The Seven Basic Needs of Healthy Neighbor Relationships
Only a fence separates you and your neighbors, physically, but in some cases you might be miles apart when it comes to likes, beliefs and personalities.
According to Studio 5 Relationship Coach Matt Townsend, much like a marriage, it’s a relationship that needs work and investment!
I am convinced that at one time or another, each of us will have an occasional run-in with our neighbors. It seems to be one of the universal realities of being human. How could we honestly expect to live in such close proximity to such a diversity of people without ever having the occasional miss step or angry word? Regardless of how common our misunderstandings with neighbors can be, the truth is, many of these issues could be avoided if we simply paid more attention to our neighbor relationships. In order to improve those relationships, I’ve created the following inventory called, The 7 Basic Needs of Healthy Neighbor Relationships. This is a list of questions to review by yourself and with your family. Each question will help you to better understand what kind of neighbor you are and where you can specifically begin to improve your neighbor relationships today. Good luck and good neighboring.
Safety – “Freedom from danger; security”
· Do my regular interactions with my neighbors increase their sense of safety and well being?
· Do I ensure that my children’s interactions with my neighbors make them feel safe as well?
· Do I help my neighbor to feel more safe:
o Physically- Do my neighbors know I’m looking out for their physical well being?
o Socially- Do my neighbors know that I care to help them get to know more people and friends in the neighborhood? And do I actually do so?
o Emotionally- Do I help my neighbors feel emotionally safe enough with me to so they can share their deeper feelings and concerns with me?
o Financially- Do my neighbors know that I am looking out to protect their home and financial interests? Am I willing to share the financial burdens that come with property ownership and neighbors (fences, flooding, damage)?
Trust – “Assured reliance on the character, strength, or truth of someone or something; confident hope”
· Does my every day interactions with my neighbors help them feel that they can trust me?
· Do my neighbors show signs that they actually do trust me and my family? Do they ask us to bring in their mail, take care of their pets or to watch their home when they’re out of town?
· Does it really matter to me if I have neighbors who trust me?
Appreciation – “To value justly; to be aware of; to be grateful for; to increase in value”
· If a reporter interviewed my neighbors, would they actually have evidence that I do truly appreciate them as neighbors? Would there be enough evidence to convict me of appreciating them?
· If measuring my level of appreciation with my neighbors, does it seem to be appreciating, depreciating or staying the same?
· Do I try to show my appreciation with the neighbors in a variety of different ways throughout the year or do I only show appreciation at holidays?
Respect – “To consider in high regard, to esteem, or to have concern for someone or something”
· Do my neighbors understand how much I respect who they are and how much they add to the neighborhood and my family?
· Do my neighbors feel like I can respect their differences in religion, opinion, culture, politics, and ethnicity?
· Do I seek out my neighbor’s input, advice and ideas before making changes to my property that might impact them?
· Do I show some neighbors more respect than others? Is it obvious? Is that what I want to be portraying?
Validation – “To confirm the validity of; capable of being justified or defended; sound”
· Can I have conversations with my neighbors where we can agree to disagree agreeably?
· Do my neighbors feel like they can express their feelings about something without making me go on the defensive?
· Do my neighbors feel valid just being who they are or living the way they want to live? Or do they feel invalidated, uninvited and rejected by me and others in the neighborhood?
Encouragement – “To inspire with courage and hope”
· Is being a neighbor next to me and my family an encouraging thing for my neighbor or more discouraging?
· On a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being a perfectly encouraging neighbor and 1 being a discouraging neighbor, where do I think my neighbor would rate me and my family?
· Do I know enough about my neighbors and their hobbies and interests to hold conversations, and stay connected with them?
Dedication – “To esteem or set apart for a definite purpose;, to distinguish as special”
· Do me neighbors sense that I care for them unconditionally? Or do they sense I only want to be their friend to get them to go to my church?
· Do my neighbors feel like I am truly dedicated to them as a person, couple or family?
· Do my neighbors feel like I truly have their back and are an advocate for them with the other neighbors?
· Do my neighbors know that I won’t talk behind their backs to other people in the neighborhood?
For more relationship advice, attend:
Date Night with Matt Townsend
“Reigniting the Spark” in Ogden
Friday, March 11
7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
$35 per couple
Location: Ogden Marriott