Emily Greenfield, the study’s lead researcher and associate professor for Rutgers School of Social Work, says older people might place more value on their neighborly relationships because a) they’re home more and b) they often need to help each other out just to get by.
When having a spat with the guy or gal next door, it’s in your best interest to resolve it as quickly as is possible, says Wilson. How? Try these make-nice tactics:
Sometimes both parties need time and space to cool down.
Are you fighting because you really feel wronged? Or are you being stubborn? Sometimes being the bigger person and giving in is really winning.
Standing your ground? Respect your neighbor’s right to stand theirs, too.
Sometimes, both parties need to make a sacrifice in the name of peace, quiet and the greater good.
An opportunity to work with your neighbor toward a mutually beneficial solution.
Of these strategies, cooperation is a good end goal to have, but it strongly depends on the given situation, or how we prioritize our needs in relation to the other person’s needs, says Wilson.
After all, you never know when a positive relationship with your neighbor might come in handy. Greenfield, who is currently researching ways to encourage more neighborly behavior in communities, says younger age groups might want to consider taking a tip from their older neighbors.
“People get that family and friends are important, but neighbors can be overlooked. You can’t force a neighborly relationship but it’s better not to take your neighbors for granted, create conflict or be flippant or negative, because you might need them to help you out one day when you can’t help yourself,” she says. “It’s a missed opportunity.”
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