Tips to co-exist well with neighbours.

Some of us were not privileged enough to own backyards and frontyards at some elit surbabian home in the outskirts of the city. Well.. if you did, you probably wouldn’t understand what I am trying to put across. You see, at some point in my life, I was advantaged enough to have constant intermingle with my neighbours. Sometimes I loved it, and most times I hated it. From the lack of privacy to constant interference with your personal life. ‘Oh, when are you finishing school? Oh, why do you come home so late? Oh, yesterday you cooked some chicken and pilau,( how do they even know what you cooked? ?) where is some for me? Oh where is your brother nowadays ??, Oh, Nani’s daughter is pregnant ,aargh! it never stopped.

All these led to alot of qualms, everyday fights and hatred between families. I cannot forget to mention the stigma set towards some families due to unnecessary leaked secrets. ‘Usitembee na mtoto wa Nani’ meaning, do not relate with the victim’s child. So, when I finally moved out to campus, I had gathered a few survival tips of my own, which worked seemingly very well.

1. Smile and say hi, nothing more, nothing less. If the environment proves safe for further communication, then you can feel free to take the conversation to the next level, revealing rather a few details about yourself, be sure to keep the conversation quite general at first. Save deep conversations for your very close and trusted friends.

2. Be sure to avoid borrowing things unless you are really desperate and that is the only option, or, If you and your neighbour have become very close and free with each other. They might give freely, but then find yourself later on as the center of discussion because of all the wrong reasons.

3. Avoid at all costs gossip with a neighbour about other neighbours. Be warned, gossip can be very juicy and entertaining but can also be used against you in a court of law. When all is said and done, you might find yourself in the wrong side of the coin friends. You might later find out that everyone hates you and does not want to be associated with you. Your partner in gossip spilled out everything that you said, and left out their contribution in that specific conversation.

4. Keep your life as private as possible while also trying to seem as if you engage others. Do not, once again DO NOT! be quick! To reveal information about yourself just because someone else offered a listening ear.

5. Do not be quick to judge others, remember what goes around comes back around.

6. As much as you would like new friends, do not be overfriendly, such that you end up becoming that weird neighbour, in other words, do not come off too strongly, be friendly in a linient way.

PS: No man is an island, but no man is a saint neither. Love thy neighbour but be sure she/he loves you too ,lol!

Angie Mithayo ♥

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