Do you know your neighbors? Many of us go about our daily lives without so much as a wave to someone across the street. But neighborly relationships are more important than we realize.

Whether you’ve lived in one place for years or recently moved, you should take the time to say hello. Here are a few ways you can do this – without any awkwardness – and why it’s essential.

The Benefits of Community

Social isolation negatively affects mental health in several ways. Many individuals who live alone experience loneliness, especially if they don’t have friends in the area. Even those who do have roommates or live-in partners can endure related emotions.

That’s why it’s essential to have connections with those around you. You can be there as a means of support – even if that’s grabbing a drink together after work.

Ultimately, these relationships will make you feel more at home. When you engage with others, you become more satisfied in the long run. A local support system can help you thrive in many facets of life. On a broader note, societies benefit from this as a whole. When citizens interact positively with one another, the wellbeing of the community improves.

To foster a friendship with your neighbors, take a look at these tips. 

How to Make Friends With Your Neighbors

Don’t let any part of this process intimidate you – it’s much easier than you think. Some neighbors won’t open up right away, but that’s alright. Be subtle yet steady in your efforts, and you’ll find a lot of success.

Ask a Question

When you see a neighbor in your hall or on your street, greet them, and ask a question. This method may seem a little obvious, but it works. Ask them about their home renovation project or if they’ve had issues with their packages, too. These should be friendly and lighthearted with the goal of an in-depth conversation in mind.

Talk About Your Pets

Did you know that 75% of Americans in their 30s own a dog? Even if you don’t, the majority of your neighbors likely have pets. Use this as a way to connect with them. Chat about different breeds and ask about their pet’s name. 

Extend an Invitation

Are you planning to throw yourself a birthday party? Do you head up a book club for residents? Get your neighbors involved. Invite them in person or slip an invitation under their door. This action can help develop your friendship even further. You can even work together to organize a block party that ensures everyone gets in on the action.

Offer to do a Favor

The best way to create a relationship with your neighbors is to be there for them. Maybe you heard that they recently went through a hard time. When you see them, don’t pry – instead, emphasize that you can help with whatever they need. Remember that saying about the cup of sugar? Go with a similar sentiment. After all, it’s in our DNA to want to help others in even the smallest of ways.

Use Social Media

It may seem counterintuitive to use the web in this case, but these days, it works. There are many apps and social media pages available that allow neighbors to talk about issues and events. If you prefer to use technology, this could be the best way to connect – especially if you and your neighbors are busy people.

Make a Consistent Effort

Be consistent, but try not to push anything. Some people prefer to keep to themselves. Maybe you only end up with a handful of decent connections. That’s better than none at all. No matter what, the friendships you do build will impact your life in many positive ways.