The Clampetts had a lot to learn when they moved to Beverly Hills, but they already knew how to be neighborly. They invited you over each week to set a spell, take your shoes off, and enjoy a heaping helping of hospitality.
Today, almost one-third of Americans say they don’t know the names of any of their neighbors and a majority have no regular interaction. That’s according to a biannual survey conducted by the University of Chicago.
Remaining strangers may be natural when you’re working long hours at the office and driving your kids to activities around town. However, you probably wish you had a friend next door when you’re in lockdown at home.
You can still social distance while you connect with your neighbors. Let the Beverly Hillbillies be your guide and inspiration.
If you visited Jed and his kin, you could count on being asked to stay for dinner. Plus, Granny usually made enough health tonic to dose the entire city. Sharing brings neighbors closer together.
Use these strategies to share with your neighbors:
- Exchange favors. Help each other out. Take turns watering the plants and picking up the mail when you go on vacation and business trips. Start a car pool if your kids attend the same school.
- Buy less. Make joint purchases for big items like snow blowers and fancy tool sets. Borrow a cup of flour or extra tables and chairs.
- Stay informed. Collaborate on staying safe and up to date on local news. Use Nextdoor or other neighborhood apps to stay in touch.
- Be friendly. Your kindness and warmth may be the most important thing you can share. Greet each other with a smile.
From Jethro’s old jalopy to Elly May’s critters, the Beverly Hillbillies did things their own way. It’s important to be your true self in order to develop rewarding relationships with your neighbors or anyone else.
Follow these tips:
- Take risks. It can be a little scary to initiate the first move, but the rewards are worth it. Introduce yourself and make small talk. Follow up with neighbors who share your interests.
- Interact more. Walk around your neighborhood and hang out in your front yard to make yourself more visible. Plan parties and other events.
- Have fun. Enjoy sharing your thoughts and feelings. Accept yourself and your neighbors for who you are.
Many of Mrs. Drysedale’s high society friends loved the Clampetts, but she still kept trying to drive them away. You’re bound to have differences when you live close together, but you can treat each other with respect and consideration.
Consider these ideas to remain on good terms:
- Set priorities. Figure out which issues you can live with and which require a discussion. It may be worth tolerating an occasional party to preserve harmony. On the other hand, you probably need to speak up if someone takes your parking space each weekend.
- Know the rules. Understand your rights. Check your lease and relevant local laws.
- Communicate directly. Let your neighbors know your concerns without being judgmental. Listen to their side as well.
- Offer compromises. Be prepared with possible solutions. Show that you’re willing to make changes too.
- Hold down the noise. Loud music and heavy footsteps are a common source of irritation. Be sensitive to how much noise you’re making and let your neighbors know in advance if you’re going to build a deck or set off fireworks.
Bonding with your neighbors makes your life happier and healthier. You’ll find that friendship and community are just as much fun as swimming pools and movie stars.