Having friendly neighbors is something we only see in movies and TV shows these days. We barely even know the people living in our building and we rarely interact with them unless we absolutely have to. Most of the time we tend to just push the “close door” button in the elevator a million times so the doors will close faster and we don’t have to endure the awkward moment of sharing an elevator ride with a stranger. Yet we admire those friendly neighbors in movies and wish out living situation was more like that of characters from Friends. Quite a conundrum, isn’t it?
But there’s a way to change that and we have come up with 15 neighbor etiquette rules you should follow if you want to be a good neighbor and make your living situation a bit more friendly.
1. You have to make the first step. Introduce yourself to your neighbors when you first move in. Whenever you see them in the hallway say “HI”, let them know you’re new here.
2. Try to remember people’s names as you make friends with your neighbors. As hilarious as it might be to call them “the ugly naked guy” or “that b*itch in apartment 22” as a reference to your favorite shows, you need to know their names.
3. When you see the neighbors you’ve already introduced yourself to, try to strike up a conversation. Ask them how they are and how is their day going. If that’s a bit hard at first – at least say hi when you pass them by.
4. Make sure you don’t make too much noise late at night or early in the evening, especially if you know people around you sometimes work night shifts or have babies.
5. If you plan on some noisy renovations let your neighbors know in advance and try to keep the noise to the appropriate hours. You know, no one likes to wake up to the sound of drilling.
6. Show up to neighborhood events or meetings. If your apartment complex is having a meeting about some issues – come along and bring snacks. Everyone likes snacks.
7. Consider throwing a low key party with your friends shortly after you move in and let your neighbors know it’s happening and that they’re welcome to join. In the future, also always let your neighbors know if you’re planning a loud party, so they won’t be angry about the noise.
8. If you have pets – take them into consideration. If they bark or meow when you’re out, find a way to keep them busy and entertained, so your neighbors don’t start hating them and you by extension. Buy them fun toys to play with, or perhaps consider doggy day care.
9. Take into consideration the fact that if someone has a baby and their crying is keeping you up at night – they probably aren’t doing it out of spite. Those people also aren’t getting a good night sleep, so don’t get in an argument with them next time you see them. Be supportive instead.
10. If you don’t mind – offer to babysit or pet sit if the occasion calls for it. Your neighbors will appreciate it. It’s much easier to have someone from your building do it, rather then try to find someone online.
11. Be realistic in your expectations. Some people like to keep to themselves, so if you get that impression from one of your neighbors don’t annoy them with constant conversations and attention. Let them breathe, just say hi and move on.
12. Be predictable in some things. If you have a dog, make sure you walk it at the same time every day, that way your pet owning neighbors will know how to run into you and join you on the pet walk.
13. Drop holiday cards into your neighbor’s mailboxes, it’ll show them that you care. But don’t go crazy with every single holiday. Stick to big ones like Christmas or New Year’s.
14.If there’s something that’s bothering you about one of your neighbors – don’t talk behind their back, approach them in person and talk it out. Don’t be confrontational, just voice your concerns and see if there’s anything that can be done to fix the situation.
15.Get to know your neighborhood, so if any new people move in you’ll be ready with suggestions for a good bar or where’s the best pizza is in the neighborhood.