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Know your neighbor

Steve, Sue, The Smith’s… The good old neighbors… or are they? There’s an old saying that says a good neighborly relationship requires a good fence but sometimes we can’t help but wonder if the seemingly always happy-go-lucky neighbor next door really is the family man he portrays to be.

It’s important to get to know the people who live basically on your doorstep because this creates a sense of belonging, safety and community. Its helps you to settle in and get the sense of a shared identity within the area you live, essentially creating a happier neighborhood for everyone.

The Young Foundation released data from a study they performed that showed that when people actually know their neighbors and have a friendly face to just say hello to (even if that’s all it is) increases the wellbeing of individuals.

Sometimes it’s necessary to push yourself just an inch outside of your comfort zone, get to actually know your neighbor a little and establish for yourself if he really is who he says he is. Here are some ways for you to connect to your next door comrades:

  • It all starts with a friendly smile and a simple “hello”. From there you can find an opportunity to introduce yourself and maybe invite them over for coffee. No leaps of faith though, if you’re not “feeling” it don’t push yourself to allow them into your home.
  • Host a street party – this is a really great way to get all the neighborhood residents together and help everyone with getting to know each other a little better. You might even score an opportunity to find out if the new guy on the block has any dodgy behavior.
  • A little sugar please? Borrowing something from your neighbor is a great way to open up the gateway for seeing what he’s really like. It might seem strange to go and borrow something from someone you barely know, if it’s too big of a move for you try taking a “welcome” basket over to their house and introduce yourself.
  • Start a neighborhood watch – This is a super idea to get the whole community involved in something that should be close t everyone’s hearts. Getting all the residents from one block together gives you an opportunity to bond and get to know each other.
  • If you have a lingering suspicion about your new neighbor then turn to your trusty old friend (who will swiftly let you in on any dirty details) Google. If there’s something “off” about Steve* then Google will know all about it. Quickly doing your own kind of personal background screening is never a bad idea to just give you some history about the person now living next door. If Google doesn’t have anything for you try other platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn. Just don’t become a cyber-stalker though. If you seriously have doubts about the person a reliable and reputable background screening service is your next stop.

Whether you live outside of the city borders on a farm or you stay in a cluster home you probably (most likely) have neighbors.The people who live in your immediate vicinity a.k.a your neighbors have a major influence on your quality of life, whether you admit it or not.

A good neighbor can help keep an eye out for shady activities going down in the street while a bad one might be the actual cause to panic. It’s not always a case of stranger danger, even though you shouldn’t just blindly accept someone for who they say they are, give the new neighbor a shot using these handy tips and it might just end up becoming a great friendship in the end!


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