How to be an awe­some neigh­bour

The peo­ple next door can be more than ac­quain­tances - they can be­come friends, writes

Hauraki Herald - - OUT & ABOUT -

When some­one asks what makes an awe­some neigh­bour, our re­sponse of­ten re­volves around what doesn’t.

‘‘Well, a good neigh­bour doesn’t rev their ob­nox­iously loud car at 6am, or mow their lawns at 8.45pm, or keep me up un­til 4.30am with their loud doof-doof­doof-ing,’’ we be­moan.

Neigh­bourly and Elec­tric Kiwi are en­cour­ag­ing us to share sto­ries about our Awe­some Neigh­bours, which got me think­ing about what ac­tu­ally makes one?

Frankly, it’s hard flip­ping the switch and only think­ing about awe­some at­tributes, par­tic­u­larly if the neg­a­tive ex­pe­ri­ences out­weigh the pos­i­tives (I’m look­ing at you, Mr Evening Mower Man).

Hav­ing awe­some neigh­bours doesn’t start with other peo­ple, it starts with us.

So what makes an awe­some neigh­bour? First up, they’re friendly. A cheer­ful wave and a wide smile ev­ery time they pass each other at the let­ter­box is the per­fect foun­da­tion for a great re­la­tion­ship be­tween neigh­bours.

Start­ing off small breaks down bound­aries, and be­fore they know it they’re shar­ing gar­den­ing tips, telling you how you can save on your power, and invit­ing you over for a cuppa.

Con­sid­er­a­tion, par­tic­u­larly around noise, is a big­gie. That’s not to say awe­some neigh­bours don’t throw par­ties; they just give their neigh­bours a heads-up – per­haps even in­vite them along. Awe­some neigh­bours min­imise loud noises after hours (par­tic­u­larly when their neigh­bours have kids who prob­a­bly go to bed at 7.30pm).

An awe­some neigh­bour is shar­ing and self­less.

When they see their el­derly neigh­bour limp­ing to the let­ter­box they’re the first to lend a hand. They share the fruits from their over­flow­ing lemon tree.

They of­fer up their lawn for other kids to let off some steam.

They be­come more in tune with what’s go­ing on, so if some­thing more se­ri­ous oc­curs (like if the el­derly neigh­bour stops vis­it­ing his let­ter­box), they’re more likely to no­tice and be able to help.

Fi­nally, an awe­some neigh­bour is more than an ac­quain­tance; they’re a friend.

Just like you can’t choose your fam­ily, neigh­bours usu­ally start their re­la­tion­ships off as a mat­ter of ne­ces­sity. But as with any re­la­tion­ship, the more you both work at it, the bet­ter it be­comes.

Elec­tric Kiwi and Neigh­bourly are ask­ing us to share our sto­ries about the best neigh­bours out there. Who’s yours? Got an awe­some neigh­bour? Share a few words on Neigh­bourly for your chance to win $250 Prezzy cards. Visit www.neigh­ awe­someneigh­bour


Awe­some neigh­bours en­joy a chat but are con­sid­er­ate about when they mow their lawns.

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