Our neighborhoods are only as strong as the bonds we have with our neighbors. If you’ve recently moved into a new home or have noticed someone new move in next door, it’s not as hard as you might think to reach out and make a connection.
While we all want to preserve our privacy, the benefits of being good neighbors far outweigh whatever “exposure” we might fear in the process. Good neighbors make safer neighborhoods. Good neighbors often can share tools and resources to reduce expenses and increase convenience. Finally, good neighbors can become good friends.
Here are a few ways to foster friendly connections:
Compliment and/or ask questions about your neighbor’s home.
Is it obvious your neighbor has a great garden? Solar panels? An enthusiasm for the classic car he washes on Sundays? Open up a conversation with a polite compliment and genuine curiosity.
Ask for advice on a project you’re considering.
While you can probably Google about any home project you’re considering, it’s also an opportunity to ask your neighbor if they know anything (or know anyone who knows) about a project you’re interested in. This could be a home maintenance project, a business, or a community event.
Partner up for home maintenance tasks.
Working with someone is a great way to build rapport. Are you thinking about pressure washing your house? See if your neighbor wants to tag team the project together. You can split the labor and the cost of the equipment rental (to say nothing of a cold one after the job is done!).
Going it alone is harder than overcoming our resistance to meeting “the strangers” next door. Break the ice, build the neighborhood. You’ll be glad you did.