Do you talk to your neighbors? The answer is most likely no, and even if you do, it’s rare. Only a small percentage of people talk to their neighbors nowadays. This is very different from the state of things a few decades ago. So, why aren’t neighbors friendly anymore?
Neighbors aren’t as friendly as before due to changes in lifestyle and technological advancements that have reduced social interaction and made many less open to meeting others. But being friends with your neighbors still pays. It makes it easy to find help, stay safe, and get a sense of community.
If you’re seeking to have better relationships with your neighbors, you’ll have to consciously cultivate it now. Here, we discuss why neighbors aren’t friendly anymore and what you can do to change that.
Factors Responsible for Lesser Neighborly Relations
There are several reasons neighbors are less friendly today compared to others. They include:
1. Less Interaction Within the Community
The major reason for the limited friendly relationships between neighbors is the absence of interaction. Due to the radical changes in lifestyle over the years, people no longer need to interact with their neighbors like before, which means cultivating friendly relationships requires more effort. Now, more women are working, which means the culture of women in the neighborhood visiting one another isn’t as common. Children don’t spend much time playing outside again either. The rate of interaction in the past allowed the community to develop with minimal effort, and neighbors were friendly because they constantly interacted.
2. Technological Developments
Technological advancements have now limited the need for social contact. Technological devices and tools have significantly taken the neighbors’ place, making people spend more time indoors when they are at home. Everything from social media to television has reduced the need for people to talk or interact with others unless it’s necessary. Even those new to an area can easily find all the relevant information about the place from the internet. This means they don’t have to talk to their neighbors in most cases.
3. Less Openness to Meeting New People
Due to various social and psychological reasons, many people are less open to meeting others, including their neighbors. There could be different reasons for this. For example, it could be that they don’t plan to stay in the area for long, or they already have their group of friends and just don’t want new connections.
4. Busier people
The world is busier now than it was in the past. Despite technological advancements, people are more occupied now than they used to be. It’s not uncommon to find people saying 24 hours doesn’t seem enough for everything they have to do. This shows just how mentally exhausted most people are, and it affects their ability to form meaningful connections even with their neighbors. This gets worse in the city’s fast-paced life, where it’s possible for neighbors to not see each other more than once within a month. A study discovered that those in rural areas are more likely to have friends in their neighborhood than those in urban areas.
Why You Need to Be Friendly with Your Neighbors
Although neighbors are less friendly these days than in the past, there are still good reasons to be friendly with your neighbor. The benefits of this include:
1. Sense Of Community
Regular interactions with your neighbor can help create a sense of community that’ll benefit you in many ways. When you’re surrounded by people you care about, it boosts your sense of support and can aid personal development. Your neighbors can have a positive influence on you physically and mentally. It also means you can participate in many events within your neighborhood and expand your social circle.
2. Easier to find help
When you’re friendly with your neighbors, you’re more likely to get the help you need from them. In such a neighborhood, it’s more comfortable to raise a family. With neighbors, you can count on people to watch your back, offer carpooling services, etc.
3. Stay Safer in the Neighborhood
When you’re friendly with your neighbors, you can be sure they’ll look out for your interest. This could mean watching your home for suspicious activities. You can even organize a neighborhood watch to ensure that your community is safer.
How To Have Better Relationships with Your Neighbors
With neighbors, the goal isn’t to become friends to be friendly with them. There’s a difference between the two, and it’s easier to be friendly than to try and become friends. Not all your neighbors will want to be your friend. But you can still maintain friendly relations with them by doing the following:
1. Be Respectful
If you want to be friendly with your neighbors, avoid doing things that’ll disturb their peace and appear disrespectful. Habits such as playing loud music, partying and disturbing the neighborhood, encroaching on their private space, blocked passageway, etc., can lead to them antagonizing you. However, you don’t have to make much effort to be respectful, and you can keep your interaction with them to a smile and wave. By being respectful, they’re more likely to be respectful in return, except they have their issues too. Being respectful also involves apologizing if you do something wrong.
2. Offer To Help If Necessary
When trying to help your neighbor, you shouldn’t come off as too eager to please. But you also don’t want to stand aloof when you can see that your helping hands can go a long way. Acts as simple as holding the door or elevator open for them when you’re entering the building together, assisting them with a load they’re struggling with, giving your assistance with minor things if they ask for it, etc., can improve your relationship with them. It takes little effort to help your neighbors most times, and you don’t even have to go out of your way.
3. Give Them Gifts
If you want to improve your relationships with a person, one of the best ways to do it is with gifts. With neighbors, the holidays are a great time to give them gifts. You don’t have to go out of your way to get them something. Holiday cards, homemade items, and small gifts are all you need, and you can wish them happy celebrations. With holiday gifts, you don’t even have to give them personally. You can just leave it by the door. It helps if you already have some interaction with them before the gift.
4. Keep Your Yard Neat
Nothing is more annoying than a neighboring lawn or yard that’s dirty and disorganized. It affects the value of properties in the neighborhood as it reflects them. So, you must keep your lawn and yard clean and well-mowed. It doesn’t hurt to plant flowers too.
The times have changed significantly, and neighbors have become less friendly. But it’s still better to have friendly relationships with people in your neighborhood. Although it may require more effort to achieve that now, it’s worth trying.