We all like to think that we are really good neighbours, but in reality some people are just better at being neighbourly than others. Being a good neighbour doesn’t have to mean that you are a curtain twitcher, looking out for any signs of movement and keeping notes of who is coming and going from all houses. That said, it’s good to be aware of what’s happening around you and to remain vigilant.

Being a good neighbour also means that you should have a certain degree of tolerance – we are all different and people do like to let off steam in their own home. If you’re tolerant of your neighbours occasional transgression, such as un-mowed lawn, a loud party or car alarm, they will hopefully return the favour.

1.You Haven’t Seen Your Elderly Neighbour for a Few Days. What Do You Do?

A. Knock on the door and see if she’s OK, after all you’d feel terrible if something had happened to her and you didn’t do anything to help.
B. Assume she’s away with relatives or has gone into sheltered accommodation.
C. Not even notice. She’s an old bat anyway and always complains about everything.
Obviously, a good neighbour would care enough just to check that everything is OK. Most elderly people living in their own homes do tend to be fiercely independent, but while they may not appreciate interference, there may be a time when they need help. Don’t assume that they will have someone to take care of them – many people really are alone and would appreciate a helping hand, even if they are too proud to ask. Being a good neighbour means Looking Out For Your Elderly Neighbours.

2.You’ve Heard some Really Juicy Gossip About the Family Across the Way, What Are You Going to Do With That Information?

A. Keep it to yourself – it’s tempting to tell everyone but you wouldn’t like that sort of information being spread around about you. It might not even be true.
B. Tell a couple of people just to get it out of your system, but make sure that you tell them to keep the news to themselves.
C. Tell everyone on the close, of course! You’ve always had your suspicions about that couple…
Tempting as it is, gossiping isn’t nice, and nobody likes a gossip. You’ll get a name for yourself if you start to spread misinformation about other people, too. It’s easy to say you’ll only tell a couple of people, but then they will ‘just tell a few people’ too and, before you know it, you’re responsible for everyone in the street knowing the gossip – even if you haven’t told them all directly. Best to keep these things to yourself – after all, it could be you next time.

3.You’re going on holiday for two weeks, and you’ve got a house security system set up just in case. What happens if the alarm goes off?

A. You’ve given a spare key to a trusted neighbour or friend, so that they can come and sort it out if necessary.
B. It won’t go off, it never has done since we’ve had it.
C. The police will come out – won’t they?
Car and burglar alarms are the bane of a quiet life for many people, and if you’re away for a long period of time it’s a good idea to make sure that yours don’t cause any more stress for your neighbours than strictly necessary. If possible, let someone close by have the key and any codes to switch the alarm off in case of a false alarm – your neighbours will thank you for it!