Sunday, May 20, 2012

Military Monday- Love Thy Neighbor

It took me about 4 months to actually meet some of my neighbors.  And now that I have met and established a relationship with these people, I can honestly say that I LOVE my neighbors.  Making that connection between neighbors is based on the concept that to have good neighbors, you must be a good neighbor.

I'm from California originally and being a native Californian, in most neighborhoods, you are expected to give your neighbors space.  A lot of times you don't speak to a neighbor unless the feelings are mutual and your neighbor extends themselves and attempts to communicate with you.  That being said, we didn't introduce ourselves to our neighbors and we didn't expect them to make any attempts at friendship either.

But, taking that leap and introducing yourself and trying to be friendly and social can make all the difference in how much you enjoy your new home.  I speak and spend time with several of my neighbors now and most of them have dogs that Mandi can play with too, so it has an added bonus.

If you still chose to stay in your own corner there are a few things that you can to do to ensure that at least your neighbors don't secretly hate you or wish ill things upon you:

1.  Pick up your dog's poo! - I cannot say this enough.  It is one of those things that if you do not do will lead to people instantly judging and disliking you.  Coming from someone who has stepped in many piles left by lazy people, you can trust me on this one!

2. Sweep the stairwell when it's your turn / Do your par - Taking pride in your building is an important thing and no one wants to invite people over to a dirty place, even if it's just your stairwell or front porch that is dirty.

3. At least be cordial - Wave to your neighbors, smile at them as they walk by, at least act like you recognize their existence in the world.   You don't have to strike up a conversation with them, just a polite nod will do.

4. Take in your cans/don't throw your trash in other's cans - Be sure you don't leave your trash cans out for extended periods after the trash has already ran, not only will it get you in trouble with housing, but your neighbors wont appreciate it either.  On the other hand, if you notice an apartment didn't bring their can back in on time, don't throw your trash in their bins!  There have been a couple of times when my husband and I forget to bring our can in and it will be left out a day late and when we go to bring it in, it'll be half full with other people's garbage.  If we ever find out who is doing this, they will will receive the unfortunate wrath of us.

5. Be considerate - Being considerate and aware of your surroundings will go a long way.  Make sure your music isn't too loud or you're not doing anything to claw at your neighbors' nerves.  If you anticipate a day of added chaos in your apartment (i.e. a party), warning your neighbors will do wonders and probably prevent them from calling the MP's on you.  There will be times when your neighbor breaks these rules and it is important to be forgiving of their mistakes as you will probably make your own along the way.

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