08 Mar 2017
It was once considered weird if you didn’t know the people who lived next door. Nowadays, it’s almost more unusual for new neighbours to make an effort to fit in.
A good neighbour can be a friend, a helping hand, a watchful eye or a handy source of garden tools! So how can you make friends with the people around you without coming on too strong or resorting to bribery?
This may seem obvious but initiating a conversation with people will greatly increase the chances of getting to know them. Say hello and introduce yourself when you meet them for the first time.
Just be friendly, smile and show an interest. The tricky part is remembering names and the people that you’ve already met. Introducing yourself to the same person twice (or three times) is going to end up being all kinds of awkward.
Have a housewarming
It can be easily arranged and it doesn’t have to be a lavish pool party. A couple of drinks, some nibbles and a bit of music is all you need to break the ice with your neighbours.
The one thing to avoid is inviting too many people. If you invite the whole street, it makes it more difficult to chat to anyone for any length of time. Invite a select few target neighbours and try to find out a bit more about them.
Going to a community meeting may not be your idea of a fun night out but it’s a great way to rub shoulders with locals and to introduce yourself to people who are actively involved in your neighbourhood.
It shows people that you want to be a part of the locality and gives you a useful conversational ice-breaker. It’s also a neutral venue so you can escape at any time.
Be helpful and ask for help
Part of being a good neighbour is helping each other out. If you see someone who needs a hand, be a good neighbour and offer your services.
Likewise, be prepared to ask the people around you for advice or help. Just don’t borrow their lawnmower for six months without giving it back. That rarely goes down well.
Find some common ground
One of the easiest ways to get on with someone is to find some common ground or a common interest. If you’re a fanatical golfer and see your neighbour going past with a set of clubs, bring it up in conversation.
Just don’t try too hard. If your neighbour is a diehard UFC fan but you’re more interested in stamp collecting, there’s no point in trying to bluff your way through a discussion on MMA tactics.
Get out and about
Sitting in your living room with the curtains pulled will not help you make friends. Let your neighbours see you around. If you have kids, take them to the local playground or green area.
People are naturally more inclined to be friendly if they recognise you. They’re also more inclined to interact if you’re not wearing earphones or aren’t glued to your mobile phone.
Lay down some roots
Spend some time in your garden (if you have one). That doesn’t mean that you have to sit in your front garden in sub-zero temperatures and stare at passers-by.
Start a garden project and you’ll be amazed at how many passing neighbours will stop to ask about it. It has the added bonus of making your house a nicer place to live in but it’s always a great conversation starter.
Thinking of applying for a mortgage?
Has all this talk of new neighbours got you craving your own place in a nice area? Whether you’re a first time or next time buyer, EBS has options to suit you. Simply try our mortgage calculator or book a 30 minute mortgage meeting anytime to chat about your options.
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