How to be good (or at least a decent) neighbor

Few of us could bear to have ourselves for neighbors.
~Mignon McLaughlin

Most of my life with my parents was spent in houses. A huge chunk of that was houses in rural areas where your neighbor could only hear you if you screamed. The move from this to an apartment was…interesting. I learned a few things. Things like:

1. Keep it down to a dull roar if possible. No one’s going to deny you their party, but expect the cops to show up if it’s past midnight and you’re playing a very loud game of Rockband. On the other hand, if a neighbor likes being a little loud during the day, just leave them be unless you work the night shift or something.

2. Sometimes, your neighbors can hear you no matter what. This is very true in apartments. My neighbors when in their bedroom can hear me hold conversations in my living room. The opposite is also true.

3. Be reasonably neat. If the cats have accidentally pooped on the bathroom rug, it often lives outside until I have time to wash it. But it doesn’t live there all the time. Trash should be taken out as promptly as possible and not just left lingering. If you see trash lying around, pick it up.

4. At least acknowledge your neighbors on the stair or out in front. If you don’t want to talk, at least say “Hi.”

5. Humor people. Sure, there are malicious assholes out there, but far more often than not, your neighbors are regular, decent folk. My downstairs neighbor occasionally borrows ten bucks from me for a couple of days. Not sure why, but he always pays me back and it’s not really my business. Just because someone asks to borrow something doesn’t mean they’ll become a leech.


7. Keep an eye out. If you see something suspicious, check in on it or call the cops. You’d probably like your neighbors to do the same for you.

8. Don’t be a jackass about parking. I’ve lived in apartments that had little enough parking without the dick down the way taking up two spaces with his truck. His argument was that he couldn’t get it out of the parking area if he parked straight. The rest of us were of the opinion that if you can’t park it right, don’t drive it and were doubly glad one of the tenants didn’t have a car or else the parking situation would have been even worse.

9. Pick up after your dog, or better yet, take your dog as far out as possible. The grass immediately around apartments is often played in by children and recreated in by the rest of us. No one likes stepping in dog crap.

10. Don’t put perfectly good stuff in the dumpster. If you’re too lazy to take it to Goodwill, at least put it next to the dumpster so someone else can have at.

11. Forgive people. Sometimes people fuck up. Sometimes they’re well-meaning but just don’t think before they act. Give them the benefit of a doubt sometimes.


One Response to “How to be good (or at least a decent) neighbor”

  1. Dargon Says:

    If I may add one, If your neighbor is being loud at a time when you’d rather them not be, let them know rather than calling the cops. When having a good time, it is not difficult to lose track of the time. Most of the time, they will apologize and tone it down.

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