5 Essential Strategies For Making Friends With Your Neighbours
Or really just anybody really
5 Essential Strategies For Making Friends With Your New Neighbours
By Vince Wong
‘LOCAL MAN ENJOYS LONG AWKWARD SILENCE IN LIFT WITH HOT NEIGHBOUR’
This headline practically wrote itself as I mulled over yet another lost opportunity to meet my life partner. But raging hormones social awkwardness aside, there are other barriers that prevent you from getting to know your neighbours.
In 2017, The Straits Times reported that only 1 in 5 Singaporeans exchanged greetings with their neighbours more than 3 times a week, and only 1 in 10 struck up a casual conversation with the same frequency.
So is it your fate to remain forever the creepy weird new neighbour(s)? Not if you try these strategies.
- Be seen
Experts cited say one reason for our social reticence could be due to neighbours’ simply not seeing one other often.
But are your children enrolled in the local kindergarten, or hang out at the playground? These are great places to meet fellow parents who live nearby.
- Be friendly, sincere and kind
Being friendly goes beyond a smile or a nod as you walk past. Asking ‘how are you today’, and ‘have you eaten’ are time-honored neighbourly traditions that transcend cultures.
And sincerity matters. Don’t ask unless you want to know.
- Find common ground
Next, look for common interests to build bonds with each other.
If you both drive, compliment your neighbour’s ride when you see him.
Before long, you’ll both be sharing tips on workshops and insurance. And next time, maybe even drinks.
- Share something personal
Sharing is caring – because everyone appreciates getting personal attention and trust.
If you get to know fellow parents, share notes, toys, and clothes with them. If you are single, find ways to share parts of your life with neighbours.
For example, your neighbours might appreciate the extra portions of the beef lasagna that you cooked over the weekend. After a few weekends of that, you might find that you’re not all by your lonesome after all.
- Do something together
Finally, cement those bonds with shared activities.
If you stay in a Housing and Development Board estate, you can consider volunteering at your Residents’ Committee (RC), which aims to promote neighbourliness and community cohesiveness amongst residents.
Whatever your political leanings may be, I am sure you can agree that serving the community is a meaningful step towards connecting with your neighbours.