Keeping in Good Relations with Neighbors

suburban relationsWe’re not saying that everyone should be like Ned Flanders from The Simpsons, but it would be nice if people were more, well, nice to each other. When a problem arises with the people living next door, the worst thing to do is make the problem escalate. Sometimes the best thing to do is simply apologize. If you feel it’s unimportant to keep friendly relations with the people you share your street with, let me share a list of all the things that can happen in neighborly disputes.

Why you should love thy neighbor! NewPac‘s 10 reasons why having a neighbor that hates you is a bad idea.

  1. When the pizza guy knocks on the wrong door or your mail went to the house next door, a good neighbor would tell the delivery person the truth. But out of spite, a bad neighbor might do everything he or she can to make sure that mail or pizza is never coming to you.
  2. If your neighbor has a dog and doesn’t like you, we hope you don’t mind cleaning up a bit of the brown stuff every now and then.
  3. Have neighbors who like to party? Loosing good relations with these people could be dangerous because they won’t care if you go to sleep at 9 PM. They’ll keep partying till the cops come, baby.
  4. Need someone to watch your dog and feed the cat over the holidays. Well, don’t count on the neighbors because they all hate you.
  5. Took a trip over the weekend? Were you expecting a group of people to climb in though the windows while you were gone? I’m asking because the neighbors watched the whole thing but turned a blind eye.
  6. It’s recycling day and it happens to be windy. The neighbors couldn’t care less if all their news papers blow onto your yard. It’s not their problem anymore.
  7. Want to build a shed in your backyard but laws say you need the permission of the neighbors? Guess what! You’re never getting that shed!
  8. Does the neighbor’s fruit tree hang over the fence? You better think twice before eating that fruit.
  9. The only thing worse than a neighbor with a dog that loves to bark all day is a neighbor with a dog that likes to bark all day and does nothing about it because he knows it annoys you.
  10. This is the most important reason anyone should consider. Having a bad relationship with anyone that lives within eyesight of your home is a bad idea for psychological reasons. If your neighbor’s face becomes the symbol for anger and spite in your subconscious mind, you’ll feel angry and spiteful every time you see it. Though you may not notice it, this causes stress which alone has countless bad effects. On the other hand, having a neighbor you can wave at and say “good day” to every morning has great benefits for psychological health, as they remind you to be happy and cheerful to others.

So if you think things could be a bit better between you and your suburb-sharing partners, do something nice to fix it. Trust us, you won’t regret it!

How to Get Rid of Garbage in Your Neighborhood: “One Piece of Litter Leads to 1,000 Pieces!”

Have you ever wondered why some streets have garbage all over the grass, in the bushes and even in the trees while others have ZERO?

You’re not the first to do so. James Q. Wilson and George Kelling proposed the “Broken Window Theory” back in the ’80s and it revolutionized how authorities handle crimes. This concept works for garbage, too. After I explain it, you’ll know the magic formula for getting rid of trash for good on your street. But in some cases it may take hard work, depending on how bad your street’s condition is.

garbage

Before I give the magic formula away, let me ask … What is the Broken Window Theory in a nutshell?

The theory has this title because it’s best described by using a broken window as a metaphor. When James and George were doing their research, they studied how a broken window on a street, if left unfixed, would lead to high chances of there being more broken windows soon down the road. Likewise they found that if a street fixed their broken window right away so that virtually there isn’t a broken window there at all, then the chance of more broken windows arising in the near future was much smaller.

They used this theory to great effect in removing graffiti from subway stations. They got a subway that was riddled with graffiti and worked day and night to remove it all. Once there was virtually no graffiti left, the the rate of it appearing again dropped dramatically and now the situation is easily manageable.

How can you use this practice to remove litter from your residential neighborhood?

By taking the effort to clean up all the litter at once, not slowly over time but in a great sweep, will have the desired effect of not only telling people “we don’t litter here” but also “if you litter here it’ll be obvious and people will frown at you.” Littering on a street that’s already littered with garbage is subconsciously not a big deal because who’s going to stop you and say “don’t do that”?

Getting to the point where you can look around and not see a single piece of garbage on the ground may take hard work and some community effort. The faster you get it done, the more powerful your signal to the neighborhood will be. But the people who traffic this area will still have their old habits and of course more litter will continue to fall here. The trick is to pick the litter up, even if it’s not yours, before the effect of the broken window dominoes and the problem becomes unmanageable again.

This is the reason for the subtitle of this post. If left to to sit untouched, a single piece of garbage will giver a subconscious signal to everyone who traffics this street saying “it’s okay to litter here.”

So follow the advice of these brilliant theorists and implement the Broken Window Theory on your neighborhood today!

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