Friday, 15 November 2013

Guest Post: Top 5 Ways to Befriend Your Neighbours

With everyone plugged into various tech, it can often seem like no one takes the time to strike up conversation any more. This perennial 21st century complaint was supported by a recent survey, which showed that only one in three of us makes the effort to meet our neighbours when we move and a quarter of us don't know the names of those next door. However willing we are, changing this is a delicate operation. When it comes to connecting with the neighbours, less is almost always more, so consider these top five tips to coax your future friends out of their shells.

Be friendly

As crucial as it is obvious, and infinitely more important than any grand gestures. Cheerfully acknowledge any neighbours you run into when you're out and about and try to have a short chat. Compliment them on something you've spotted on their house, like their new driveway, or ask where they got those smart ready made curtains you've been admiring. The greatest friendships start with small talk, so be prepared to tolerate the chit chat!

Be helpful

If you see someone struggling alone with a tonne of shopping, go and give them a hand. Offer to keep an eye on your neighbour's house while they’re on holiday, and be on hand to keep the fish, cat or prize tomato plant fed.

Organise something

Knock on doors or post invites through letterboxes inviting neighbours to a coffee morning at your house.
We held a Halloween party to get to know our neighbours which was a big success

Keep it subtle

People will like you more if you occasionally pop up for short and sweet exchanges. Don’t launch into a twenty minute monologue about your recent jaunt to Venice if you’re dealing with someone you’re just getting to know. If you’re appearing over their garden fence with anecdotes about your children and a Victoria sponge every other afternoon, the folks next door are going to quickly get annoyed and start hiding.

Know when to step back

Everyone is different and some people really do just want to be left alone. If your charms just aren’t working on a particular person, don’t push it. There will be plenty of others who’d probably love to be your friend, so don't despair over one grouchy neighbour!

* Disclaimer: This guest post was written in collaboration with Kira Browdy


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