8 Easy Ways to be a Good Neighbor

Whether you live in an apartment or house, you may find that it’s hard to take the time to get to know the people living around you. And, if you stay in one place for more than a few years, you’ll quickly notice that neighbors can come and go with frightening speed. By making time to get to know your neighbors instead of averting your eyes every time you travel from your front door to your car, you can help foster a safer, friendlier community. Here’s how you can start:

Introduce yourself to your closest neighbors.
It’s simple yet meaningful to introduce yourself to your neighbors. Not only does an introduction show that you care about your community, it creates opportunities for your neighbor to reach out to you in the future.

Sit on your front porch (or driveway).
Sometimes, making yourself available is the easiest way to meet people. By offering a friendly wave or “hello” to people walking by, you will encourage people to return the gesture. Plus, you might reestablish an American tradition.

Invite neighbors over for a casual get-together.
This is a great way to open your home to the people around you. Your get-together can be limited to an outdoor BBQ or a trivia night; either way, a night with your neighbors will prompt them to be considerate and keep you in mind if any neighborhood issues arise.

Hold a book swap.
A book swap can happen in any setting and is easy to set up. If you don’t feel comfortable hosting a book swap, you can always consider adding a little free library to your front yard.

Offer a helping hand.
If you see a need, respond. From helping to sweep up broken glass to catching a runaway dog, remember that you share responsibility with your neighbors to make your community a better place.

Beautify your outside space.
Mowing your lawn and pulling the weeds are only a few ways you can put effort into your yard and show ownership for your space and neighborhood. If you don’t have a yard to maintain, setting out potted flowers in a window or on your steps works, too.

Keep your neighbors in mind around the holidays.
A simple gift of sweets or flowers can go far in maintaining or establishing relationships between neighbors. And, by showing someone else a little generosity, you might encourage them to “pay it forward” to others on your block.

Share with us on Twitter: What are your plans to show your neighbors you care this holiday season?

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Emily Knippa

Emily Knippa is a St. Louis-based marketer and writer who focuses on content marketing, career development, and personal finance. She enjoys meeting people pursuing inspiring career paths. She’d love to meet you at the next United Way event. Say hello to Emily on Twitter at @emilyknippa.