How To Be A Good Neighbor: Please Don’t Be A Neighbor From Hell

Hello good people. After I wrote the article why you should be a good neighbor, I got a lot of emails from some of my followers. Some talked about their harrowing experiences with neighbors from hell. Others requested me to write about how to be a good neighbor.


As usual, your wish is my command. Keep reading to find out how to be a good neighbor. Avoid by all means being a neighbor from hell.

Almost every neighborhood has a neighbor from hell. This is the kind of neighbor who does unpleasant, unreasonable, selfish, and evil things. This neighbor makes everyone’s life miserable, difficult, and painful. As a result, people dislike, hate, or detest that neighbor. I hope you’re not that kind of neighbor.    

The saying “You can pick your friends, but you can’t pick your neighbors” is true. When you moved into your house, you most probably didn’t know who your neighbors would be. 


Suppose you found that one of them was not a good neighbor. In that case, your life could become unbearable. However, if you found good neighbors, you’d be happy.

You have an obligation to be a good neighbor. The reason is that you don’t live in a vacuum. You share the place you call home with others – your neighbors. You all need to be good neighbors so that you can live in love, unity, peace, liberty, and harmony.

How To Be A Good Neighbor

Always strive to be a good neighbor regardless of where you live. Please avoid being one of those neighbors from hell. Let’s look at how to be a good neighbor without further ado.

Have a Friendly Demeanor

One of the ways you can be a good neighbor is to have a friendly demeanor. If you have this kind of demeanor, your neighbors will find you approachable. Suppose you have an unfriendly demeanor? In that case, you’ll scare away your neighbors and they’ll thus avoid you.

Here’s what a friendly demeanor may look like:

  • Introduce yourself to your neighbors when you move to a new house.
  • Introduce yourself to your new neighbors and welcome them to the neighborhood when they move in.
  • Greet your neighbors whenever you meet them outside. A simple hi or hello is good enough.
  • Smile at your neighbors – a smile costs nothing but says a lot about you.
  • Wave to your neighbors whenever you meet with them.
  • Stop for chitchat with your neighbors.


To Be A Good Neighbor Always Keep Noise At A Reasonable Level

One of the things that creates friction among neighbors is noise. Your home can’t be totally noiseless. However, it’s important to keep noise levels from your home at a reasonable level so that you don’t disturb or annoy your neighbors.

Here are things you can do to keep the noise from your home at a reasonable level:

  • Control the volume of your TV, radio, and stereos. 
  • Control your dog’s barking.
  • If you have a DIY project, do it during the day instead of doing it early in the morning or at night.
  • Control the noise level during parties or outdoor activities.
  • If the neighbors complain about the noise levels in your home, cooperate.


To Be A Good Neighbor, Accept Your Neighbor’s As They Are

As I said earlier, you don’t get to pick your neighbors. So, you’ll get neighbors who are totally different from you. If you want to be a good neighbor, it’s important to accept your neighbors just as they are. So long as they’re good people, you’ve nothing to worry about.

Accepting your neighbors just as they are includes accepting the following things without any bias:

  • Their race
  • Their tribe
  • Their religious beliefs 
  • Their profession
  • Their personal choices


To Be a Good Neighbor Maintain Your Property Well

Do you know that the appearance of your home can affect the appearance of your neighbor’s home? It does. For instance, if you maintain your home well and your next-door neighbor’s place is unkempt, the beauty of your home is concealed.

Each neighbor should therefore play their part in maintaining their home. This helps to maintain a neighborhood standard that makes the neighborhood appealing.

Here’s what maintaining your property well as a good neighbor looks like:

  • Ensure the exterior of your home is well painted.
  • Maintain your compound by trimming bushes and mowing the lawn.
  • Ensure the branches of your trees or flowers don’t overflow into your neighbor’s compound.
  • Keep common areas clean.

Respect Your Neighbor’s Personal Space and Privacy 

To be a good neighbor, it’s important to respect your neighbors’ privacy. This also means respecting their personal space. So, avoid intruding into your neighbor’s life unnecessarily. 

Here’s what you can do in terms of respecting your neighbor’s privacy:

  • Avoid popping in and out of your neighbor’s home. Some people don’t like that.
  • If you must visit your neighbor, call to inquire if it’s okay for you to pass by.
  • Avoid overstaying your welcome at your neighbor’s place – respect their personal space.


Avoid Taking Advantage of Your Neighbor’s Talent Or Expertise

Neighbors need to help each other every now and then. For example, if someone in your home falls sick suddenly, you can run for help from a doctor in your neighborhood. Or, if your neighbor is a mechanic, you can ask them for help when your car suddenly develops mechanical issues.

However, if you want to be a good neighbor, avoid taking advantage of your neighbors' talents or expertise. It’s okay to ask for help once. However, if something recurs, offer to pay for the consultation, help, or services. 

Remember that your neighbor is using his knowledge, time, and energy. It’s only fair that you offer to pay. That’s part of being a good neighbor. 

 Avoid Gossiping About Your Neighbors

Have you lived in your neighborhood for years and know something about everyone there? If you want to be a good neighbor, kindly avoid gossiping about your neighbors. 

Gossiping about your neighbors can cause bad blood between you and them. You’ll probably live with your neighbors for years. You don’t want bad blood between you and them. Do you?

Try Not To Fuss Over Everything Your Neighbors Do

A good neighbor doesn’t fuss about everything the other neighbors do. For instance, a good neighbor tolerates one-off incidents instead of fussing about them. So, try to be more tolerant of your neighbors and they’ll definitely do the same.

Here’s what not fussing over everything your neighbors do may look like:

The neighbor's kids accidentally throw their ball into your compound

If your neighbors' kids throw their ball into your compound accidentally, don't get pissed off. Instead, just throw the ball back into their compound without fussing. 

However, if it continues, raise the matter with their parents in a civil way. Please avoid confiscating the ball or confronting the kids.

The neighbor plays loud music

If one of your neighbors plays loud music, don't throw a tantrum. If it’s a one-off incident, there is no need of getting pissed off. Let your neighbor know that the music is loud in a calm manner. 

If the loud music is regular, sit down with your neighbor to look for an amicable solution.

Leaves from the neighbor's compound fall into your compound

If the leaves from your neighbor’s trees or flowers fall into your compound, don't get mad. I know this is not easy for some people, including myself. 

But look at it this way. What can your neighbor do about the leaves from the trees? Should they cut the trees so that the leaves don’t fall all over the place? That would interfere with the environment. 

So, the best you can do is to sweep the leaves from your compound and be thankful for the trees.

The neighbor's hedge comes over to your side


One of my neighbors has a hedge that comes over to our side. At first, my partner was unhappy - he wanted the neighbor to send someone to our place to trim the overflowing hedge.

I didn't agree with his suggestion. I called someone to trim the few strands overflowing to our side. I paid the person.

Making a fuss over such an issue is not good neighborliness. Just trim the overflowing bits when trimming your hedge. 

Your neighbor's visitors park in your parking slot

Parking is a sensitive issue in many neighborhoods. I once had a neighbor who shredded the tires of my visitor's car. My visitor had parked on the curb outside my neighbor's gate.

As a good neighbor, try to avoid fussing about parking. If your neighbor or their visitors park in your parking lot once in a while, let it go.

If the issue persists, talk to your neighbor about it in a civilized manner. 

Be Your Neighbor’s Keeper

If you want to be a good neighbor and strengthen neighborly bonds, it’s good to be your neighbor’s keeper. This means caring about the welfare of your neighbors. 


Suppose you care about your neighbors’ welfare? In that case, they’ll also care about your welfare. It’s a win-win for everyone.

Below are things you can do to be your neighbor’s keeper:

  • Offer to keep an eye on their home when they’re away. This may include watering their plants, looking after their pets, or keeping the yard clean.
  • Collect their packages while they’re away.
  • Offer to look after the neighbor’s kids while they run errands.
  • Help them to jump-start their car.
  • Stand with them during challenging periods such as bereavement, sickness, etc.
  • Celebrate with them during significant events such as weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, etc.


Always Notify Your Neighbors About Temporary Inconveniences You May Cause Them

Sometimes, you may be required to carry out activities in your home that could inconvenience the neighbors in one way or the other. As a good neighbor, it’s important to notify your neighbors of such activities in advance. 

Notifying your neighbors about such activities shows that you’re a humble, polite, and considerate neighbor. They will respect you for that and they’ll not complain about the inconveniences you may cause them.

Here are things you should notify your neighbors about in advance:

  • Repair works that may cause noise. 
  • Visitors that may use your neighbors’ outside parking spaces.
  • A party that may cause noise.

Be A Responsible Pet Owner

One of the things people in my neighborhood complain about is irresponsible pet owners. For instance, people complain of being chased by dogs as they walk in the neighborhood. Others complain of dog and cat poop all over the place.

If you want to be a good neighbor, be a responsible pet owner. 

Here’s what being a responsible pet owner looks like:

  • Ensure your dogs don’t bark or whine for an extended period as this disturbs the neighbors.
  • Train your dog or cat to poop in the right place.
  • If your cat or dog poops in the wrong place, clean the poop.
  • Don’t let your dog out on its own because it can terrorize the neighbors.
  • Always put your dog on the leash when walking it.
  • Ensure you train your pets so that they behave well at all times.

Use Common Spaces in the Neighborhood Responsibly

In some neighborhoods, there are spaces that you share with the rest of your neighbors. Such spaces could include the following:

  • Playground
  • Garden
  • Parking
  • Swimming pool
  • Corridors
  • Stairs

As a good neighbor, it’s essential to use the spaces you share with your neighbors responsibly. If each neighbor uses the shared spaces responsibly, there will be peace and harmony in the neighborhood. However, if some neighbors use the shared spaces irresponsibly, it could lead to bad blood among the neighbors.

Here are examples of how you can use the shared spaces responsibly:

  • Avoid littering the common areas.
  • Help to keep the common areas clean, litter-free, and neat.
  • Avoid blocking shared areas with your stuff – bicycles, cartons, prams, etc.
  • Park your car in the designated area.
  • Don’t block your neighbor’s doorway or driveway.
  • Avoid parking in your neighbor’s parking slot without permission.
  • Avoid blocking pavements or dropped curbs. 
  • Don’t fuss when someone parks on the public road outside your house – it doesn’t belong to you.

Teach Your Children To Play Responsibly Outside

As a teacher, I’m an advocate of allowing children to play outdoors. Doing so keeps them active, fit, and happy. It also reduces their dependence on gadgets such as phones, TVs, and PlayStations for entertainment. 

I’ve heard complaints in my neighborhood about some kids wreaking havoc as they play outside. For instance, some hit cars with balls, others hit people’s gates with balls, and others throw balls into people’s compounds.

It’s important to teach your kids to play responsibly while outside. When they play responsibly, there will be no complaints from neighbors. There will thus be peace in the neighborhood.

Below are things you can teach your kids about playing responsibly while outside:

  • Ask them not to be too noisy as the noise can affect the neighbors (I know this is easier said than done).
  • Request them to play away from parked vehicles. This prevents them from damaging vehicles with balls, sticks, bicycles, etc.
  • Tell them not to climb into someone’s compound to pick a ball. They should instead request the ball from the neighbor.
  • Ask them to stop throwing balls when people are passing. This is not only respectful, but it also prevents them from hitting people.

Participate in Neighborhood Activities To Be A Good Neighbor

This article would not be complete if I didn’t talk about this point. You see, you live in a neighborhood – you don’t know how long you’ll live there. So, why not embrace your neighborhood so that you can live happily?

A good neighbor should avoid being aloof. So, try to know what is going on in the neighborhood and participate in planned activities. 

Here’s how a good neighbor can participate in neighborhood activities:

  • Join neighborhood groups to know what is going on in the neighborhood and the planned activities.
  • Attend neighborhood meetings and events to know your neighbors more.
  • Take part in neighborhood activities such as cleanups, yard sales, barbecues, etc.
  • Volunteer for neighborhood projects such as building a playground or planting trees. 


Stories abound about neighbors from hell. I urge you to be a good neighbor for your own good and for the good of your community.

To be a good neighbor it’s important to be loving, caring, reasonable, respectful, and tolerant. If you have these traits, you’ll help to create a happy neighborhood where everybody feels valued and respected. Cheers!



Also read: How to avoid becoming a grumpy man


I'm a life coach, teacher, mother, wife, writer, and blogger. I love writing about well-being, relationships, and family.

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