Today, our lives are often so busy we don’t connect properly with the people who live close to us. This can be especially true in big cities, where everyone comes and goes at different times and new neighbours move in and out. Getting to know the people who live nearby helps to create a sense of belonging and shared identity in your local area. Here are a few ways to get started.
Do you regularly pass someone in your street? Or do you meet the same guy in the lift on your way to work each day? Start by smiling and saying hello. This is a great opportunity to introduce yourself. You can ask them what they like about the area, or the apartment block.
Make people feel welcome
Did the vacant unit just take on a new tenant next door? If someone moves in close by, make them feel welcome. When you spot them outdoors, take the opportunity to introduce yourself and offer to help with any questions about the local area. You could let them know where the best bus route is nearby, or which supermarket has good hours.
Help out where you can
Are there ways you could help your neighbours? Don’t be afraid to ask if you need support too. Giving support and receiving it from others is a great way to improve your happiness and wellbeing.
Are there opportunities to connect with others?
Look out for opportunities to connect with people in your neighbourhood. There could be a local community group, a residents’ association, or a volunteering opportunity to throw yourself at. Try an exercise class or a book club nearby. Local websites or noticeboards are a good place to start.
Host a block party
Live in an apartment block? Or looking to meet the new people in the street? Why not host a block party? Reach out to the people you know best in the street and ask if they would like to help you getting a small party together. If you find yourself going solo, drop off invitations to each neighbour and invite them around for a barbecue!
Ask to borrow some sugar
Next time you’re out of a crucial baking ingredient, why not knock on your neighbour’s door? It’s not unusual to be afraid of meeting your neighbours because you don’t know what to say. But asking for a small kitchen staple can remove that fear and open the door to a good level of communication.
As you get to know your neighbours better, you’ll be investing in the safety, security and overall sense of community surrounding your home. What’s your best ‘get-to-know-you’ tip? Share it in the Comments section below!