciated.

This is a great starting point for you to want to spend more time with your neighbour and have grounds for socialisation.

5. Turn it down

This is a simple rule that is sure to keep the peace between yourself and any neighbour. Keeping your music down to a human volume is always a good route to take, and the key is to take others into consideration. Ask yourself: “how loud would I tolerate other’s music at this time of day?”

If you’re planning on having a garden party where loud music will unavoidably feature, inform your neighbours ahead of time and keep it down to a still reasonable volume. If they have any complaints during the actual playing of the music, be considerate and turn it down.

7. Keep your best friend in line

One of the most common causes of neighbourly disputes, and certainly a given cause of such a dispute should it take place, is an incessantly barking dog in your back yard. If you need to leave your best friend in the back yard all day while you are at work, ask a neighbour you might be at home during that time if they could hear him or her. If so, you will have to find a way to fix this.

If your dog sleeps outside at night, make sure he/she has all the comforts they may need as to not bark up a storm during all hours of the evening.

If you'd rather keep the critter indoors then, take a look at: How To Pet-Proof Your Home In Style.

6. Be a good driver

Wilton Terrace Classic style houses by Flower Michelin Classic
Flower Michelin

Wilton Terrace

Flower Michelin

Suburban life can be terribly influenced by the driving habits of individuals. How many times have you stood in awe as a driver races at full speed past your home were children play outside and pets are out and about? Just don’t be that person. You will definitely win over your entire neighbourhood if you have good driving etiquette and your arrival at home each evening is not marked by skid marks or thumping bass. Turn your stereo down low when you approach houses, be vigilant, and look out for pedestrians, bikers, kids and pets. Basically, just be a good and patient driver in general. Your neighbours will love you for it.

8. Be nice and say hello

It wouldn’t kill anyone to be friendly to the people around them every once in a while. This becomes a bit more important when you’re trying to win over your neighbours. Every time you have an interaction with your neighbour, or simply pass them, it adds to the impression and perception they have of you. This means that every passing glance is a golden opportunity.

If you simply smile and wave at your neighbour each time you see them, even if you have not formally met them yet, it will go a long way in creating a pleasant atmosphere between you. This will be the foundation on which all other attempts and interactions are built.

9. Write a note

So lastly we come to possibly the simplest technique. It requires little effort on your part and minimal, if none, potentially awkward social interaction. Just write a simple and friendly note. Check-in, make sure they know of a scheduled power outage, or let them know if you’ll have a party and may make a bit of noise, in case they’d rather want to go out that night or let you know when things get a bit too rowdy.

People love friendly notes. Keep it kind and concise, and you will win your neighbour over every time.

Do you get along with your neighbours? Perhaps you have neighbours from hell? Share you experiences with us!
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