Your neighbors are likely to be the first line of defense in case of any problematic situation. It is, therefore, necessary to ensure that you maintain good relationships with your neighbors, whether it is a new neighborhood or your current neighborhood. Being close and friendly with your neighbors gives you an assurance that you have people close by looking out for you. You may not live close to your family, and your neighbors could turn out to be the best support systems for you. So, how do you maintain good relationships with your neighbors? Well, here are five ways to create stronger neighbor relationships:
Say hello and introduce yourself
The first step in building a stronger neighbor is saying hello and introducing yourself when you move to a new neighborhood or when a new person moves into your area. You could choose to leave them a note to introduce yourself. Just slip a note under their door or in their mailbox. It does not need to be an introductory essay- just a simple note or card. You could describe yourself, tell them when you moved into the area, your age and your profession. If the neighbors are new in the area, you could choose to show them around and offer to hang around with each other whenever the both of you are free.
Alternatively, you could give them a little gift as you introduce yourself. The present doesn’t have to cost you a small fortune. You can opt for a potted plant, a succulent, a bouquet of flowers, or baked goods like bread or biscuits. It is important to note that some people tend to have food allergies, and therefore food gifts may not be as welcome. If you happen to see your neighbors in a restaurant or at the store, it is good practice to say hello. Such interactions present excellent opportunities to connect with your neighbors and start off on the journey to building strong relationships.
You can only build strong relationships with your neighbors if you are respectful of each other. It is in poor taste to have the music volume too high or having regular insensitive parties at your place causing disturbances. When you plan to have a party, it is good practice to notify your neighbors or ensure that the loud music does not go on up to the night when they are trying to catch some sleep.
Avoid chatting them up for hours on end when you bump into them. That may be inconvenient, especially if you are not so close or do not know their schedules. You will achieve peaceful coexistence only if you establish healthy boundaries with each other. If they try to be nice to you, it is only fair that you respond to that in kind. When you borrow anything, remember to return it in due time. If you accidentally break their things, replace them without being asked to.
If you have pets, you need to be mindful and pick up after them because not everyone is a pet lover. Avoid gossiping about your neighbors and if a petty problem ever arises between you and your neighbors, talk to them first before calling the cops on them.
Invite them to parties
One of the best opportunities to form strong relationships is at parties. You should consider inviting your neighbors when you have birthday celebrations, family occasions or any kind of party really. Parties present an opportunity for people to let loose therefore making it easier to have conversations.
You could organize an annual neighborhood barbecue when you can meet new neighbors and strengthen bonds with those you have met before. Alternatively, you could have a neighborhood potluck where people can get the chance to show off their cooking skills. It is also a good way for kids to know each other and form friendships.
A neighborhood party could go a long way in nurturing the sense of community, making everyone feel safe, and feeling like you belong where you live.
Offer small kindness
You cannot have parties every day. It is, therefore, essential to exchange small acts of kindness here and there. You could offer to water their plants, take care of their pets when they are away, babysit their kids, carpool to work, or even keep an eye on their home when they are away.
You could also offer to help when there are any problems at their home. If you notice that one of your neighbors needs a little pick me up, you could deliver some comfort food or a few treats. If your neighbor is sick or has a newborn baby, you can be nice and double up on your dinner and take it to them. With elderly neighbors, you could offer to take care of their yards or help them with snow removals. These acts of kindness help to bring neighbors closer together and increase the chances of building stronger relationships.
Know when to keep your distance
We all want good neighbors that we can chat up all day and enjoy all sorts of parties together. In reality, it does not always pan out like that. There are times when you find yourself stuck with difficult neighbors. In such scenarios, the most important thing to do is to try and be cordial. You may notice that your neighbor is making your life complicated. The best option is keeping a good rapport. Try to reduce the amount of physical contact with them. Just give them a simple hello and go your way.
In a nutshell, knowing your neighbors and forming strong relationships is the added layer of protection it gives to your home. Your neighbors will generally know your regular activities and may notice when unwanted people lurk around your home. Moreover, a social neighborhood is likely to have social events and parties where you can form meaningful connections. Your neighbors can be your second family if your family lives far away. When you move into a new neighborhood, it helps to embrace the culture of the area and contribute positively to it.