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Won’t You Be My Neighbor? Creating A Positive Community

Friendly Neighbor in a positive community

Everybody hopes they will have good neighbors. People like living in a neighborhood where yards are well kept, noise levels are respectful, and there is the sense of a close-knit positive community that can count on each other for both fun and safety. 

In general, most people like to know the people living around them, and who they might ask to borrow a cup of sugar from, or to keep an eye on their house while they’re away. Neighbors can be both resourceful and become good friends. And when everyone is friendly and works to build a clean, welcoming, and safe neighborhood, a sense of real harmony within the community is achieved making it a place everyone wants to live. 

That said, have you ever considered what kind of neighbor you are? Though you often hope for good neighbors around you, have you given some thought to the impact you’re having on your neighborhood? How are you making it a great place to live?

One survey conducted by discovered that a whopping 95% of people believe they are a good neighbor. They also had several suggestions on how to be a good neighbor. Take a look at their list and see what things you are doing to help create a close-knit positive community, and perhaps what new habits you might be able to pick up. 

  • Welcome any new neighbors to the community with a handwritten note or stop by and introduce yourself.

Nothing says “Welcome to our friendly neighborhood!” quite like a personal hello. Get to know them and help them get to know you. While you’re at it, offer to help unload boxes, take a plate of homemade goodies, and share some favorite local places to help them feel at home. 

  • Make sure that the outside of your home, including your yard, is well-kept and complies with your association’s rules.

We’ve all had them… neighbors who let their yards fall by the wayside and give way to the weeds. Not only does it look upkept, but it makes the neighborhood less appealing and can even bring down the value of the home. A little bit of yardwork each week can go a long way and with consistent maintenance the whole community feels well cared for and highly desirable. 

  • Be mindful of noise—loud music, barking dogs, power tools—that may disrupt the neighborhood beyond a reasonable hour.

Everyone appreciates neighbors who are aware of loud noises they, or their pets, might be creating. Good neighbors know how to keep those noises at bay when it gets too late in the evening or from starting them way too early in the morning while people are still asleep. Bringing your dog in if it barks at every animal or person that passes by, holding off on mowing the lawn in the morning until you know your neighbors are up and moving, and keeping those garage band jam sessions limited to reasonable hours can really show a great amount of respect for your neighbors, who are, in turn, much more likely to show it right back. 

  • If you throw a big party, communicate your community’s parking rules with your guests, end the event at a reasonable hour, and invite your neighbors to join in the fun.

Parties can be a total blast… as long as it doesn’t wreck the neighbors’ night around you in the meantime! Communicating details of the big event to both neighbors and guests can keep things running smoothly and helps ensure everyone has a good time. Better still, invite your neighbors to join so they can be part of the fun! 

  • If you borrow something from your neighbor, return it promptly and in the same condition they lent it to you and express your thanks.
  • Replace anything of your neighbor’s that you, your children, or your pets break.
  • Respect your neighbor’s privacy.
  • Offer to take care of mail pick-up, plants, or pets while your neighbor is on vacation.

It’s nice to know you have good neighbors you can count on to help your home feel watched over and safe while you’re gone. Offering that kind of trust is huge for building relationships and creating a safe and positive community.

  • And most importantly, be social! Inviting a neighbor over for coffee and conversation fosters new friendship and keeps your neighborhood warm and welcoming!

Even if you feel like you can check everything off this list, take a look and evaluate how you might be able to step up your good-neighbor game. Doing one more thing to help your community become closer-knit can also inspire those around you to do the same! And if everyone does their part, it will create a warm and welcoming neighborhood everyone wants to be a part of. 

Good neighbor list and survey findings from:

A version of this post was originally published on the Community Associates Institute Website.