Neighbourhoods may have changed over the years, but one thing remains a constant – everyone hopes to live in a great neighbourhood with good neighbours.
A great neighbourhood is one that is caring, cohesive, safe, and beautiful. It is also where good neighbours greet one another with warm smiles and have a willingness to help one another out. Most importantly, a sense of camaraderie and understanding exits within the community despite existing racial and cultural differences. A “kampung spirit” if you will.
Creating a kindred community starts with each of us. Begin by putting in the effort to get to know your neighbours and practice a little thoughtfulness and patience. If we all play our part, we can build lasting friendships and stronger social cohesion in our estates.
So how to be a good neighbour? Here are 8 amazing tips on neighbourliness you ought to take note!
8 Tips On How To Be A Good Neighbour
1. Introduce Yourself
Once you have settled down in your new place, make an effort to introduce yourself to your neighbours. Being friendly helps you build a trusting and respectful relationship.
When you start a conversation, always ask about them first. Never overburden them with questions about the neighbourhood, other residents and other related topics. You do not want to be perceived as a nosy yenta.
A great way to their heart could very well be through their stomach. If you pride yourself a baker or a cook, you can always show up with a pie. This isn’t too invasive, and it shows that you have a desire to get to know them more.
You can also give them your phone number in case of an emergency.
2. Help Your Neighbours
How to be a good neighbour? The simplest way is to always lend a helping hand!
For starters, you have their gratitude and appreciation. From babysitting to shopping for provisions, any kind gesture – no matter the size – can be perceived as being neighbourly. When you see someone schleps her groceries home, offer to help carry or hold the lift. If they will be going on holiday soon, offer to water the plants, or receive packages on their behalf.
3. Keep Noise Level Down
Being a good neighbour means to always be considerate towards your fellow residents. Observe the quiet hours between 10.30pm and 7.00am. People can become easily irritated from constant loud noises. Imagine how you would feel if you were awoken at night to loud music being played next door.
As the golden rule, you should always keep noise to a considerate level at home and ensure that your children do not make too much noise either. Avoid nuisances such as singing, yelling, playing loud music, slamming doors and dragging furniture at any hour of the day.
Should you need to carry out DIY works or plan on having a party, keep your neighbours informed beforehand. If they know the reason for the increased noise level, they are more likely to understand and tolerate it. More importantly, avoid carrying out activities involving merrymaking, drilling and hammering between 10:30pm and 7:00am.
4. Be a Responsible Homeowner
Another tip on how to be a good neighbour is to take ownership of your home and the neighbourhood. Play your part in creating a pleasant and conducive environment for all. Here are some good practices you should take note of:
- Drain any excess water from wet laundry or mops before hanging them out
- Bag refuse before disposing it into the rubbish chute
- Do not litter or urinate in the lifts or common areas
- Service your air-conditioners regularly to prevent leaks or noise disturbances
- Do not vandalise common areas or amenities
Safety is always a critical concern. And the responsibility to ensure it falls on every member within that community. Here are some good practices you should take note of to create a safe and secure environment for all:
- Do not place objects in a dangerous manner
- Do not store flammable items or throw burning items down the garbage chute
- Keep common areas clear of obstruction
- Do not throw objects from your flat
- Check your windows and air conditioners regularly to ensure they are securely mounted
5. Participate or Volunteer in Community Activities
Becoming actively engaged is another way to show that you are a good neighbour. Find out and participate in upcoming events, talks, forums, seminars, exhibitions, sports or cultural activities. You get to mingle, build valuable relationships and play a part in fostering a strong and cohesive community.
If you want, or are good at event planning, volunteer to organize or host activities. Be inclusive by inviting everyone and consider any barriers that might prevent them from attending, such as accessibility, language, and special diet requirements.
Want to make a difference in your neighbourhood? Join a Grassroots Organisation! As a volunteer, you can build a strong network of friends who can help one another in times of need.
6. Be a Responsible Pet Owner
Be considerate towards your neighbour’s convenience and well-being if you keep pets is another way to show that you are a good neighbour. Ensure that your pet does not cause any inconvenience to them. For example, keep your dog safe within your flat, and care for it so that it does not bark continuously. Here are good practices that your neighbours will appreciate and will help foster better acceptance:
- Take proper care of your pet and ensure that it does not disturb your neighbours
- Leash your pet in public places
- Keep your pet and its cage indoors
- Clean up after your pets
7. Handle Problems Maturely
Complaints about neighbours making too much noise or damaging property are unfortunately not that uncommon, especially when many of us are living so closely together. But being a good neighbour does not mean that you have to tolerate inconsiderate behaviours.
If you have a problem with yours, the first thing you should do is to speak to them directly. Bring up the situation in a mature manner, attempt to understand the reasons behind their actions and hopefully reach a compromise. They may well be unaware that their actions are causing you so much distress.
Do not get involved in heated arguments and avoid drastic measures from the get-go!
To stay in touch and share information, many residential estates in Singapore have created their own Facebook Groups and WhatsApp chat groups. A popular activity on these platforms is buying things together at bulk prices.
There’s nothing like a group buy to bring a community together. Who doesn’t love a good bargain? Always jio (“invite” in Singaporean dialect, Hokkien) your neighbours when you are interested in a group buy deal, or hosting one. You’d be surprised at the number of people who are willing to join. From groceries to baby and niche products, group buy is a creative way to be that good neighbour people can rely on. Because good things must share!
Pro-Tip: Use EstateJio to host your group buys. It has all the tools you need to organise a group buy.
Building good relationships is the keystone for gracious heartland living and a close-knitted community. We hope that these “how to be a good neighbour?” tips come in handy!
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