Almost everyone has had bad neighbors. The people who play their music too loud, park all over the street, don’t take care of their house, and are just generally rude and unfriendly. On the other end of the spectrum are people who see the value in being courteous neighbors who consider the needs of other people and do their part to create a respectful community.
Courteous behavior from neighbors can make all the difference, especially if you live in a. You don’t have to be someone’s best friend just because you live near them, but you should always be a good neighbor. It doesn’t require a lot of effort to see great results. Here are five tips to make that happen.
Many people live in close quarters with others, especially in apartments, and never learn their neighbors’ names. Simply introducing yourself and saying hi to your neighbors can make a big difference. Saying hello doesn’t mean you have to invite your neighbors to all your social gatherings, but it opens the door for communication and shows that you are willing to talk to them. If an issue arises, your neighbors know your name and can talk to you before things escalate. Even a friendly wave can brighten someone’s day and make it more likely that they put up with your neighborly quirks.
There’s no need to speak in hushed tones all the time, but be respectful of your neighbors, especially with the volume of your music, TV, or social gatherings. Some HOAs and apartment complexes have rules about when things need to quiet down for the night. Stick to those rules as much as possible. If you have a neighbor with a baby or people who are elderly, be considerate and turn down the music during nap time and bedtime. If you’re having people over and know the party could run late or be a little loud, give your neighbors a heads up. Most people don’t mind the occasional loud night, especially if they were warned about it beforehand.
Respect Their Privacy
Just because you live close to someone doesn’t mean you need to be all up in their business. The obvious ways to respect someone’s privacy are not to look in windows, go through their mail, or enter their house uninvited. You can take it a step further by observing their personal space and making sure to give a warning before you stop by. Even if you’re friendly with your neighbors, don’t get involved in neighborhood or apartment complex gossip. Chances are it will come back around to bite you or people will start gossiping about you.
Maintain Your Property
No one wants to live next to the house with the overgrown yard and peeling paint or the apartment that keeps their trash and extra furniture in the walkway. Maintaining your property not only helps your space look good, but it also improves the overall community feel and how your neighbors feel about you. You don’t have to spend hours every weekend taking care of your property, but at least do the basics: mow your lawn, pull weeds out of your garden, and pick up any trash and toys from outside. Make sure your trees and bushes aren’t growing into your neighbor’s yard.
Honor Shared Areas
Many communities and apartment complexes have shared common areas like playgrounds, dog parks, and laundry rooms. These facilities are great for getting to know your neighbors. Remember that shared areas aren’t for your own private use. What you do in a common area isn’t the same as what you can do in the privacy of your own home. Move your laundry from shared washers and dryers in a timely and courteous manner, clean up after a barbecue in a common courtyard, and don’t regularly take over the community park. Everyone pays for these amenities and should be able to take advantage of them equally.
Being courteous neighbors can improve your quality of life and open the door to new relationships and friendships. It doesn’t take much to show respect to your neighbors. If you put in the effort, chances are other people will do the same.