Neighbours, friend or foe?

neighboursIn celebration of International Friendship Day we thought we would look at the subject of neighbours, how friendly are you with yours? Are they an important part of your daily life, or do you prefer to keep yourself to yourself and not socialise with the people just over the fence?

It’s quite often we see programmes on our Television about nightmare neighbours, extreme cases where peoples lives are made a misery. However it’s not the case in all neighbourhoods. Some people, myself included keep a ‘professional distance’ from our neighbours, making polite small talk when its needed and taking in the odd parcel for them when they are away.

But there are some people who build a close bond with their neighbours, they create an extended family where they can pop in for a cuppa at any time, rely on them to feed pets and watch over the house whilst they are away. They become lifelong friends and create a second home just a stones throw away.

There are of course many benefits to be-friending your neighbours, after all if you have purchased your ideal home and plan on staying there, these are the people who form the community in which you live.

Here are some top tips on getting to know your neighbours:

1. Socialise – with work and busy schedules we don’t often get to see friends and family members as often as we’d like. Stopping to chat to neighbours on your way to the shop or even to your car can make all the difference not only to your day, but to theirs too.

2. Support – people in some neighbourhoods share things like making dinner, and providing fruit and veg from their gardens. Knowing your neighbours increases everyone efforts to share and help each other out, you never know when you may need a cup of sugar.

3. Security – this is a vital one, knowing the people around you brings with it a great sense of security. If you’re away for a period of time they will keep an eye on your home, water your plants and even take in your mail. Its nice to know you can depend on those around you and vice versa.

4. Smile – Whether you’re new to the neighbourhood or you’ve lived there for a while, its a good habit to start. It’s a quick way to get to know people and build relationships.

5. – Talk to your elders – The older members of the community often have the inside scoop on the neighbourhood, you will be surprised at how much you will laugh and learn if you take the time to talk to the sweet elderly couple at the end of the road.

and finally..

6. – Host a party/BBQ – A great way to break the ice and get to know everyone, they are lots of fun and easy to arrange, you can ask everyone to bring a dish or maybe even a bottle or two!