Moving into a home is something wonderful. It might be the place you feel happy enough to spend the next decade or longer of your life. In order to do that you need security, home furnishings, warmth, comfort and the family members to share it with. You also need to be on great terms with your neighbors, as any strangeness in social relationships here could impact how comfortable or awkward you feel in your home. It’s always nice to have people around you can rely on, so it does behoove you to try and improve those social relationships from time to time.
Doing so can afford you a strong network of trust, security, common favors and many other helpful benefits of living among people. It also simply makes you feel more connected to your home, and more like you belong where you reside.
To do that, no matter if you’re in a flat, your own mortgaged house or somewhere else, following this guide can help you:
Of course, all of this might be getting ahead of yourself. To begin with, why not simply introduce yourself well to the neighbors? Simply greeting them politely, asking them a little about the area and showing a genuine interest in them can get things off to a great start. It shows you’re open, willing to communicate and you have the integrity of the relationship as a major goal in your social discourse.
If your neighbors are good, wholesome people, they will respect and appreciate this completely. They’ll also try and be reciprocal in this matter, and that nets you a strong relationship from the start. Some people aren’t as friendly, but opening the olive branch shows you tried at least. If they don’t care or they are rude, then you know not to pester those people again for as long as you live there. If you do get on with some of the people well, then maybe the next step could be inviting them to a BBQ or around for dinner could be the next step.
Remember, you don’t need to be best friends with everyone around you. You simply need to be on good terms in order to have a wholesome and sustainable living situation. It might be that your efforts net you interesting social points, such as being informed of the gossip on your street, or being told the history of the community candidly over a glass of wine. All that begins with a friendly ‘hey!’ within the first few days of you moving in.
Focus on Your Own Affairs
In order to be a great neighbor, you need to be a neighbor first and foremost. This means attending to your own affairs and keeping your house in order. It means maintaining the social fabric of your daily life, and cleaning up your home for your family. It means imposing discipline and respect in the minds of your children, and doing your best to tidy your property so it looks and is pleasing for everyone to live around. It might mean dividing your back garden from the property of your neighbors, because a dog getting out or trespassers getting in might mean friction occurs between the people around you. Plus, having a little privacy is nice, and can help social relationships stay decent and uninterrupted.
It could simply be trying to find satisfaction in your home so you are more in tune with your own matters and not interested in interfering with anyone else’s. For example, insuring that your subsidence is immediately taken care of to prevent it from becoming a bigger problem, or learning how to switch electricity provider in the case of your over-payment, you can become the attentive and reasoned homeowner you are deep down.
Do “Neighborly” Favors
It’s nice to help your neighbors with favors, because once in a while they might be repaid, even with a small part of social interest. For example, offering to look after the cats of your new neighbors as they head on vacation to save them on paying for kennels can mean the world to them. If you decide to take an extended leave of absence such as a business trip, having someone able to look over towards your house and ensure your post is well taken care of, or to park their car in your driveway to make it look like someone is there can all work towards preventing a break in.
To further this subject, consider joining your neighborhood watch program. It goes far towards ensuring everyone reports suspicious circumstances to one another, and it might mean the difference between foiling a large robbery attempt and being the victim of one. If you haven’t a group like this in your immediate vicinity, then it might pay to start one! Who knows how useful this could be when it comes to preserving the integral security of the entire street. This can increase the sense of unison and togetherness regarding future activities that occur.
Show Respect and Appreciation
The best way to be a great neighbors is to never pester, but to be there when it counts. For example, you needn’t knock on your neighbors door to start a conversation with them every week, but simply waving and greeting when you see them on the sidewalk, or you see their car out on the roads is a polite gesture to make. It could be you compliment them on their landscaping if you see them on their driveway, or offer them a couple of cookies you have just baked if you see them in the garden. It could be inviting them around for a beer in the warm weather. It certainly means giving them a personal Christmas card every year, and maybe even a birthday card if you are close enough to have that information revealed to you.
Neighborhood relationships work when they allow each other to have their own lives, but support and show appreciation when the contact does occur. This is almost the most pure form of friendship, because both sides work to make the entire relationship one of no-pressure appreciation and relaxation. Do your best to never interrupt or counter that.
If you connect in this way, listen to and communicate grievances respectfully, and generally act in a respectful, chilled out manner, you my friend have just found the best way to be a great neighbor.