“A good neighbor is a fellow who smiles at you over the back fence, but does not climb over it” –Arthur Baer
Although Arthur Baer may have the best intentions in mind, his sentiments regarding what is considered as a neighborly act speaks volumes of an aloof and reticent attitude when it comes to being a part of the community. One thing you have to consider when it comes to your neighbors is that these are the people you are going to be living in close proximity with, so if you want an ease of existence in your neighborhood then it is best to cultivate a good relationship with them. Although a taciturn attitude towards your neighbors would not necessarily breed animosity, it does not exactly propagate a warm relationship with them either and living in a community with people akin to strangers hardly makes for a comfortable neighborhood to come home. Whether you are living in a lush estate or in a townhouse in Manila, it is imperative to have a cordial relationship with your neighbors and one way of doing this is to get to know them personally or better.
If you are a fairly new resident of a new neighborhood, this would be a welcome opportunity to make some friends. Down below are a few of the many various things you can do to get to know your neighbors.
1.) Organize a Potluck or a Block party
There are communities that throw an annual block party at least once a year if your community has one try to find out when it would be and attend. These parties are avenues for you to introduce yourself to the neighbors you have never met or perhaps strengthen the existing bond between you and a neighbor you already know. However, if your neighborhood does not have a similar tradition then you can start one that would be the catalyst for this tradition. Organize a potluck with some of the neighbors you already know and send out some invitations to gather everyone in your block or your community.
2.) Bring a Surprise Gift to a Neighbor
Gifts are always great but surprise gifts are even better. Give your neighbor something out of the blue, it does not have to be something expensive and can even be homemade. One of the most common surprise gifts you can give is a fresh batch of cookies you have cooked yourself or store-bought. It may be a simple gesture but it goes a long way.
3.) Coordinate an Exercise Group
For health buffs and exercise enthusiasts, this is a great way to gather people who share your passion—and it is a great way to make friends too! Exercise and healthy activities do not need to be a chore if you are in a group and if you consistently exercise or conduct active events with your neighbors, you will not only lead a healthier lifestyle and achieve your health goals but you will be a lot closer to your neighbors.
4.) Invite Your Neighbor for Drinks
Finishing a Friday night off by popping a bottle of champagne with your neighbor is a good way to relax and foster good relations with them. Invite a neighbor over and make it clear than it is just for a drink and maybe some appetizers. In this way, you would be constrained to a simple nightcap and prevent it from turning into a full-fledged dinner party. A casual night for drinks is a relaxed affair compared to a full dinner party which takes a little more planning and commitment. At least, inviting your neighbors for drinks can be done on short notice and will make you less likely to push off the idea to a later date.
5.) Provide a Small Service to Your Neighbors
One very easy way to become an amiable neighbor and engender amicable relations with the people you are living in close proximity to is to provide a small service to them. There are innumerable obligations in the domestic life that would need attending to daily and if you want to get to know your neighbors better or at least befriend them, volunteering to do one of their daily tasks is a very welcome gesture. Things such as trimming the lawn, watering the garden, helping out with the carwash, etc. are all little things you can help your neighbor with and greatly boost your relationship with them.