Did you know that September 28, 2019 is National Good Neighbor Day? Did you even know that there is a #NationalGoodNeighborDay? When we are living in our communities, towns, cities, and neighborhoods we often forget how important our neighbors are. And even more precisely, we forget (or take for granted) how important good neighbors are to everyone. Are you a good neighbor? Or a hands-off neighbor?
Think about the places you've lived and the ones you enjoyed the most. Chances are, the place you remember fondly had really good neighbors. Or, you may be thinking of a place that finally got you away from bad neighbors! The point is, having great neighbors makes a huge and positive difference in our lives. So what can you do to be a better neighbor?
The Spruce has a great article with some straightforward tips. Don't be noisy, make sure that curb appeal is there, and consider hosting a social event to name just a few.
This article from The Washington Post takes it a few steps further and explains why you should share important information with your neighbors (to help keep everyone safer). It also explains what it means to be a good pet owner (no one likes poop in their yard!) and community member.
What happens when you don't get along with a neighbor? We've all been there and experienced a neighbor who upsets us or perhaps makes us feel disrespected. And in the current political climate in the U.S., tensions are often running high in communities, and that can cause potential fights with neighbors.
Remember that you share common interests
The first step to mending tense neighborly fences is to reach out, even if that feels hard. Spending time together and finding your common ground is a great way to make future conversations better. A report from The Pew Research Center back in 2016 found that most people had more in common when it came to getting along with new neighbors, whether they identified as Republican or Democrat, than differences.
Don't let political affiliations keep you from creating new friendships. Host a BBQ or happy hour at your house and invite the neighbors over. You're most likely to find that you enjoy many of the same things and have far fewer differences than you think.
Show up to neighborhood events
If you're feeling like you don't know your neighbors or that you are an outsider, be sure to show up to the local events. Don't skip the PTO meetings at school or the chances to talk about transit changes or zoning laws. If your work allows, become a visible member in your community and talk to your neighbors at those events. You'll find that you quickly start forming relationships when you're working together to make your community better.
Not sure what to ask a new neighbor to get to know them? You can always draw inspiration from How Do You See The World? and Why Can't We All Just Get Along? Any of the questions in the games will serve as the perfect neighborly icebreaker.