Are You Really a Good and Responsible Neighbour?

Are you really a good and responsible neighbour?
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Neighbours. Love thy neighbours! They come in different shapes,  sizes and features (no, I’m serious here; otherwise they would be called clones). 

Neighbours have different attributes. They have predictable and unpredictable behaviours. And, they are sensible and otherwise too. Your neighbours may belong to other religions or may have different financial statuses.

Do you have good and responsible neighbours? Yes? God is there with you!

Do you have bad neighbours? Yes? Seriously? God will help you to survive!

A bad neighbour is a misfortune, as much as a good one is a great blessing.

— Hesiod

But what about you? Are you really a good and responsible neighbour who your neighbours are proud of? 

I’m not an expert here but can share some vital points to make sure you fall into this category. Follow along.

1. You are a Friendly Neighbour

Your neighbours should feel at ease when they approach you, and you should not project yourself as an intimidated one. They should not hear a background voice, “Grrr”.

You are friendly when you greet them, smile at them, show simple gestures like giving or taking home-cooked meals, etc. Such gestures sometimes lead to a good friendship with your neighbour.

It’s great that you ask them if they need any of your help. However, you also need to take care that you won’t project yourself over-friendly too.

2. You are a Trustworthy Neighbour

Make sure that they find you as a trustworthy neighbour. They should know that:

3. You Have Empathy and are Ready to Help

You are a great neighbour when you know that one of your neighbours needs help and you are in a position to help him or her.

Bad situations like illness, accidents, financial problems, etc., can happen to anybody. So they can happen to your neighbours too. If you empathise with the situation and can help them, you know that you are going in the right direction. 

Sometimes, you can sit with them and lend your ears when their life is going rough.

4. If You are A Smoker and You Smoke Responsibly

How do you feel when your neighbour smokes and you get that pungent smell? Yuck! Right? I also feel the same. Still feeling. And what would you do when they throw cigarette butts?

I start feeling like Ironman, who says to Captain America, “Sometimes I wanna punch you in your perfect teeth!”. Or imperfect teeth in my case (no pun intended!)

So, if you smoke, make sure that your neighbours don’t feel uneasy, and never throw butts in their compound. I know even you don’t like it if someone does the same with you. Use the ash-tray inside of your home.  Or, maybe a place in your neighbourhood that is smoking-friendly.

5. You Party Responsibly

Photo by Kelsey Chance on Unsplash

Music, drinks, dance, and snacks! Yes, we all love parties. We feel great when we host a party and invite our friends and families to our home.

But do you really feel good when there is loud music and noises coming from your neighbour’s house at 3:00 AM?

I have woken up many times due to this and have felt very bad. I often kept my cool and struggled in the bed, waiting till my neighbours stopped their parties. But sometimes, I had complained to the society’s manager or even to the police when the hooliganism was very high. 

I have another point to make, is it normal now when boys abuse girls and girls abuse boys in their parties? Loudly. And they laugh off it thinking it’s cool? It becomes awkward when kids are around at that time. And what about older people’s discomfort? I don’t believe a real educated person would love to do it. 

So, you do party responsibly when you are not that loud and make noises when people are sleeping. Why can’t we stick to celebrating it in the evening itself and end it by 11 PM or so? Clubs and bars — designated places for loud parties — are there if you want a late-night party.

6. You Don’t Spit Outside

I have lived in different neighbourhoods, and I have found the spitting problem everywhere in India. 

You are an educated neighbour when you don’t spit outside. If you really feel like doing it, do it at a proper place. Use a tissue or handkerchief. Not on the streets, parks, buildings, stairs, corners, etc. I am only talking about those people who think that they are educated but still do it. Consciously or unconsciously.

7. You Don’t Drive Recklessly in Your Neighbourhood

You love to drive is one thing but driving recklessly in your neighbourhood is another. Not only are you being careless about your life but also about others’ lives too. There is no point in considering yourself a character of Fast & Furious and behaving in that way with your car.

So, take care of yourself and the people living in your neighbourhood when you think about the next time to hit that accelerator. Like you, I have also seen many accidents in my neighbourhoods due to this. It’s not worth it. Hence, drive responsibly, my friends.

8. You are A Responsible Pet Owner

Once, I was going to the office and was in my society’s lift. On a different floor, there came my neighbour with his labrador dog. The dog started licking me and spreading all of his drools and hair on my black trousers. I couldn’t say a word except giving a smile. The neighbour didn’t try to control the dog much except saying “No, No”. I had to come home again to change the trousers.

It doesn’t mean I don’t love pets. I do play with them and strays when I want to do so. But the situation in the lift was not right for me as I was going out.

Similarly, I have seen incidents where neighbours’ pets were pooping in the park or streets, and the owners didn’t clean up.

You are a responsible pet owner when you put your dog on a leash and clean up after your dogs have finished their business. Further, you should control your pets so that they don’t go very near other people. Many people don’t feel comfortable when pets are near them or come towards them.

9. You Like Stray Ones as Much as You Like Your Pets

There are times when I don’t understand that some of the pet owners love their pets so much, but the sight of a nearby stray dog doesn’t go well with them. They panic, shout and complain about them. 

They fight with neighbours who love and feed strays. They think that the neighbourhood belongs to their pet only. 

You are a great pet owner when you give some love to strays as well. You understand that stray dogs rely on humans to feed them.

If the strays are roaming around usually and are not aggressive, you don’t need to panic about them.

10. You Don’t Throw Garbage Outside

I bet almost all of you have seen one of your neighbours throwing garbage outside. It can be any place, street, vacant land, buildings, or park.

You are a great neighbour when you understand that a tidy and beautiful neighbourhood is what we all want. Educated people don’t throw garbage outside. You understand that your children will follow you when you avoid spilling outside, and use trash cans or dustbins.

11. You Don’t Drink Heavily and Misbehave

Some neighbours are there who drink when they do parties, and some drink it almost daily habitually. I have no issue if they drink because it’s their money and health. My problem is when they drink and misbehave with other neighbours.

Some take it as an excuse to fight with their neighbours and later apologise that they were drunk at that time. Sometimes it results in fights and uncomfortable situations when the police arrive. Why do you drink when you can’t remain in control? 

You are a great neighbour when you understand your limit and don’t drink heavily.

12. You Don’t Get Jealous of Your Neighbour’s Success or Growth

There are times when you see that your neighbour is getting more successful or seeing growth faster. Many neighbours get jealous and start sulking. 

As a friendly neighbour, you don’t get jealous of their success. You understand that they are working hard for it. Even if they are getting successful by any illegal means, you don’t care. It is their life.

You believe in having a positive attitude, getting inspired by success around, and making your life better.

13. You Don’t Harass or Stalk Your Neighbourhood Girl/Woman

Harassing and stalking are grave concerns and affect the victims to a deeper level. They become fearful and think twice before stepping outside their home.

Do you really think that one day that neighbourhood girl or woman would be yours when you harass or stalk her regularly? Because you have seen many actors getting the girl by doing the same in the movies?

Come to reality, my friends. Going against someones’ will is not a good idea when they are not interested in you.

Being a great neighbour, you behave responsibly and respect your neighbourhood’s girls and women. You don’t ogle at them. You don’t pass lewd gestures or comments.

14. You Respect The Privacy of Your Neighbour

You and your kids should know what your boundary is and where your neighbour’s starting. Respect the boundaries and don’t over knock on their doors or ring their bells. Your children must be educated well about it as they take it as a playful thing.

You are a great neighbour when you do not pry to see what is happening in your neighbour’s home.

You don’t fight with your spouse loudly or talk loudly. You make your kids understand that making loud noises will disturb their neighbours when they rest, sleep, or work from home.

Further, you make sure that you don’t talk on the phone loudly.

15. You Don’t Spread Rumours

How would you feel when a neighbour overheard any of your sensitive talk and spread the rumours in your neighbourhood or maybe a rumour about you that is not true and entirely baked by someone? You would feel bitter when you get to know about it.

Many neighbours tend to talk about their neighbours. They spread anything about others based on what they see, hear, or by judging them.

You, a great neighbour, don’t spread rumours about others. You don’t have any insecurities of your own that you want your neighbours to focus on others. You are optimistic about life and don’t judge your neighbours.

Suppose a neighbour tries to tell you a rumour. You just ignore that and don’t encourage your neighbours when they do so. If you hear it once and talk about it, they will do it again and again as they have got one more partner in crime.

16. You Don’t Park Your Car Irresponsibly

Sometimes, you may have found that a neighbour parked their or their visitor’s car in front of your house as your space was empty. When you came back, you didn’t have any idea whose car was this. You only got to know about it when you asked other neighbours or knocking doors to doors.

In congested cities, the non-availability of parking space is a significant problem. You understand it very well as you also face this issue when you visit your friends or relatives.

Hence, being a responsible neighbour, you ask your neighbour first to use their parking space and for how much time you need it.

If there is nobody around at the moment, you always leave a chit or a piece of paper mentioning your mobile phone so that your neighbour can contact you when there is a need. 

Not doing so may result in uncomfortable tow-away situations, arguments, or a fight (verbal or physical depending on the attitudes of persons at both ends).

Conclusion

In conclusion, I would say good neighbours make you feel comfortable and maintain the neighbourhood’s peace. They follow community rules. On the other hand, bad neighbours disrupt the peace, don’t follow the rules, and make you feel uneasy daily.

Being a good neighbour is an art which makes life richer.

— Gladys Taber

Being a good neighbour is not that difficult. 

I think you are doing your best to be one and making your neighbourhood a nice place to live. Great neighbours really do make a difference. Don’t you love the fact that your neighbours praise and respect you for being nice?

Note: Top Photo taken from Unsplash.

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By Rajesh Sharma

Rajesh Sharma is a freelance IT Consultant who have found his new passion in writing. On this blog, he writes about Social Experiences and shares tips on improving them.

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