If your neighbor seems depressed or more isolated than usual, they may very well be suffering from loneliness. Chronic loneliness has the potential to affect anyone. The condition is the result of many things – some of the major, such as job loss or a family member moving away. Sometimes loneliness is the result of seemingly nothing at all, except to the person who is dealing with it.
Remember, even if you are good friends with your neighbor, he or she may be hesitant to reach out to you. Be that as it may, don’t let that stop you from offering assistance. Here are a few things you can do to help a neighbor alleviate their loneliness.
This is one of the most crucial things you can do to make your neighbor (or anyone) feel less isolated. Feeling less lonely isn’t just about having someone to talk to. Meaningful conversations about life or things that matter have a much greater impact on people than simply exchanging pleasantries. You can never have too many friends. So getting to know your neighbors is beneficial to everyone involved.
A good meal is a great way to connect with people. Invite your lonely neighbor over for dinner or a summertime cookout. Go one step further and treat the individual to a meal at his or her favorite restaurant. Your neighbor is sure to appreciate the meal just as much as the companionship. If things go really well, consider getting together on a more frequent basis.
If your neighbor doesn’t have access to a vehicle, chances are they may find themselves stuck at home with no way to get out and socialize. Offer to give them a ride every now and then, when they need it. Not only will this give you a chance to help them get to where they need to go, but the one-on-one time will also afford you a chance to get to know each other better… if you aren’t good friends already.
It feels good to help people out and to give them advice when they need it. Your neighbor will also appreciate an opportunity to lend a hand. Go to this person and ask for help with an issue you’re having. Obviously, it doesn’t have to be anything major or personal – just something that they can weigh in on and offer advice.
If you see that your neighbor is having a hard time with something, such as carrying in their groceries or taking the garbage out, offer to give them a hand. Even if it’s just a small task, getting assistance with something will almost certainly help them to feel less like they’re alone.
Receiving a holiday card or small gift from someone unexpected is always a pleasant surprise. Make a habit of leaving your neighbor a card or small gift during the holiday season. They may even get enjoyment from sending you a gift in return.
Overall, the best thing that you can do to help out a lonely neighbor is to be a friend. Just remember not to overdo it. If your neighbor is shy or anxious about meeting new people, you might make things worse by insisting on building a friendship with them.
Take things slowly, get to know them, and build a relationship with them just like you would any other friend. Your friendship could mean the difference between them feeling alone and feeling like they have someone that they can turn to whenever they start feeling isolated.