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Should You Be Friends With Your Apartment Neighbors?

If Handled Right, Neighbor Friendships Can Be Rewarding

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There's nothing wrong with becoming friends with your neighbor. In fact, having a friend upstairs or down the hall can make your apartment living experience that much more fun, not to mention convenient.

For many people, it's nice to have a friend in the building. But before you go from friendly to friends with a neighbor, here are some things you should keep in mind:

  • Don't feel compelled to make friends with your neighbors. Being a good neighbor doesn't require that you become close with the people who live around you. So, when you move into an apartment building, don't feel that you need to make friends quickly or be disappointed if you don't have friends in your building.

  • Don't take it personally if neighbors don't want to be your friends. Many people like to keep to themselves. Others may act very friendly but just want to keep their personal life and apartment life separate. And then there are some who worry about the awkwardness and unpleasant atmosphere that can arise if a friendship with a neighbor turns sour.

    If you like a neighbor and think you want to be his friend, but the neighbor doesn't seem interested, don't let it bother you.

  • Go to parties and building events. Your landlord may host or tenants may organize holiday parties and other gatherings throughout the year. Often enough, tenants decide to throw a party and open the guest list to the whole building. These are great ways to get to know your neighbors better and possibly make a friend or two. You can learn about them through signs posted in common areas (such as in the laundry or mail room), notices slipped under your door or in your mailbox, in your apartment complex's newsletter (if you have one), or in e-mails.

  • Be casual and respectful. Cherie Burbach, the About.com Guide to Friendship, offers great tips and insight into making new friends and maintaining great relationships. When it comes to making friends with apartment neighbors, it's best to be easygoing and respectful of boundaries. If you want to get to know a neighbor better but you're not sure if you're ready to do something social together, consider starting off by inviting the neighbor to hang out with you and a group of friends, such as for a poker night at your apartment or a movie outing.

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