A kind, respectful neighborhood is desired by everyone! You can help in promoting a friendly neighborhood with these simple niceties that make all the difference.
Whether you're just moving into a new neighborhood or you feel like your old neighborhood needs a bit of a revival, there are ways to create a welcoming environment wherever you live. Promoting a friendly neighborhood begins with you. If you show kindness, empathy and respect to your fellow neighbors, they will respond similarly. From neighborhood watches to block parties to a simple greeting in the street, spreading kindness and looking out for one another is the neighborly thing to do. You spend so much time in your neighborhood, so it's important that it is kept safe and friendly.
The first key to promoting a friendly neighborhood is kindness
Everyone benefits from having friendly neighbors. Being kind costs nothing, and it's so easy to do. A simple “Good morning!” when you pass your neighbors in the street is enough to put a smile on their face and reminds them that you're approachable. If you're new to a neighborhood, be sure to introduce yourself in your first week there. Remember a little something about the neighbors you meet, such as their family situation or their job, and share something about yourself in return.
Take care of your property
Now that you've met the neighbors, it's time to show them that you care about the way the neighborhood looks. Keep your property in good shape. This could be accomplished by mowing the lawn frequently and not letting it get out of hand, for example. You will also want to keep your yard looking sharp by weeding when necessary. Insects that are attracted to unruly gardens and the weeds themselves can easily travel into neighboring yards. You don't want to be responsible for ruining someone else's property!
Look after their property
You don't need to mow their lawn every time you mow your own, but shoveling snow for an elderly neighbor from time to time can go a long way. If your neighbors mention they are going out of town, offer to get their newspaper or mail. They may even have some plants that will need to be watered. Not only will you be promoting a friendly neighborhood by helping them out, but they will most likely offer the same to you should you ever go out of town.
A key worry that people have when moving into a new town is how respectful the neighbors will be. A lot of this has to do with noise. Keeping your own noise levels to a minimum in the evenings and early morning is the right thing to do. If you will be doing any construction on your home, be sure it stops when the sun goes down. When possible, be respectful of any requests by neighbors who may have a new baby or a different sleep schedule.
Get to know the usual players
There are a few people who are always out and about that everyone should get to know. Introducing yourself to the mailman will help him or her place a face with the name and help in catching any mail going to the wrong address. In addition, if you have some young neighbors who could use some extra cash, you could pay them to mow the lawn or walk your dog - or simply spend time getting to know your neighbors by walking dogs together! Getting to know the people who are outside daily can help in promoting a friendly neighborhood and keeping your home safe.
Partake in neighborhood events
If there is a block party or neighborhood barbecue, be sure to attend and mingle a bit. Remember, these people are always around your home and your family. They are there should you need any help, and they are able to keep an extra eye on your property with ease because they live so close! If your neighborhood isn't the type to have a block party, perhaps get together with some friendly neighbors and create one to help in promoting a friendly neighborhood!
Teach your children and dogs to be respectful, too!
Even if you have been completely respectful and kind to your neighbors, that can all be overshadowed if you have an unruly child or pet. Teach your children to behave appropriately when around the neighborhood. This could include not crossing through neighbor's yards and not being overly loud in the streets. Keep children's outdoor toys tidy, too. As for pets, keep your dog tied up in the yard if you don't have a fence, and ensure your animals aren't ruining anyone's flowers or yards.
Read your neighbors
Perhaps you have a few neighbors who are not interested in being social, and that's okay! Take a mental note of who enjoys stopping for a conversation and who doesn't. Give a simple “hello” to those who aren't interested in getting to know you, and respect their boundaries. You should still invite them to neighborhood events, but know when to leave them alone. Even if they are not interested in being very neighborly, still find ways to pass on important information about construction times, possible parties, or crime alerts in the area.
Know who needs you
On the flip side of anti-social neighbors are the neighbors who want to have you over for a daily coffee. This is often elderly people who might have more time on their hands and could use someone to talk to during the day. Always say hello to the elderly neighbors who are sitting on their porch. Stop for a chat and invite them over when you have some free time. Retirees will usually spend more time in the neighborhood than some of your other neighbors, so take advantage of always having a friendly face around!
Communication is a necessity
The main factor in keeping a neighborhood friendly and safe is communication. Letting your neighbors know when you'll be out of town can help them look out for any suspicious activity. Knowing a bit about your neighbors can help you look after their home and well-being, too. Neighborhood watches revolve around the open communication between neighbors and local police to help lower crime. Open lines of communication will create a happy, safe, and friendly neighborhood for you and your family.