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A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

9 Signs You’re a Great Neighbor

Barking dogs, loud music, late-night parties—we all know the signs of a bad neighbor. Here's how to tell if you're everyone's favorite on the block.

1 / 9

They trust you with their keys

A lot of people leave a spare key with a neighbor in case someone in the family gets locked out. If you’ve become that safe haven for your neighbors, you can feel good knowing they consider you reliable—and the type of understanding person they’d want to call in an awkward emergency. Here’s why this man always keeps his keys in his ignition.

2 / 9

You keep the noise down

While no one would expect you to be a silent little mouse all the time, your neighbors will appreciate a bit of peace and quiet while they’re in bed. If you take outdoor parties inside by 11 p.m. or avoid mowing your lawn in the wee hours of the morning, everyone around will be well rested and more cheerful.

3 / 9

But you still let them have their fun

Maybe you’re respectfully quiet but have to deal with neighbors who party into the wee hours of the morning. If the noise has become unbearable, they’ll appreciate hearing the quiet-time reminder from you rather than from the cops if you went straight to dialing 911, especially if it’s a rare occurrence.

4 / 9

Your yard is clean

An overgrown lawn or clutter might not bug the owner, but a neighbor could see them as an eyesore. Keeping your lawn as clean as possible (within reason) means you’re probably happier yourself, and your neighbors will enjoy an overall welcoming neighborhood. Start by avoiding these mistakes that make your yard look messy.

5 / 9

They always stop at your kid’s lemonade stand

As much as you adore your little angels, not everyone loves children, and you might not realize that your screaming kids bother your neighbors. But if your neighbors your support little entrepreneurs’ lemonade stand or offer to babysit, you can tell your kids are just as lovable as you hope.

6 / 9

You leave your dog inside when you’re gone

Dogs usually get restless and loud when they’re lonely, so your neighbors will be grateful if they don’t have to listen to howls and yelps all day. Keep your pup happy to cut down on the barking, and try not to leave your pet alone for more than four hours. Keep your lawn clear of these common backyard dog dangers.

7 / 9

You help make their vacation smooth

With the owners gone, any house can end up with an overgrown lawn or a big pile of unread newspapers. Your neighbors will undoubtedly appreciate an offer to take care of those tasks while they’re gone, and they’ll probably return the favor for you the next time you go out of town. Don’t make these travel mistakes before your next trip.

8 / 9

You park by your own house

While you legally have the same rights to street parking as your neighbors do, your neighbors probably have spots they consider “theirs.” Staying out of those locations lets them park right in front of their home rather than walking half a block to their front door. If your family’s cars are taking over the available street parking, see if you can rearrange. If you use your garage mainly for storage, it might be time do a purge so your vehicle will fit.

9 / 9

You consider the border between your yards common ground

No matter how close you are with the family next door, your neighbors might enjoy the fence or hedge separating your yards. Even if it’s technically on your property, ask their thoughts before removing it. They might resent a newfound lack of privacy if you don’t warn them.


Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest

Marissa Laliberte
Marissa Laliberte-Simonian is a London-based associate editor with the global promotions team at WebMD’s and was previously a staff writer for Reader's Digest. Her work has also appeared in Business Insider, Parents magazine, CreakyJoints, and the Baltimore Sun. You can find her on Instagram @marissasimonian.