Lisa Richey has been teaching good manners to children, adults, and educators since 1999. She is the author and creator of the popular program, Manners To Go. You may reach her at Manners To Go, American Academy of Etiquitte, or follow her on twitter at @mannerstogo.
The introductions have been made. The cookies exchanged. You are settled into your new home. Now what? Why not think about the important exchange and the relationship you will have with your neighbors? This relationship can make or break the experience you have in your neighborhood. Do you have the “likability” factor that is necessary for having a positive relationship with those next door and down the street? After all, you could pass them on the way to work or even in the grocery store.
Let’s see what it takes to become a good neighbor.
1. Share contact information. Pass along your email, phone, and any other contact information. This is helpful to have for obvious reasons.
2. Be mindful. What kind of hours does your neighbor keep? If your kids like to play the drums, you might have them practice before 8pm if your neighbors are early to bed. Being mindful is especially important if you share a wall.
3. Get connected. If you have children, it is nice to have referrals for pediatricians, babysitters, and daycare centers. Let’s face it, times have changed. Connecting your kids with the right group in your neighborhood is meaningful and necessary. The way to do this is through the way your children communicate. Instagram? Snapchat? Find out! Initiate the connection and tap into other parents who are in the know.
4. Stay tidy. Keep up with your yard work and the general maintenance on the exterior of your home. Everyone wins when the neighborhood is tidy and well kept. If your community homeowners association provides this for you, even better; now you have more time to spend with friends and family.
5. Animals bring joy to so many, but not all share the love. If your dog is barking, especially early in the morning or late in the evening, turn them inside.
6. Be careful what you post. If you are using Facebook and decide to post about a dinner party that was kept small, be cautious if you show the after-photos on social media outlets. Some may get their feelings hurt if they were not included in your event.
Neighbors can easily become family. Foster these relationships and add to your life.