Photo by Mathyas Kurmann
Whether you’re in a new suburban neighborhood or recently moved in your new condo, you can feel more at home when you know the people than when you don’t. Staying aloof and keeping to yourself might work when you were a kid, but it won’t be the same once you turn into an adult. You have to get along with your neighbors to ensure you live in a peaceful community.
You might find it easy to get along with a bunch of people. Meanwhile, you might find some people in your community won’t warm up to so easily. Sometimes you have to conjure a few tricks from your sleeves to make them open up to you. If you have a hard time being friendly with the neighbors, here are ten things you can do to become their friend.
1. Be the first one to say hello
When new in a place, first impression matters. You should always be the one to wave and give a friendly smile. It doesn’t matter if you’re tired from carrying boxes. You should appear welcoming and open for small talk. It makes people think you’re friendly.
2. Schedule a time for exploring the community
You won’t meet people by staying indoors all the time. You also get a chance of catching up with others while walking their dogs, tending to their gardens or lounging in their patio. Take daily morning or evening walks to meet new friends. You can ask your neighbors about local restaurants, dog-friendly parks, and community events. Asking about garbage collection is schedule is another way to break the ice.
3. Go old-school
Try the traditional route and bring some gifts when you visit your neighbor. Some communities still offer housewarming gifts to new families in the neighborhood. If someone does bring you something, you should return the favor. You can bake a batch of cookies using your mom’s secret recipe. But if you don’t have a knack for baking, then you can opt for local pastries near Ardia Vermosa.
4. Give out compliments
Always be a giver. If offering some goodies is stretching it too far, then you should hand out compliments. Marveling at your neighbor’s new paint job, well-maintained lawn, or the design of their home is free. You can easily get at thumbs up when you are generous with compliments. The next time you bump into the couple next door, you should try commenting on how great their blooms are.
5. Exchange numbers
Giving your phone number or home landline is a sign of trust. It means you’re letting the person be part of your inner circle. It also means your placing your neighbor in the list of emergency contacts you have. It’s now easy to invite their family over the next time you plan to have a mini celebration. Most of all, you’ll know who to call once your pet gets out of your backyard.
6. Make plans
Improving your relationship with people doesn’t end. Talking to them now and then is great, but you have to go out and do activities eventually. Grabbing a cup of coffee or a few rounds of beer are some things you can do to connect with them. If you want to get to know the people on your block without having to invite them one by one, then you should set up a housewarming party. It’s fun, and it brings people together. It also helps you get to know the people in your neighborhood without feeling pressured about it.
7. Find out who’s nearby
If you’re relocating to a different community, you should look for a friendly face in the neighborhood. You can look into your social networks to find out who’s nearby. Your school’s alumni association, church group, and other organizations you belong are some of the places you can look for friends and associates who might be in the same neighborhood as you are.
8. Discover shared interests
Similar to other relationships in your life, there’s bound to be common interest that you and your neighbor both enjoy. It might be a passion for home decor, gardening, or triathlons. Whatever it is, you can use it to bond over and build your relationship. If they have kids the same age as yours, you can schedule a playdate. If not, you can always tag along to his or her weekly sessions at the gym or favorite nail salon.
9. Visit popular communal areas
There’s bound to be an area where your neighbors frequent. Some people spend their weekends at the clubhouse. Others set up a meeting point at the jogging trail. It can also be the tennis courts or the park near the city center. You should spend time in these places, so you could chance upon your neighbors. Bring a book to read, walk your dog, or take your family to strike a conversation with people you only see when you throw the trash.
10. Deliver mail personally
If you live in an apartment, there’s a chance their letter gets mixed up with yours. You should take advantage of this opportunity. Knock to their door and introduce yourself. It might seem logical to slip the mail under their door or leave their letter in the mailbox. But if your goal is to make some friends, then you should go ahead and deliver their mail personally.
Making friends with your neighbor is not as difficult as you think. As long as you don’t let your awkwardness and shyness get in the way, you’ll be fine. In time, you’ll learn to enjoy the company of your neighbors and the people around you.
The students just started this school year, and our ever-hard-working laborers are still working year-round, as usual. For many of us, travel going back and forth to our school and work is such a hassle. Imagine being stuck in traffic and you have a class at 8 in the morning, or have a meeting at 1 in the afternoon. You might have left your house three or four hours earlier, but it just won’t do. Unlike the people who are in a condo for rent in Makati, they don’t seem to have any problem if their school or workplace is just near their place.
To give you more of the mentioned above, here are some of the perks if you are residing near your school or work:
You are well-rested
It means no alarm four of five hours before you need to leave home. Thus you have extra time to sleep. You can do many things at home after school or work. You may be tired, but you still have a lot of time to do whatever you want or gain energy thru having a good rest. Isn’t it lovely?
Less time on the road
Given that the traffic in the Metro, well actually everywhere in the Philippines, brings out the worst in us, you will do anything just to get out of that trap. Having less time on the road is just pure nirvana we are all aiming for. Moreover, you are saving a lot of money and energy if you just live a few blocks away from school or work. You can walk for a few minutes or go bike, a workout that you can do in your daily life.
You can go back and forth to your place quickly
If you accidentally left something at home, you can get it and be back at your school or workplace in a jiffy. You can also spend long breaks at home, be at ease knowing that you can get no traffic. Hooray!
Feel free to invite friends and colleagues to come at your place
If you need to do projects or merely for bonding, you can have your friends and colleagues to come at home. It will be very easy for your group to go since it’s just around your area (school or office). It is also economical to hang out or spend your vacant in a house than renting a hotel, go out to eat at a fancy resto, etc. You can have your people swim (ask permission or sign them as guests) in your condo’s pool and cook scrumptious food at home. Having quality time with friends and at the same time being practical with your choices have never been this easy.
If there’s any emergency at home, you can easily storm your way
You get to your school or office around 10 to 15 minutes of walk, and if there’s an emergency, you could surely fly your way for like 5 minutes or less. Might be exaggerated but the fact the whenever someone needs your help or the like, you can quickly excuse yourself (and it’s reasonable).
More time for yourself and family
Given that you are just a few blocks away, you have less time on the road and more with your family, and to yourself of course. Work-life balance seems easier to do if you choose to live near your workplace or school, or vice versa.
Does it speak to you on a personal level? Well, it’s either a calling that you should consider moving somewhere near your current school or workplace or affirmation that your decision to live in a condo in Makati is an excellent choice. Whatever it is, I hope I was able to showcase the little perks you can have if you reside near your school or workplace.
Living with a baby is both a joy and a challenge. Such a small creature can bring about a total change in how you live your life. Aside from the major changes in your life, your living space will be invaded by baby stuff.
No matter what kind of Philippine property you live in, you will feel the huge change in your living space. Even if you live in a house in its own lot and at least semi-detached from the neighbor’s house, you will surely feel this invasion of space; and so much more if you live in a place that has limited space such as a condo in the Philippines.
Below are some tips for living in a condo with a baby.
- Prioritize. If you have settled in your condo unit for many years already before the baby arrives, chances are you will have to dispose of some of your stuff. You will definitely need to create space for a lot of baby stuff such as the crib or bassinet, clothes drawers, and other baby stuff you might want. The key is to prioritize which ones you will definitely need and make use of the most.
- Rotate toys. Toys can be everywhere in most houses that have babies and kids living in them. However, a little clutter of toys can make a huge mess in a space-challenged condo unit. Do not bring out all the toys for the baby to use. Put some of them in storage and then keep them in rotation.
- Look for a playgroup or start one. Most babies and kids will inevitably crave for space to explore. Address this need by going out with your baby as much as you can. You may also look for a playgroup that you can join regularly. If you cannot find any, consider starting one yourself and looking for a soft playground where you can meet other parents and babies.
- Soundproof. Since units in condominium buildings are only separated by not-so-thick walls, the noise that a baby makes is one of the first concerns. Try to soundproof your unit as much as possible. You can use rubber mats on the walls or along spaces in the doors and windows. No need to soundproof your whole unit, just choose an area or room where you can bring your baby when he or she is fussy and making a lot of noise.