We often hear about the merits of being a good neighbor, but sometimes the best incentive for kindness and being neighborly is to recognize the rewards. So if you are wondering, “What’s in it for me?” the answer is this: plenty!
Here are three ways being a good neighbor pays off in the end.
1. Being neighborly is good for your health.
Studies show that acts of kindness are connected with improved health. From improving heart health to reducing anxiety, science shows that being nice is good for you. “While there are several ways to reduce anxiety, such as meditation, exercise, prescription medications, and natural remedies, it turns out that being nice to others can be one of the easiest, most inexpensive ways to keep anxiety at bay,” wrote Maile Proctor for Quiet Revolution.
2. Being neighborly creates a desirable community.
Wherever you live, we want it to be a safe, welcoming place. But what makes a great neighborhood? It’s the people within it, working together to create a positive environment.
“Communities that excel at promoting this feeling of belonging encourage members to speak up about their ideas and opinions, which, in turn, leads to members considering their positions from a deeper perspective. Involvement in positive and encouraging communities facilitates self-reflection and exploration of core values and beliefs,” said Stephanie Caldow, a certified positive psychology practitioner.
When you do your part to support your neighbors, you are contributing to a community that is prepared to step in and help when the need arises.
3. Being neighborly builds support.
It was inspirational author Orison Swett Marden who once said, “We must give more in order to get more. It is the generous giving of ourselves that produces the generous harvest.” And that certainly applies to sharing living spaces with others.
Although it’s not a good idea to reach out to others with the sole intent to collect favors later on, it is comforting to know that, should the need arise, you have a support system in place that you can trust. That comes from being kind and acting as a good neighbor.
Being a good neighbor can sometimes be a sacrifice. But when you consider the health benefits of being kind and the ability to help build a friendly, supportive community, the payoff is well worth it.