The Neighbour Challenge - Week 2

Submitted by Anonymous on August 1, 2012 - 10:45am
"Getting to know you, getting to know all about you"

Last week I shared the first installment of The Neightbour Challenge from

Here's Valisha Reber's summation of how she fared with that challenge:

"Last week I challenged you (and myself) to name our neighbors. Knowing someone’s name is fundamental to relationship building. It’s the start of our story, and when you take time to learn someone’s name you show you value them. I have lived on my street for two weeks. However, our family has lived in the broader neighborhood (an area that encompasses several blocks) for over a year. So, let’s see how I did with week one’s challenge….

First, I’d like to say that even as I type this I am fighting a strong urge to list all of the reasons that I don’t know more neighbor’s names. However, it may be more useful (and less pathetic) for me to explain how I met the neighbors that I do know.

Prior to moving into our house a family on the block that we already knew had a “Welcome to the Block” party (it was also a farewell to the couple that was moving away.) Several neighbors attended, and we were able to spend a few hours learning names and hearing people’s stories (how long they had lived there, changes over the years, etc.). The family that organized the party gave us the best housewarming gift, the opportunity to start building relationships with our neighbors.

So, now comes the real evaluation…how have I done meeting people on my own?

Does waving from across the street count?!! We’ve been in the house unpacking….Ok, there are the excuses! The fact is I haven’t made much of an effort. I’ve started to walk across the street a couple of times, and have let that moment of awkwardness that seems inevitable turn me back home. However, I’m not giving up. I want to know my neighbors.


So, the challenge for next week, should you choose to accept it…meet a neighbor you haven’t met.

Week #2

Question: What excuses do we make for not meeting our neighbors?

Challenge: Introduce yourself to a neighbor you haven’t met."



It is on my list...

Hi Jennifer,

Last week I read your post with a smile as it is so timely for me personally. My husband and I moved here from Calgary a few months ago and leading up to our move I made a personal challenge to myself to get to know the names of all the neighbours on our block. Before we moved I started reflecting on why I didn't know more neighbours in Calgary, when my work was so community focused. My excuse was we had a number of condo developments in our block...but really that is just an excuse. It came down to effort - effort that I didn't make initially and then after a certain amount of time lapses, it got awkward to go and introduce myself. We only knew 3 neighbours really well in Calgary and I am determined to change that this time around.

When we came to view our house here in Cambridge before buying it, the neighbour was out the front mowing his lawn. After saying goodbye to the Real Estate Agent my husband and I jumped in our car and thought hold on, let's introduce ourselves to the neighbour. So we got out of the car and said hello and that gave us a great opportunity to ask him questions about the neighbourhood, before making the investment of buying the house.

It turns out we have bought in a great neighbourhood. People have been here for a long time and everyone seems to know everyone. When we got a postcard in the mail inviting us to a neighbours open house craft sale, we went - deliberately to meet them and introduce ourselves. Other neighbours have come over themselves and said hello and some have invited us over to meet other neighbours. Everyone generally is very friendly and interested to meet us, and us them. 

My effort is going to be to have an Open House in the Fall. My excuse, but it really a fair excuse, is that for 3 months this Summer I have 3 lots of family visits from Australia and a friend visiting from England, and all this comes 1 month after we moved in! I have not had a chance to organize a party and am leaving it until we are visitor free in September. I will keep you posted!

I know 5 neighbours at the moment by name, other for just a wave. We are going away for 2 weeks this weekend so my personal challenge is going to be to ask one of the neighbours to water our plants. By the end of September I hope to know 10 more neighbours by name!

Thanks for this post, it is keeping me accountable!