How to be a good neighbour and also have good neighbours

One of the major advantages of a good social life is to have good neighbours. Cutting across the normal divide of religion, or caste or community or even region, if one has good neighbours, one can be assured of a good social life. There are some essential things to be done in this direction. This article discusses such things in some detail.


Neighbours are also human. They have their own goals in life. Their social upbringing could be different, particularly if they are new to a particular place. Yet, it is commonly observed that neighbours who cross all barriers and have sheer love and affection as the base that cements human relationships are those who are always admired and sought advice and counsel from. They are also sort of Role Models for others. in this connection, it is relevant to a) Get to know your neighbour thoroughly b)Generally reach out to them fully c) Bring in community support to nullify abnormal behavior d) Evolve certain norms of discipline in gated communities and e) Don't ever impose your views on neighbours.

Get to know your neighbour thoroughly

Townships attached to major companies such as BHEL, NLC and the like are curious melting points of different cultures. It is perfectly fine to preserve one's identity in such townships, yet merge into the mainstream of shared thoughts and aspirations. For example, children from different classes such as workmen and managers get to study in the same school. The class barriers are broken in such environs. The children break the ice and get along with the parents who are managers. In any case, there is a lot of admiration and space for harmony and peace.

This is exactly how even heterogeneous communities in the big towns and cities and even cities should live in. For instance, it does pay to give total attention to detail, as far as the security of women, young or old, in an urban community, is concerned. In rural environments, there could be some sort of social security. This is zero in urban environs where both the man and women are employed. It is wise to reach out to such people on the weekends and share good moments of happiness. They could also be ideal people who could have common interests, and might even share resources. For example, it is so common to accommodate relatives of a particular family in their flat if the number is a bit too much. This is done so happily and with a sense of accommodation and adjustment. This is all the more so when the women share common dreams or are otherwise so co-operative in matters like having common and dependable domestic help and so on. The trick is to know your neighbour thoroughly. Except for a very few utterly selfish ones, most neighbours do reach out to others. More so, when the initiative comes from the person who seeks friendship in the first place.

Reaching out fully

This is another vital aspect. The simplest thing to do is to update the neighbour on some decision that was taken in the Association meeting. Even those who live in rented flats or apartments fly to different corners of the world on official work. Such residents need to know what is going on. The what's up could be an ideal platform. Unfortunately, there are people who like to literally lock themselves up and never open up to even the neighbour next door. This is a very dangerous and undesirable attitude. This should not happen.

In the smaller towns, it becomes easy to reach out to neighbours totally. For example, co-operation for some meaningful social action, particularly those related to laying of roads, the supply of Corporation or metro water is far easier in cities like Kochi or Vijayawada or Coimbatore than in Chennai or Bangalore. The "I-don't-care" attitude is not so bad in such cities. Yes, these are rapidly developing into big metros. However, it will take another twenty years for that to happen. Still, it is essential in the interest of social peace that neighbours know each other and also helps each other.

Bring in community support to nullify abnormal behavior

Beating of wives, excessive booze and beating of wives is very common even in cities. This is clearly abnormal behavior and should be put an end to. However, it is impossible for you to work alone. The trick to seek the help of other neighbours to counsel the neighbour. He should be given a reasonable opportunity to change. However, if things go out of hand, it is wise to take the help of the police and evict him from the neighbourhood itself. The chances of such action are very remote, though. Yet one cannot rule out such undesirable behavior too.

Evolve certain norms of discipline in gated communities

This is another big problem, but it is not confined to gated communities. There are entire villages in Tamil Nadu, for example, where the men who booze are never allowed to interact with women at all. Their own family members desist from much interaction with such elements and social control is high.

Such social control is becoming very difficult in the cities. This author knows two gated communities where senior citizens simply started doing the cleaning job in Chennai. The younger lot who were undisciplined till then fell in line and some sort of discipline was imposed. Through a process of involving the very small children between eight and twelve years, the senior citizens were able to go in for some sort of a roof garden. This made such children take an active interest in the plants and on weekends their parents also joined. Such actions invited the attention of all those who were initially not interested. The gated communities grew a few vegetables and sold the same to the residents. Though it was a very small experiment, it helped in making the residents interact better with each other.

The initiative for the change came from the senior citizens. They thought of some idea to get people involved and it worked. The lack of time of residents is indeed a big problem. What s up messages and constant follow up also helped the residents to know each other. When a very senior citizen passed away, there was help forthcoming from so many neighbours. This is exactly what is needed in today 's ultra-modern environments.

Don't ever impose your views on neighbours

This is another important point. The educated and the uneducated do not appreciate anyone trying to impose views on any matter. For instance, if you see your neighbour's wife very fashionably dressed and you do not like it, just shut up. Even a very small comment will never be welcomed by anyone. It is outright stupid to think and imagine that you can get away with such comments. Views on political inclination, on ways of living, on cultural practices or whatever, are always unique. Individuals have their own reasons as to why they behave the way they do. It is impossible for you to even think of giving your views. You may talk in general terms. However, never ever point out anything specific. You might have developed a very good relationship in the first place. But you would have totally spoiled it through your behavior.

Hence, please be careful in sharing any view or idea with your neighbour.


The social fabric of India is essentially built on the principle of unity in diversity. The moment we recognize the importance and relevance of this idea in our context of good relationship with our neighbours, the task becomes that much easier. The idea is to innovate and take everything forward. A few ideas have been discussed in the aforesaid paragraphs. Let us do our best in this regard to make our society a healthy place to live in.

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Author: DR.N.V. Srinivasa Rao24 Feb 2019 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 3

A good article from the author in which he has well illustrated the need for good relations with the neighbours. In villages, we see the social relations between the people in the village or in the street will be good. Even in small towns also we can see this atmosphere. There will be a good interaction with the citizens living in the same area in addition to neighbours.
But in major towns and cities, this trend is not there. Many people won't even know who their neighbour is. This may be due to their fast and busy life.
A good relation with neighbours is very essential and to maintain good relations one should adopt give and take policy.

Author: Venkiteswaran28 Apr 2020 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 4

"Love thy neighbour" is a Biblical quote. For anything, good or bad, it is our neighbours who can come to us. A Malayalam saying goes that 'An enemy next door is better than a friend far away". Neighbours rank high in priority in our life due to their proximity. So we should all cultivate a good relationship with our neighbours.

As familiarity breeds contempt, to keep a good working relationship with neighbours we should involve in common matters, but should not try to involve in their private matters unless specifically asked and sought for. Similarly, we also should not divulge private and intimate matters if they are sensitive and can cause damage to us.

Exchanging greetings, courtesies and sweets etc during each other's festivals and special occasion is one way of keeping neighbourly relations good.

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