Moving into a new neighborhood is both exciting and intimidating. Feeling intimidated heightens more when you move somewhere with neighbors surrounding you. You may be trying to decide whether or not to introduce yourself and attempt to be friends with your neighbors.
Should You Be Friends With Your Neighbors?
There are several benefits of befriending your neighbors, from valuable friendships to simply tolerating “difficult” people. It’s generally pretty easy to, at the very least, create an acquaintanceship with your neighbors, and doing so can make the neighborhood a less toxic environment for everyone. Even if you don’t become tight-knit with them, being friendly with your neighbors makes problems less common.
The Benefits of Befriending Your Neighbors
Befriending your neighbors doesn’t have to look like alternating movie nights or double dates. In fact, you can create a positive relationship by simply waving hello in the mornings or offering a hand while they’re working outside.
The benefits of even the simplest gestures are vast, and having these good relationships within your neighborhood creates a peaceful and non-toxic environment for all who live there.
Befriending Your Neighbors Can Create Meaningful Friendships
Becoming friends with your neighbors could lead to meaningful friendships that last a lifetime. As cheesy as that may sound, there are stories of neighbors who start businesses together, travel with each other, and some neighbors even marry. While these may not necessarily appeal to you, you may end up finding a genuine friendship with a peer across the street from you with similar interests.
Befriending Your Neighbors Makes You Less of a Target
At the very least, having a positive relationship with your neighbors makes you far less likely to become the target of a jealous neighbor. You’ll also be less likely to be the main talking point of that one neighbor who complains about even the smallest things. With that said, if you aren’t big on surface-level social interaction, you still may want to limit your contact with troublesome neighbors.
Befriending Your Neighbors Can Make You Feel Safer
Having a good relationship with your immediate neighbors is also a personal safety measure. While you’re gone for work or on vacation, you can ask your neighbors to keep an eye on the house until you get back.
Depending on how well-acquainted you are, you may even ask one of your neighbors to grab your mail or any packages that get delivered while you’re gone.
How to Befriend Your Neighbors
There are several ways you can befriend your neighbors based on your interests and social preferences. Whether that means striking up a conversation or simply introducing yourself while you’re moving in, initiating a relationship is the best way to get to know the people in your neighborhood.
When you first move into a neighborhood, take some time to introduce yourself. This introduction may not immediately cause a friendship to bloom, but it plants a seed.
Now your neighbors know your name and can see that you’re open to conversation. Taking the initiative to introduce yourself also shows your neighbors that you aren’t reclusive and don’t mind interaction.
Join a Neighborhood Social Media Group
On social networks like Facebook and Nextdoor, you can join groups that are exclusive to your specific neighborhood. This is an excellent way to meet and become familiar with your neighbors.
This method also allows you to better pick and choose who you want to interact with. Before engaging in a conversation with someone, you can quickly scan their profile and see their interests, beliefs, and values.
Spend Time Outside
Spending time outside isn’t just good for your mental and physical health. Making yourself present outside of your home gives you a chance to wave hello to your neighbors or see others who are doing the same.
You can also use this opportunity to present yourself in a positive and welcoming manner. If you’re exhibiting friendly behavior outside, your neighbors are more likely to think positively of you than if you are yelling and being belligerent.
Add Unique Touches to Your Home and Landscaping
Homes with unique landscaping or lawn ornaments are excellent conversation starters. Neighbors who are intrigued may strike up a conversation with you about what you chose and why you chose it.
For example, if you added a sculpture of a frog in a tutu playing the banjo, your next-door neighbor may see your quirkiness and be inclined to spark a conversation about its uniqueness.
Invite Neighbors Over
Consider having your neighbors over for a backyard bonfire or a dinner party if you enjoy entertaining guests. When you first move into a new neighborhood, you may want to start with your immediate neighbors before inviting the entire neighborhood. This will allow you to get the lay of the land without overwhelming yourself trying to meet everyone in the area.
Should I befriend every neighbor?
The only people you need to be friends with are those who you want to befriend. If you notice a neighbor doesn’t present themselves in a way that jives with you, you don’t need to put yourself through that process. If your neighbor is a karen or downright rude person, feel free to avoid them completely.
What if my neighbors don’t like the same things as me?
If you find you don’t have anything in common with your neighbors, you may just want to become acquainted. This way, you and your neighbors are familiar with each other, and you can, at the very least, be friendly with each other when you come into contact. The great thing about friendship is that it’s totally consensual. You aren’t required to befriend someone just because they live right next to you.
How should I approach a neighbor I want to befriend?
When approaching a neighbor you want to be friends with, it’s important to do so in a casual manner. Don’t overthink the situation, and just be yourself. Approach them when you see them outside if you want to keep it even more casual and simply start by introducing yourself and nothing more. Let them know where you live and maybe compliment them on something on their property.