Everyone gets grumpy from time to time, but the trick is not to turn into the neighbourhood grump. Most streets, apartment complexes, or gated communities has a grump. Someone who is too strict with the rules. Someone who will have a go at you for mowing your lawn “too early” but then will have a go at you for letting your lawn get “out of control.” A neighbourhood grump that will call the council on your dog that might occasionally bark during the day but whose own dog barks all night. A grump. If you think, you don’t have one…it might be you.
A quick test to see if you are becoming the neighbourhood grump.
How to you react to the sound of children playing outside?
If your reaction to hearing the laughter of children is “What are those hooligans up to? I bet they are breaking something.” You might be a grump. If you first thought is a nostalgic feeling about your own kids when they were young, or even further back to your own childhood and it brings a smile to your face. Why you are grump free.
A new neighbour moves in and waves at you.
If you take this opportunity to meet the new neighbour, welcome them to the neighbourhood and have a chat than your grump levels are at an all-time low. If you take the time to read the riot act about how things are done and how the former neighbours were amazing…you’re a grump.
Neighbour with young children is putting up some Halloween decorations.
If you first reaction is to complain about it being Un-Australian or mutter something about it being a “Yank thing.” Then you might be testing high in grump-titus. If seeing them put up decorations reminds you to get yours out of the cupboard for your house, then you are ghoulishly not a grump.
There are always going to be some things that make you grumpy with your neighbours, but it is important to weigh up if something that is bothering you is really that important. It might not even be worth getting upset about. If you feel that it used to be better where neighbours knew each other and had street parties, it might be up to you to start new traditions and get the ball rolling.
It all starts with a wave, a smile, and will grow from there.