Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Five Types of Neighbors: Which One Are YOU?

I read an article lately - 5 Types of Neighbors and How To Handle Them - which said that there are Five Types of Neighbors. Interesting. I skimmed down to the bullet points and knew immediately where I fell, even before reading it. You can click on each one and read a full description, but I'll give you the gist of them here.

My first instinct was that I am "Type 1: The Home Devaluers". Read on...

Type 1: The Home Devaluers
Type 2: The Dangerous Neighbor
Type 3: The Richer Than You Are Neighbor
Type 4: The Wacky Neighbor
Type 5: The Difficult Neighbor

Type 1: The Home Devaluers
Who they are: They're friendly enough. They just never seem to mow their lawn more than once or twice a year...
How to handle them: Communicate, communicate, communicate...
Jodi R. R. Smith, author and etiquette consultant, knew a group of neighbors who were upset that a house on their block wasn't taking care of the lawn. The neighbors assigned a delegate to knock on the door to discuss the yard, and when the owner came out of the house and the problem was explained, she broke into tears. It had turned out that she was in the midst of a divorce and an aggressive chemo treatment. The neighbors then organized a rotating schedule of lawn care for the ill neighbor. "Things are not always what they seem," says Smith.

ME: Yes... I am definitely Type 1. Not that I have chemo treatments... but when something's gotta give, it's usually the lawn.

Type 2: The Dangerous Neighbor
Who they are: Sad but true, some neighbors are not worth getting to know well -- but it's still good to know something about their dislikes and boundaries, so you don't cross them. In 2006, for instance, headlines were made when Charles Martin, an elderly man living in a suburb of Cincinnati, Ohio, shot a 15-year-old boy to death because he had apparently made the error of walking across his meticulously manicured lawn.
How to handle them: You can't consume yourself with worry looking for red flags in your neighbors. However, if you're aware of them, it may help you from igniting their fury. And if you have young kids, you really should look at, the Web site for the National Sex Offender Registry.

ME: I check the registry myself every now and again... and I feel secure in that I know practically everyone in the neighborhood. I feel pretty safe here.

Type 3: The Richer Than You Are Neighbor
Who they are: These are the Joneses who you try to keep up with, valiantly, but can't. They're always getting a new addition onto their home. They have the perfect blades of grass...They have the new Maserati parked in the driveway. And...what's so maddening can't walk up to their front door and say, "Excuse me, but you're being too rich."
How to handle them: "The best you can do is learn to cope," suggests Saralee Rosenberg, author of Dear Neighbor, Drop Dead (HarperCollins, July 2008). "Every family is dysfunctional to some degree, and that just because a lawn is beautifully maintained and a house is immaculate, doesn't mean that trouble isn't brewing. Not that you'd wish that on someone, but if you find yourself envious, it's important to remember that you probably don't know the whole story."

ME: I know plenty of my neighbors who are richer than me... I wouldn't even begin to try to keep up. But also, I know them well-enough to know they are not trying to show off. They just like nice things, and good for them if they can afford it.

Type 4: The Wacky Neighbor
Who they are: They're the folks who barge into your living room and convince you to invest in their new ferret farm, and suddenly, before thirty minutes is up, you've been fired after getting into a raucous pie fight in the employee lunchroom.
How to handle them: Wait, sorry -- that only happens on TV. If a neighbor actually pulls a Kramer and barges into your living room and then starts to raid your refrigerator, feel free to call the police and press charges.

ME: Seriously... I have a wacky neighbor or two... Though, after reading this, I *guess* I could also understand if anyone thought *I* was the wacky one... 'nuff said.

Type 5: The Difficult Neighbor
Who they are: Who aren't they? They're the aforementioned neighbors as well as anyone who makes your life more complicated than it needs to be.
How to handle them: Keep a good rapport. A small amount of physical contact goes a long ways with neighbors. I notice who keeps to themselves and it comes off as being unfriendly. These days, there aren't many chances of making impressions with your neighbors, so a simple wave or hello can represent you well. Often we have an issue with a neighbor we don't know, and so we hate their guts, and we don't even know their name. And if you don't say something to your neighbor, why should they stop doing whatever they're doing? If you do talk, a solution may just be forthcoming. After all, Most people don't want to be that neighbor.

ME: Yeah, I guess most neighborhoods have these. I can think of a few... My guess is that it is mostly a difference of opinion, personalities and communication styles.

So-- Which neighbor are you? And what happened to "Type 6: The NORMAL Neighbor"??? Is there even such a thing? Perhaps the ones that are most like you, and with whom you get along best are whom you'd consider "normal". I know I do...


Betty said...

Yeah, I was going to ask that. Where are the normals? I think we are pretty normal neighbors and couldn´t match myself with the 5 options.

RhondaLue said...

I'm the 2nd neighbor, the dangerous one. Ohhhhh, we've had our share of holding guns to kids that walk across our lawn but they learn eventually.

J/K! We're the normal ones. I sometimes avoid chit chat but it's more because I'm shy and not "too good for you" like it might seem. I let dh do most of the talking, except to the ones we know well.

Ruthykins said...

i guess i fall into the difficult neighbor category. i don't talk to anybody and they're probably all fed up with my yelling and loud music.

The Blonde Duck said...

Type 7: The Hermit who wears tutus and walks her antisocial rabidly barking Chihuahuas around the block.

Susie said...

Gosh, I am number 7: The Talkative Neighbor...the one who will talk your ear off on any mondane subject that enters her head.

They also forgot number 8: The gosippie neighbor. The one who knows everyone and all their business and doesn't mind sharing...with everyone. I am not this neighbor but I know one:-)

Two Blessings From Above said...

I don't fall into any of the 5 types. I think I am more of a normal neighbor, but I like staying to myself too. Interesting.

Tulsi said...

I'm thinking I don't fall into these, either. Normal, ordinary, boring. We talk to any one that is outside but not to chatty that they think they can't come out for fear we will hold them up. We watch out for our elderly, newly alone neighbor. We live in a great circle. Not a problem in the bunch. But I worry about our elderly neighbor because then there will be new ones RIGHT NEXT DOOR TO OUR BEDROOM sometime. I absolutely can not listen to someones music, tv, etc. Which is why we don't live in an apartment. We keep pretty quiet, too. And my kids know if I can hear their music as they turn into the circle, it's off limits. We lived in a really bad neighborhood for this a time or two. Kept the babies up.