Social Question

Aster's avatar

What do you think about this remark by one of the collective?

Asked by Aster (19878points) February 2nd, 2012

Someone on here months ago stated , ‘I don’t believe neighbors were meant to be friends.’ Do you go along with this line of thinking or do you think neighbors should socialize and visit each other hoping to make friends with you? Or do you think the “normal” thing to do is limit your contact with an occasional wave? And why do you think the way you do?

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31 Answers

Blackberry's avatar

It’s up to the neighbors. Just like everyone else, some people get along and some don’t.

john65pennington's avatar

I believe the person that made that remark must be cooking meth in their back bedroom.

I have lived in the same house for 42 years and have some of the best neighbors on earth.

Neighbors were meant to be friends. We help each other out on just about everything. We borrow tools from each other, When one is low on sugar or cigarettes, they others come to their rescue with just a phone call. We may be the exception to the rule, but I am not complaining.

Sure, neighbors are meant to be friends.

The only exception would be if all the neighbors were drug dealers. Too much competition.

marinelife's avatar

I have had a fair amount of trouble with neighbors at various times in my life. At other times, neighbors have been ignorable except to wave at from the yard,

I don’t think having them as good friends is a possibility much less a likelihood.

chyna's avatar

I have one that I had to cut off. She was watching my house, knew which room I was in at any given time, called me up to 15 times a day, knew if I got up late, etc. I don’t want to be friends with my neighbors, but a friendly wave and a phone number exchange is okay in case I see something going on outside my neighbors house that they should know about.
And @john65pennington I swear I am not cooking meth. I just don’t like being stalked.

SpatzieLover's avatar

Some neighborhoods attract people that are very much alike.

In my case, we aren’t that much like our neighbors. No one on my street is friends. Friendly? Yes. Doing cookouts together? No.

fundevogel's avatar

If you’re friends with the neighbors you’re more likely to get away with raucous parties without hearing from the landlord or the cops.

Just sayin.

Male's avatar

I think it’s okay for neighbors not to be friends. Just because you live in close proximity doesn’t mean you have to always be helping each other out and being the best of friends. It’s really up to the neighbors themselves and how well they get along, and if they even have the intent to become friends in the first place.

If everyone operated on the thought of becoming friends just because of proximity, then what about students sitting next to each other in school? They should all become friends too? You’re a do-gooder straight A student, while the person to your left is a drunk druggie who cheats on tests? Hell no.

JilltheTooth's avatar

I’ve had neighbors that were friends, neighbors that weren’t, and now my neighbors are, well, neighborly. When I was very sick they took good care of us, but we’re not “good friends”. It depends on the actual people. Some people I am close friends with. If they happen to be my neighbors, fine.

Kardamom's avatar

I make a point of trying to be friends with my neighbors. We have really great neighbors right now. Everybody tries to help each other out. We borrow tools, take food over, tend to each other’s pets when we go out of town and my Dad even takes our neighbor lady’s trash out, because she has a hard time walking. I can’t imagine purposely trying to not be friends with the neighbors, that would make for a sad existence in my own neighborhood.

LuckyGuy's avatar

We have wonderful neighbors – that are friends. We only see each other to talk about once a week while we are getting the mail. We watch their house. they watch ours. We’d do anything for them and know it works both ways. Perfect.

Coloma's avatar

It depends on the neighbors.
I am the youngest person living on my rural road. I have one up the hill neighbor and two down the hill neighbors.
I am the middle neighbor, in the middle. lol
The up the hill neighbors and I have a good relationship, we help each other with our animals when we travel.

I ranch sit for them, they cat and goose sit for me.
We have an “open barn” policy that applies to raising each others barn fridge for beer and wine.
We don’t socialize other than the occasional holiday neighborhood party thing and occasional exchanges of home made foods.
My two down the hill neighbors are late 60’s couples and aside from one of the wives coming down to sit on the bench in my yard and feed the geese with her little grand daughter we don’t socialize either.

Nothing in common. Hippie writer farm woman and old redneck geezers. haha
We all wave, are friendly, but, the reason I live on 5 secluded acres is because I want my space and privacy.
I’m a friendly, outgoing woman by nature, but, I am also very protective over my space and privacy.
If I wanted to be surrounded by neighbors I’d live in a neighborhood instead of a rural setting.
I also close my ranch gate at the top of my long driveway when I don’t want to be disturbed. Gates a re good and everyone knows when Colomas gate is closed it means “do not disturb!” :-)

I always joke about my nearest neighbors being the “neigh-bors.” 3 donkeys, a horse, 2 mules, a llama and 4 sheep. They are my favorite neighbors and we do socialize daily. :-D

YARNLADY's avatar

I would love to have friendly neighbors. When I was growing up, we lived in a neighborhood where people all knew each other and played together, with barbcues, autumn bonfires, Christmas cookies and such. It was wonderful.

I have lived in this house for nearly 20 years, and I only know the names of two families. The rest are mostly renters who move in and out frequently.

jca's avatar

I have lived places where the neighbors were not very friendly, and I have lived where the neighbors were quite friendly.

I am not home a lot, and when I am, I am usually doing my own thing, so I am not out and about in my neighborhood too much. I live in a complex and they have parties at holidays and stuff, but I am kind of “odd girl out” because I’m not around, due to work, commute, etc.

I think if people can be great friends and be neighbors, that would be great. Why not have people in close proximity that can be helpful in time of need, dish out some advice when it’s asked for, ask you over for a cup of coffee on occasion, or you can have them over to your parties, if that’s how you roll?

linguaphile's avatar

I’ve lived in…counting… 27 different houses and apartments, and 9 different dorms… and I’m 40. I’m probably one of the reasons some people don’t become friends with neighbors. I don’t stay around long enough. :( I’m always friendly with my neighbors, but as an adult, have rarely developed anything past a friendly hello.

I’ve been in the same house for almost 2 years now and… My roots are itching… my gypsy caravan’s waiting…

Aster's avatar

I wonder if , in those neighborhoods where people aren’t friendly, if they are that way because they’re wary . Cautious. Have had bad experiences with neighbors in the past. I recall one place where the next door neighbor made some wisecrack about our yard not being mowed. But I did visit a lot with his wife and enjoyed it. This was back when it was fun to have neighbors because they had little kids and we had little kids so we had a lot to talk about. After the kids were grown and gone everything changed. Neighborhoods now had very few children and , when they had them, they stayed indoors playing with their gadgets. Where we live now there is a competitive feeling in the air. It’s hard to explain. You just know that if the quality of your grass doesn’t measure up to their grass that there’ll be bad feelings. Add to that our obnoxious, I assume, dogs running and attacking it’s not that happy of a place for me. In another neighborhood the man would yell off his deck at the golfers if he noticed they did something against the rules. His wife did come and feed out fish for us once; she was nice but had her own bike riding friends and we were new. In another one there was a lady who constantly stirred the pot to cause problems and spied on people. Maybe our new , super quiet lake lot will be nicer. If so, we could end up building there.

LezboPirate's avatar

I used to have a lot of neighbors that I talked to, but the ones that haven’t moved away generally keep to themselves. They’re nice though. We get along when we do talk.

tinyfaery's avatar

Have you ever lived in L.A.? I don’t want to know most of my neighbors. I hate that I even have to wave at them. Why must everything and everywhere be social? Belch.

Aster's avatar

@tinyfaery why did you ask about los angeles ?

SpatzieLover's avatar

@Aster In my case, my entire village is filled with professionals. Most of whom value their privacy.

wundayatta's avatar

Personally, I want to live in a neighborhood where I feel like there will be people I can be friends with. I chose my neighborhood by interviewing people to see if they shared my values. They do. It’s good.

They aren’t really friends, but we are friendly in that neighborly way. We’ll lend each other stuff. There’s a neighborhood superbowl party hosted every year by one family on the block. We used to have block parties, but those seem to have stopped over the last few years.

I don’t have a problem with what anyone else wants out of a neighborhood. It’s easy to find neighborhoods where no one knows anyone and everyone leaves everyone else alone. It is also easy to find neighborhoods where everyone is in everyone else’s business. I have a problem with none of it. I just hope people respect each other and abide by the community compacts and covenants.

Aster's avatar

@SpatzieLover never thought of it like that. We have a doctor down the street?lol

mazingerz88's avatar

Of course, neighbors should be friends, watch each other’s house, borrow each other’s wives, err, I mean tools! Lol.

tinyfaery's avatar

@Aster People rarely talk to strangers. And if someone talks to you, you might not want to talk to them.

Kardamom's avatar

@tinyfaery People talk to strangers all the time. If I never spoke to strangers, I would never have gotten to know the people that have become my friends. I make it a point to talk to strangers in places that I frequent, either to be polite or to pass time, or find out new and interesting things that I would not have known if I just kept to myself. In my work, I talked to strangers all the time, on the phone, in the hallway or in the regular course of my business in a public place. Each time I have moved, I have made a point to introduce myself to my new neighbors, so then we’re no longer strangers. Every class I have taken (at least as an adult) I have made it a point to introduce myself to my classmates and teacher, so we were no longer strangers. Everyone is a stranger to everyone else until someone breaks the ice and introduces themselves.

SuperMouse's avatar

The only neighbor I was ever friendly with went to my ex in the divorce and filed a document with the court on his behalf calling me an unfit mother. This was after I took her to the hospital an hour away at 5:00 on a Sunday morning to see her then husband who had attempted suicide. That trip was followed by two solid weeks of watching her children while she commuted back and forth to work, the hospital, and her divorce lawyer’s office. It stopped after two weeks because I moved halfway across the country. Lovely situation.

That is the first and last time I was ever anything more than cordial to a neighbor. A friendly smile and wave is enough for me.

@Kardamom I believe @tinyfaery is referring to the people of LA when she says “people rarely talk to strangers.” I will second her statement, in Los Angeles, the ones that do talk to strangers tend to be rather frightening.

tinyfaery's avatar

Thanks @SuperMouse. My civility is waning. I am from Elay, afterall.

Kardamom's avatar

@SuperMouse my best friend and her family and her boyfriend and several of my family members live all over LA and I don’t find it to be any different than any other urban area. I go there all the time and talk to people all the time, but that’s the point. I make a point of talking to people. I’m cautious and wary around certain people that seem scary, but if I’m just shopping or standing in line at a concert or getting a pastry at Starbucks, or whatever else anybody does in LA or anywhere else, I make a point of talking to people. It’s one of the ways I got over my shyness. That’s how I became friends with my best friend. There are shitty people everywhere, but there are grand people everywhere too.

SuperMouse's avatar

@Kardamom I hear what you are saying and I don’t disagree with you. I think it is awesome that you put yourself out there to meet new people and make new friends.

That being said, I am a native of the Los Angeles area and my 40+ years experience living there backs up @tinyfaery‘s assertion that in Los Angeles people do not talk to strangers. My experience here in the midwest is somewhat different, people are slightly more inclined to speak to folks they don’t know.

Kardamom's avatar

@SuperMouse I guess if you look at it like that, that makes a little bit more sense. New York for instance, is perceived to be a city in which people are meaner or less nice, and Southern cities are generally perceived to be very hospitality oriented and cities in the midwest are generally thought of to be nicer. And there might be studies that say that percentage wise, each of those statements are true. But still, all of it is generalities and you have to put yourself out there to find the good folks, no matter what city you live in. Otherwise we’d all find ourselves alone. I’m certain that people in New York make good friends too LOL. : )

Aethelwine's avatar

yeah, the whole Los Angeles thing. One of my sisters has lived there for over 30 years and no one is a stranger to her, but then she’s a flight attendant and meets all walks of life. She’s not afraid to say hi and it’s gotten her far in life. She’s got a great support system because she’s not afraid to put herself out there.

You don’t have to be friends with your neighbors but it doesn’t hurt to be friendly. You never know when you might need help with something. We really got to know our neighbors when a tornado hit our neighborhood not long after we moved in. We were all without electricity for several days and we didn’t have much to do but help each other with clean up. Do you really want a neighbor near you not willing to help when you need it because you couldn’t take a moment out of your day to be friendly?

trailsillustrated's avatar

LOL @tinyfaery I’m with you! I don’t want to know my neighbours! The one time I did they were so nosy I couldn’t stand it. I hate even having to wave at them, too. And I am not an anti-social person. She couldn’t say it loud enough, BELCH hahaha. Neighbours I hate em.

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