Plato once said that Similarity begets friendship. Most friendships are born from people having some similarities in interests, education, beliefs, or even political ideologies.
We are more likely to form connections with people who reinforce our world views and make us feel safe and secure. It is, therefore, highly improbable for neighbors to become bosom buddies by just the mere reason that they share a building.
That said, it is not impossible because there is the probability of having other shared interests with your neighbors. While no one expects you to be the best of friends with your neighbors, it helps to be friendly with each other. Being on good terms with your neighbors plays a crucial role in determining how good you will feel about your apartment.
We can choose our friends, but we often cannot choose our neighbors. Even so, there are several things you can do to create a friendly relationship with your neighbors that may even blossom into a lifelong friendship. Let us take a peek at some of those ways:
Never hesitate to take the first step
When you move into anew apartment, always introduce yourself. Always don a friendly smile when you meet your neighbors as you move around the building. A simple hello goes a long way in creating a good rapport with your fellow neighbors.
You can knock at your neighbors’ door to say hello or offer to help when they have a problem that you can solve without costing you too much. If you notice a new neighbor in your building, welcome them to the block and offer to show them around if they are new to the locality. You could take a small gift like flowers or a home-baked good.
Give them directions and contacts to the nearby amenities like schools, hospitals, or local grocery stores. You could give them your phone number so they can contact you in case of any emergency that you may be in a position to help.
Be considerate and open to new friendships
Loud noises from the neighbor’s place at odd hours of the night are undoubtedly irritating. It is, therefore, necessary to always have your neighbors in mind and be considerate with the noise. Avoid blasting the music at high volumes any time past 9 pm.There is no reason to put on loud music at 7 am when most people are not yet awake.
If you are planning a party that you think may be a little loud, notify your neighbors in advance. Or better yet, invite them to the party to get to know each other even more! If your neighbors are too noisy, approach them politely to ask them to turn it down.Try to not get too angry or blow things out of proportion by calling the police.
Consider reading our guide on how to be a good neighbor.
Solve issues maturely
If you have any problems with your neighbors, try to approach them and deal with issues maturely. Writing an email complaint as the first resort may seem a little too mean-spirited. It may block any future communication with your neighbors.Always attempt to address any issues politely and in person. Do not engage in heated arguments or shouting matches. Communicate your issues politely, and give them a chance to hear what they have to say. Offer to come up with a middle ground that will foster better relationships with the neighbors.
Respect your neighbor's spaces
Try to always stay within your appointed space or area in the building or block. Ensure that you don’t place your property outside your neighbor's allocated space unless you have asked for their permission first. Always observe cleanliness around your area and avoid littering your neighbor’s spot, as this is so disrespectful.
Extend some acts of kindness
An easy way for neighbors to be friends is to show some random acts of kindness to your neighbors. If they are not feeling well, you could make a meal and deliver it to them. You can perhaps offer to babysit their pets when they travel. You could even help with cleaning their space whenever you are doing yours.
When your neighbors are not around, you could offer to check their doors regularly to ensure that unwanted people are not lurking around their place. Invite your neighbors for dinner to get to know each other better. You may even notice that you have similar interests and therefore increase the chances of forming a friendship.
Go get dinner or drinks with your neighbor
While inviting your neighbor to dinner at your place may seem like an obvious way to meet them, but it's occasionally more comfortable for everyone to meet out for the first time.
Don't make your plans overly elaborate. Too much formality can prevent a true bond from being formed.If dinner or coffee won't work, see if they want to pop over to the local farmer's market or community festival. Make your first couple of meetings short, so you can get to know each other in small doses. Every friendship needs to progress at its own pace, so rather than a home invite, choose a casual, comfortable place close to your apartment building.
Keep your apartment safe
Fires, gas leaks, and other safety concerns may cause damages to your neighbors and to the building.Prioritizing safety in your apartment not only ensures safety for your property but also goes a long way in keeping your neighbor’s things safe as the rest of the building as well.
You need to understand boundaries with your neighbors’ time and space. Avoid using inappropriate language or displaying too much physical closeness with your loved ones in plain sight of your neighbors. When you meet your neighbors, avoid being too chatty, especially when unsure of their schedules. Try to only communicate on a need basis. Make the best judgment on what is acceptable behavior and what is downright disrespectful.
Be satisfied if you’ve done your part
While there is no guarantee that neighbors can be friends, the specific behavior that we have discussed above helps to increase the chances of forming friendships with neighbors.
Try to at least be on good terms with your neighbors, even if a friendship is not guaranteed!