Tomorrow, September 28th, is Good Neighbor Day (#goodneighborday).
If you want to be a good neighbor, it may take a bit of effort and creativity. Even so, you’ll find it rewarding to strive to become a neighbor that is cherished and loved by all who live nearby.
Here are some simple strategies:
- Always greet your neighbors. Regardless of how busy you are, a simple acknowledgement of a neighbor’s presence is important.
- Make eye contact when a neighbor is nearby. It only takes seconds, but it speaks volumes.
- Demonstrate your attention to your neighbor by remarking on something relevant. “Looks like you’ve been fishing” or “You’ve got the friendliest dog ever” shows you’re paying attention.
- Notice changes in your neighbor’s appearance. “I like your new haircut” or “You look nice today” always brings a lift.
- Take a genuine interest. When you say, “Hi,” show real interest. “I’ve been wondering how you’re doing since I hadn’t seen you lately.”
- Be kind. When you get in a rush or aren’t in the best mood, remind yourself to be kind to your neighbors.
- Show courtesy. Opening a door for your neighbor when his hands are full or helping him carry in bags of groceries demonstrates that caring side of you.
- Say, ‘thank you.’ When your neighbor does something for you, remember to let him know that you’re grateful.
- Find time to chat. You can most likely tell when someone is interested in spending a few minutes to “chew the fat” with you.
- Make an effort to get to know your neighbors. You’ll find that you live near some pretty fascinating people if you attempt to discover more about your neighbors.
- Be open to becoming friends with your neighbors. You’ve probably made at least 1 good friend in the past from getting to know your neighbors. How about adding a couple more? There’s no such thing as too many true friends!
- Offer to help whenever a neighbor needs a ride or other assistance. Look at it from the other side—if you needed a hand, wouldn’t it be nice (and convenient) to receive aid from your neighbors?
- Invite a neighbor over for coffee, drinks, or dinner. When you discover neighbors who peak your curiosity and interest, invite them to share a beverage or meal with you.
- Keep it simple. Most people get a little anxious when things look overly planned or perfect. When you ask a friend over, just have some beverages available (and a simple meal if you’re having dinner). Keep it casual, relaxed, and easy. Neighbors really appreciate those things.
- Just pitch in. If your neighbor just pulled up in a truck with a heavy chair in the back, rather than asking, “Do you need help,” just walk over and say, “I can carry this end.” If, for some reason, the neighbor doesn’t prefer for you to help, he’ll let you know.
- Behave naturally. Everyone appreciates and is attracted to a person who doesn’t put on airs. Be yourself and your neighbors will love you.
- Be dependable. If you offer to drive your neighbor to work tomorrow because her car is in the shop, ensure you arrive in plenty of time to get her to work on time.
- Communicate effectively. If your neighbor asks for help and you simply can’t do it, let them know right away so they can make other arrangements. Rather than say, “I might be able to work it out,” be honest about how the timing will not work for you this time. However, you can offer another time you can do it, in the event your neighbor is in a position to be flexible.
- Have a sense of humor. It’s always fun to be around entertaining people.
- Show vigilance when it comes to the neighborhood. Keeping an eye out for out-of-place vehicles or strangers on the street illustrates that you care about your neighbors. Plus, paying attention to unusual happenings protects you and your family as well.
- Share information. If you heard that the store around the corner is having a going-out-of-business sale, let your neighbors know about it. If the tables were turned, you’d appreciate being informed.
- Take over soup or a hot meal just to help out. If your neighbor just got out of the hospital, for example, why not cook up a pot of chili or a meatloaf to take to her family for dinner? At the very least, consider dropping off some take-out food items to lend a hand during your neighbor’s difficult time. People are thrilled when provided for in this simple, caring way.
- Notice if a neighbor isn’t all that interested in developing a close friendship. Some neighbors prefer to say, “Hi” and that’s it. If you’re observant, you’ll pick up on the type of relationship your neighbors prefer to have with you.
- Avoid being “pushy.” Very few people enjoy a neighbor who’s overly demanding or insistent about spending time together.
- Recognize different priorities. For example, you may be settled and have lots of free time to hang out. Your neighbor, however, may be trying to get ahead at work and have 2 young kids to deal with when he gets home. Being sensitive to your neighbor’s life is an important aspect of being a good neighbor.
If you want to be a good neighbor, there are plenty of friendly and supportive actions you can take. Try some of these helpful ideas to become the best neighbor on the block!
If you want to get into the right mindset for being a great neighbor, listen to the Audio Affirmation here. You can listen in the car or before bed. However you listen, it’s sure to help get your head in the right space.
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