Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Getting to know your neighbors

Ten reasons you should get to know your neighbors

Befriending one's neighbors is something that happens less and less these days, especially for those living in large cities. Don't take it from me. Take it from my man, German philosopher and sociologist, Georg Simmel (1858-1918), who talked about the effects of the big city on the individual in his groundbreaking 1903 essay, The Metropolis and Mental Life. Whether it's due to people's hectic schedules or because today's world favors social media interactions over face-to-face meetings is unclear. No matter the cause, there are some very good reasons why you should get to know your neighbors. Here are ten such reasons.

1. Neighbors can become conveniently-located friends.

Though there are many reasons why neighbors make great friends, one of the biggest reasons is proximity. Instead of having to drive long distances to fulfill your social needs, it is much easier to visit a friend who lives across the street or down the road. If you make an effort to connect with your neighbors, you could end up with some conveniently-located friends.

2. Neighbors can provide added security by watching over each other's homes and property.

You can't always be around to watch over your home and property, but if trusted neighbors are keeping a watchful eye on the area, they can alert you or the police if something seems amiss. Even if your neighborhood friendships have yet to develop, consider swapping phone numbers with various neighbors so you can easily contact each other should a need arise.

3. Neighbors can help fill the void when supplies are running low.

Run out of sugar for your morning coffee? Need an egg for your son's birthday cake? What about a battery for your daughter's Halloween costume? You could find yourself out of luck if the stores are closed and you don't know your neighbors. Getting to know your neighbors provides you with alternative places to source much-needed items, so you won't have to go without.

4. Neighbors can help run errands.

Need to go shopping but find yourself swamped with other things to do? Your neighbors may be able to help you out. If a neighbor is already going to the store and they know you need sugar, eggs, and batteries, then they might offer to pick them up for you.

5. Neighbors can help solve each other's general problems.

There are many times in life when people require outside help. Accidentally drained your car's battery? Instead of waiting for a tow truck, a helpful neighbor might be able to give you a boost. Having trouble moving a piece of heavy furniture? One of your neighbors may be willing to share the burden. When it comes to solving life's general problems, neighbors are often all you need.

6. Neighbors can provide a safer place to keep a spare house key.

It's always wise to have a spare house key. It's less wise, however, to hide it under your doormat. For a safer place to leave your spare key, why not entrust it to a neighborhood friend who's usually home? Such an arrangement can also be beneficial if you are away from home and realize that you accidentally left your kitchen window open. If a neighbor has your spare house key, they can easily let themselves in and close the window.

7. Neighbors can help with household tasks during vacations or other prolonged absences.

Neighbors can be extremely helpful during lengthy absences. If possible, have a neighbor stop by each day of your absence to complete simple household tasks like bringing in your mail, feeding your pets, and watering your plants. In doing so, your neighbor may also keep your home from appearing empty to any unsavory characters who may pass by while you are away.

8. Neighbors can help in emergency childcare situations.

Need someone to look after your children when your regular babysitter bails at the last minute? Trusted neighbors can often provide emergency childcare if you're ever in a pinch. This can be especially helpful if you find yourself needing to run an errand while your child is asleep. Rather than wake your child, ask a trusted neighbor if they'll come over for a short while to cover for you.

9. Neighbors with a good rapport are more likely to be respectful to one another.

Neighbors sharing in a harmonious relationship are less likely to be loud or otherwise disrespectful to one another. Friendly neighbors are also more likely to give you a break if one of your parties gets a little out of hand or louder than expected.

10. Neighbors can provide new business networking opportunities.

Befriending your neighbors allows you to join new social circles, connecting you with a variety of new people. While it's hard to predict where your next business connection will come from, socializing with your neighbors could be the catalyst that connects you to your next business networking opportunity.

There are so many reasons why you should get to know your neighbors. Hopefully, after reading this list, you've discovered a few new reasons and are now excited to start building some lasting neighborhood friendships. Do remember, however, that these benefits work both ways. Be a good neighbor and don't be afraid to offer a little neighborly help in return whenever the opportunity presents itself.

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