One of my neighbours moved out last week. I’ve lived in my house just over seventeen years, but she’d been here good deal longer. I live in the ‘bowl’ of a cul-de-sac, so I meet the neighbours frequently, and we’re all friendly and help each other out when need be. So we’ve all been wondering what the new neighbours will be like, and whether they’ll fit in.
One of my new neighbours called this morning to ask where the local shops were, she seemed friendly enough – so that bodes well for future relations. But it got me thinking. How do we treat people when we meet them for the first time? Are we welcoming and inclusive, willing to get to know them, or are we exclusive, preferring to stick to our own little cliques? And we’ve all been the ‘newbie’ ourselves in different situations, maybe at work, or socially. So what am I like when you meet me for the first time? Do people want to get to know me? Am I a good friend or neighbour, somebody good to work with? I hope so. And I hope that I’m seen as someone who’s friendly and welcoming, willing to extend the arm of friendship to the people I meet.