One of the best places to make healthy connections is right next door. Being a good neighbor isn’t just a thoughtful thing to do for someone else; it’s a gesture that pays you back again and again== with feelings of greater security, reduced stress, a stronger community and more, like:
- Socializing. It only takes a few seconds to talk to a neighbor on your way to your car. Chatting over the fence post really is an enjoyable, life-affirming thing to do.
- Security. Being friendly with your neighbors encourages them to keep an eye on you and your property. And that helps you feel safer and more relaxed in your own home.
- Sharing. When you’re chummy with your neighbors, you can share all sorts of resources. You can borrow tools, take turns bringing in the trashcans, have joint dinners and share babysitting/ pet duties.
- Community. Knowing the people who live around you can increase your feelings of solidarity and connectedness. Even when you live alone, you can still be part of a community that will look out for your well-being and lend a helping hand when you need it.
When you make the effort to be a good neighbor, your neighbors do the same for you – creating a tribe of friendly acquaintances who can keep an eye on your property, jump-start your car and even baby sit your kids from time to time. Here are some simple ways to get to know your neighbors better, whether you’re new to the block, or you’ve lived there for years.
- Smile and be friendly. The next time you see one of your neighbors, greet them in some polite way. Smile, nod, wave or say hello. You don’t have to be BFFs with everyone on the block, but don’t be a curmudgeon either.
- Introduce yourself. It’s never too late to walk up and shake hands with a neighbor, even if you’ve lived side-by-side for years and never spoken.
- Trade contact info. Make it a point to exchange phone numbers and email addresses with the people around you.
- Get outside more. If you live in a safe area, try to spend more time outdoors. Going for a walk is a great way to meet your neighbors and get a general idea of who lives where. It can also make you feel more comfortable with your surroundings.
- Have fun together. Want to know your neighbors better? Throw a block party. Host a game night. Walk your dogs together. Toss some burgers on the grill and have your neighbors bring sides. You’ll find a whole community of friendly people just beyond your front door. Reach out and enjoy them!