Boldly Getting to Know Your Neighbors

31 Days of Living Boldly | A Simple Haven

This is day 10 (&11) in a 31 day series on Living Boldly. To read the other posts, go here. Welcome!

I have hopes for my neighborhood. I want to know my neighbors, their kids, and their stories. We may not end up best friends, but I want to feel some sense of community.

I’ve had fears, too.

Will they think I’m weird if I just show up with cinnamon bread? Or stop by to say hi while we’re out taking a walk?

Can I actually ask her to borrow an egg when we’ve only talked a couple times? Do people do that here?

So for me, living boldly in my ‘hood is taking the initiative to get to know my neighbors despite fears about how my initiative is received.

Simple Encouragement to Get to Know Your Neighbors

If you’ve ever had similar thoughts, here’s some encouragement from my (free!) eBook, The Homemaker’s Manifesto:

Definitely on the “you can’t change it so you might as well embrace it” list, you are stuck with your neighbors—for better or worse.

So you might as well get to know them.

At the very least, you’ll want to know them well enough to be able to ask to borrow an egg/pinch of chili powder/diaper, right?

(All real-life examples).

At the most, you could start a life-changing relationship just by saying hello. So, reach out to them! Stop by with a treat to share and a friendly smile.

Depending on how folks roll in your neck of the woods, you might be swimming upstream against culture, but who cares?

You are where you are for a purpose but only for a season. Your neighbors could very well be a large part of that purpose.

Do you know your neighbors? If so, how did you get to know them?

P.S., you might also want to check out my blogging-friend Emily’s series, 31 Days of Gentleness for the Rest of Us. It compliments a series on boldness well :).

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About Jenn

Jenn is a mommy of three and wife to her best friend. She enjoys good books, having dinner guests, and elevenses. She is not afraid to lead a one woman crusade against the rampant misuse of the apostrophe. She is afraid to adopt kittens before the baby turns three.

  • Gay B

    I lived in my current home 15 years and have two neighbors I’ve never really met. Would it be too weird to go introduce myself now?

    • In my book, no! But then I’m ok with awkwardly asking people their names if I forget them. 🙂
      Honestly though, if the worst that could happen is that it feels a little awkward, that doesn’t seem too bad. Plus, I’d imagine a plate of cookies going a long way toward helping with that. Let me know how it goes! 🙂

  • We started a book club and it is SO fun. All the ladies have great taste in books and we get to talk more deeply than standard neighborhood chit chat as we discuss the themes of the books.

  • Life of an Expat Parent

    Definitely one we are thinking about at the moment. Just said to Johnny the other day that I want to be friendly with our neighbours even if we aren’t best friends because a) it builds community and b) it allows us to authentically reach out into their lives without it being fake.

    However, British culture can be funny when it comes to privacy, so I’m never sure what is “acceptable.” Houses and backyards are literally attached/right next to each other, but sometimes people will ignore one another, build high fences, plant high hedges to avoid others invading their privacy – which is important to them.

    But so far, our neighbours have been absolutely lovely and after not knowing our neighbours at all at our last house, it’s nice to be on a first name, stop for a chat basis with a few of them! xo

    • We don’t have a fence on two sides of our yard and while sometimes, I’d love a good privacy hedge/child-escape deterrent, not having a physical boundary has prompted more conversations with our neighbors.
      Love that you’re getting to know them already! I want to see pics of the new place!!!! (can you sense my enthusiasm? :))

  • Amy @ Sunlit Pages

    When my husband and I moved into our neighborhood seven months ago, we decided that we really wanted to be the type of people who showed up with cookies (or some other treat) with every new family that moved in. We’ve done pretty well with our goal so far, and it’s so nice to be acquainted with every person on our street!

  • emmillerwrites

    I haven’t met too many of my neighbors. I take all the folks in my building cookies every year, but nobody ever answers the door, so I just leave them sitting in the hallway. I met one neighbor when her cat got loose in the building and I took him in for the night. So I try to think of little ways of being neighborly without intruding, since it doesn’t seem my city neighbors are all that interested. I clean the common area in our building since the landlord doesn’t do it. I arrange a little seasonal vignette and scented reed diffuser in our entryway. I bought a cute little ashtray to put on the front step since so many of my neighbors smoke. Little details.

  • As an introvert, it’s so hard for me to make that bold move to a neighbors front door. I did it today, hands full of homemade apple cake and salted caramel sauce, heart pounding wildly. They weren’t even home, so I have to go do it again!! You might enjoy my very similar story on neighbors and hospitality. Seems like we think alike! http://www.strawberrywoman.com/neighbors/