Are the days of tight-knit community long gone? Is this something reserved for families and book clubs? It would be a shame to lose the sense of community that streets and cul-de-sacs used to feel. With people moving outside their familiar surroundings and the commonness of being away from family and friends, more people tend to keep to themselves these days. But could we be doing more to get to know our neighbors and surrounding community?
Are you new to an area or notice that you’ve got new neighbors moving in? Reach out to say hello, at the very least to the neighbors on either side of your property, but you can always go further field, this street will be your new home after all. Flowers and sweet treats are always well-received but if you don’t feel comfortable offering gifts, a simple friendly introduction will do the trick.
With the wintery, colder months still due to hang around for a bit longer, there are plenty of opportunities to be neighborly. Offer to sweep driveways and pathways of pesky leaves and lay grit or rock salt down on slippery surfaces. If you are getting up early to de-ice the car, why not offer to do the neighbors too? You might even be able to work out a rota so neither of you needs to get up earlier every single morning! Being a good neighbor isn’t about catering to someone, just offering a hand to ideally help make each other’s lives a bit easier and enjoyable.
Balloons and streamers going up next door for a birthday party? Congratulations banners attached to the door for a newly-wed? Or maybe your religious neighbors are preparing for a spiritual occasion. When you live close to someone, you soon learn or take notice of their special events and this offers the perfect opportunity to be a considerate neighbor. Drop in a card for a birthday or when congratulations are in order, show thoughtfulness and sympathy in times of need and be respectful of religious celebrations. Giving well wishes, like wishing a Muslim family Ramadan Mubarak! During the month of Ramadan, like you’d wish a Christian family Happy Easter during Easter!
Keeping an Eye Out
There’s plenty of positive to be said about a tight-knit community and one of the strongest benefits of having people you can trust living nearby or next-door, is that there is always someone to keep an eye on your home. Whether you go away for a short or long holiday or simply go out to work or with your family for the day. With neighborly communities there is normally somebody around throughout the day who can notice and let their neighbors know of any suspicious behavior or characters in the area.
Respect Your Neighbours
Whether you get to know your neighbors on a personal level, keep your relationship to a friendly hello in the street or simply don’t try to form a relationship at all. Your neighbors deserve respect and as more the population continues to grow and built up areas become busier, respect only becomes even more important.
We should always show respect to each other and those around us, especially if we expect respect in return. Be conscientious of those around you, whether you are in a house, apartment or renting a private room. The more consideration you show to others, the more likely you are to receive it in return. Avoid being noisy late into the night regularly, the occasional party is to be expected, but it’s always recommended to at the very least extend an invite to your neighbors.
It’s also important to keep your property well-maintained and tidy to ensure it doesn’t affect the quality of life on your street or the way your street is received by visitors. This could have detrimental effects for both you and your neighbors, including an increase in anti-social behavior and a reduction in housing values.
Forming good relationships with your neighbors is a wonderful way to enjoy where you live and can contribute to a more active social life too so don’t hang about, get out there and start getting to know your local community!