Benefits of Getting to Know Your Neighbors:
- Make new friends. It can be difficult to make friends as we grow older. Exploring your immediate surroundings creates a lot of new prospects. Just living in the same place already gives you something in common.
- Exchange support. Knowing your neighbors pays off when you need advice about how to water your lawn or you want to borrow a wrench. You can help each other save time and money.
- Stay safe. Whether you organize an official neighborhood watch or just keep an eye out for each other, close communities discourage crime. You’ll make your homes and streets safer.
- Build community. The biggest advantage may be feeling like you belong. You’ll be happy to come home each evening when you like and trust the family who lives next door.
Simple Ways to Connect with Your Neighbors:
- Take a walk. When you’re driving your car, it’s difficult to stop and chat. Try travelling around your area on foot. Wave and say hello to anyone you see. Comment on the weather or strike up a conversation if they seem friendly.
- Hang out. Just being visible can help. If your house has a front porch or yard, use it for reading and eating. If not, look for shared spaces like community rooms or pools.
- Participate on Nextdoor. Register for Nextdoor or become more active. It’s a social network where you can stay informed about your neighborhood.
- Ask questions. Are you looking for recommendations for a plumber or a dermatologist? Your neighbors will probably appreciate a chance to share their knowledge, especially if you return the favor.
- Volunteer your services. Charity runs and food drives are a great way to meet others who care about your community. Contact a group that sounds interesting or check with your local volunteer clearinghouse.
- Gather contact information. It’s easier to stay in touch when you have someone’s name and phone number. Volunteer to put together an online resource where anyone can keep their details updated if they want to.
- Adopt a dog. Pets are surefire icebreakers. Let your dog introduce you to someone new at the local park or a coffee shop with an outdoor patio.
- Schedule playdates. Children can help too. You might meet other parents while walking your younger sons and daughters to the school bus or shopping for clothes. Follow up by making plans to get together soon.
- Throw a party. Entertaining can be easy. Invite a few neighbors over at a time for small dinners. Organize a potluck or a picnic where everyone can share the work.
- Set a goal. Setting a specific goal may help you to stay on track. You could aim to speak with one new neighbor a week or organize a book club within the next month.