We’ve been blessed with pretty nice neighbors throughout our years on Sanibel, but not every place we’ve lived has been as welcoming as the Sanibel Community.
Although it’s rare to find unruly neighbors on Sanibel, we thought it was an interesting topic to discuss that could actually lead to an even stronger Sanibel Community! Who doesn’t want that?!
7 Qualities of a Good Neighbor
#1 – Bring Cookies!
Don’t roll your eyes. I know it sounds cliche, but it’s a great ice breaker, and way to introduce yourself to new neighbors or even old ones you haven’t spoken with in a while. Plus, carrying a plate of cookies over is much less invasive than, “Let’s have dinner,” or “When’s your housewarming party?” … Am I right?
#2 – Rarely Gossip
We say rarely because, lets face it, sometimes we gossip unknowingly. But if sassy Susie starts talking about how many “family members” Bill had stay at his condo this season, redirect the convo to ask about Susie’s vacation plans or if she has any family coming in town to stay.
#3 – Share Concerns
Sharing gossip and sharing concerns are two different things. If there’s something your neighbor or HOA should know about, bring it up in casual conversation, or at the next meeting. The condition of the handrails along the stairs, or the developing potholes around the neighborhood likely affect more than just you, so don’t be afraid to speak up about issues of importance.
#4 – Gather Socially
Most condos and neighborhoods on Sanibel have annual get-togethers. If yours doesn’t, maybe you can suggest one? If you don’t want to be responsible for planning something, how about suggesting everyone walks around together at Luminary Night or the Shell Festival, and then go out to eat? No planning involved!
#5 – Share Tips
Have you found a great, eco-friendly way to keep those pesky rodents out of your garden? Share that secret with your neighbor (and with us)! What about a tip on a great property manager you have or an AC company who went above and beyond? This is a great way to share local inside knowledge that your neighbors will appreciate and hopefully reciprocate when they have info to share.
#6 – Share Contact Info
You never know when you’re going to need it. Perhaps after an evacuation or bad storm you might want to get an update from your neighbor about the condition of your home, or vice versa. Better yet, create a contact list to share with your building or street, so that everyone can be in contact with each other when needed.
#7 – Be Tidy
Hey, not everyone is great at keeping up with lawn maintenance and home improvements. We’re guilty ourselves. But we realize our busy lives aren’t an excuse for an unkept yard, so we’ve been working hard on it, and it now looks (and feels) great! If you are “that person” with the perfect lawn already, lend a hand instead of passing judgement or gossiping (remember rule #2). This is where sharing tips and offering assistance can help form stronger a community and better looking one at that!