How Do You Build Trust With Your Neighbor?

True self-sufficient homesteaders crave reciprocal neighbors. We’ve noticed trust with each neighbor accumulates in a variety of ways.

Neighborly trust is built by dependability, vigilance, curiosity, recognition, honesty, and openness. These attributes allow the space for good communication; the foundation for successful relationships. Good relationships open opportunities for sufficient teamwork.

Keep reading to learn how to practice each characteristic with your neighbors. Additionally, you’ll discover why we ‘should’ trust in our neighbors.


Be There When a Neighbor Needs You

Especially if you’re good at what they need!

We receive double in return every time we say “yes” to helping a neighbor.

Our neighbor Tom knows we’re out humming around planting new species all over the place. When he stayed elsewhere for a hot handful of days, he thought to call for us to check on his sun-baked potted plants. We did so, and he insisted to gift us all four instead of just checking.

A win-win for us plant people and a guy whose time limits his interests.

The moral of the story is; the more you are there, the more they will know—so more opportune paths unfold.

A red currant and two seabuckthorns from Tom. The fourth plant was a raspberry!

After a few years of growth, nourishing currants, seabuckthorn berries, and raspberries will burst into abundance for us all.

Giving is receiving. And feel-good exchanges like this propel our hands to extend again and again. Both parties are dependable.

Look Out For Your Neighbor’s Properties

Stay in touch and keep each other in the loop (in a good way).

Suspicious or not, notifying neighbors about general activity shows vigilance. A group of people who share information understands each other. Watchful eyes and word of mouth build overall community awareness from everyone. Safety and familiarity of the shared area grow stronger.

Find Out What’s Helpful Instead of Assuming

Sometimes, we assume people need what we want them to need. Usually, because it’s what we like or is something we would like to do or contribute.

Self-based actions under the guise of selflessness feel off-putting. It’s easiest to spot when you are aware someone has little clue about who you are. Yet are offering superficial solutions or products left and right.

Relational success involves learning about who you serve. Curiosity drives conversation interests and reinforces connections.

Before planning what to plant in my garden and how much, I was curious to know what my neighbors like to eat. So, I emailed everyone a survey.

I got 5 solids responses!

The results presented relevant high-value food worth learning to grow. Scanning the survey, it appears my neighbors are in luck! We have already begun cultivating mushroom logs and beds.

Share Positive Recognition With Your Neighborhood

Avoid eroding relationships with gossip and talking down about people.

A trustworthy character doesn’t bad mouth people in an effort to fit in with those who started it. Contributing to hostility—in the moment—won’t generate trust no matter how much it feels like it will. “Fitting in” with nasty talkers fosters a division from who is being talked about.

Include, and don’t exclude! Impose likeness and divert the conversation to validate others, especially neighbors.

Positive recognition enhances community culture. Recognition feels appreciated, motivated, and belonging. Recognizing feels honest, generous, and thankful.

Appreciation facilitates diversity. Showing value for differences strengthens their being.

Motivation willfully keeps people engaged in a community.

Belonging opens room for truth, and truth is trust.

The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.

William James – American philosopher and psychologist

The best job I ever slugged away at was in a laboratory as a receptionist & administrator. I describe it as my best workplace because they expressed appreciation for me consistently.

Honestly, after a lot of work experience, it was the first job where I actually felt comfortable with the bosses and more motivated to contribute well.

Socially disconnected employees end up drudging along with little obligation to contribute to the success of a business, I’ve been there. The lack of connection creates an absence of purpose. Purposelessness is confusing! Confusion is not secure and is not trusted.

Instead of hearing gossip, your neighborhood will be conjuring great first impressions on people not introduced yet.

Tom has talked about our initiative to grow food to a number of people now, and it’s made for very positive, non-awkward, and welcoming introductions!

Be Honest With Every Neighbor

“To be honest is to be real, genuine, authentic, and bona fide. To be dishonest is to be partly feigned, forged, fake, or fictitious. Honesty expresses both self-respect and respect for others. Dishonesty fully respects neither oneself nor others. Honesty imbues lives with openness, reliability, and candor; it expresses a disposition to live in the light. Dishonesty seeks shade, cover, or concealment. It is a disposition to live partly in the dark.” 

— William J. Bennett, The Book of Virtues

Keep Neighbors Posted With Your Plans

An open opportunity to be honest with your neighbors is to share what you are up to! If you want to, of course.

Keeping neighbors posted about your plans isn’t about asking your neighbor’s permission to do what you want on your property. It’s about letting people in and discovering new ideas. If you get along well with certain neighbors, try it!

Giving neighbors an opportunity to help will show you trust in their reactions. This reinforces in them that you have a positive outlook on your past interactions.

Feeling liked is a peace of mind and comfort anyone would be happy to receive.

Shared intentions and plans unfold project collaboration possibilities! Our neighbor Adam lacks the energy to grow food but has an ideal space and funds for a cold cellar. Our big garden will need a place to be stored and since telling him; he offered the idea to put a proper cold cellar on his to-do list.

Why We Should Trust Our Neighbors

Think: what day-to-day are we trusting with our lives and why? Why do we trust anyone? Why do we trust the currency we use? Why do we trust our global markets? Why do we trust gasoline-fueled transport? Why should we trust our neighbors?

Building trust with our neighbors is to secure our livelihood. Constructing numerous avenues of trust in life is the most reliable way to thrive and be resilient through change. Trust in no harm, what is harmful is not to be trusted.

With every avenue of trust built, we secure a higher standard of living.

With that safety gear on, Saide looks like a trustworthy operator!

The tricky part is believing in who or what we trust.

Some of us unknowingly trust corporations that are financially dependent on illness. Why would we trust that? Because harmful but comfortable ways of living are sustained by it.

Another example of why we should trust our neighbors is to diminish dependence on gas-fueled transport. Close proximity relationships are less demanding of resources and don’t produce wasteful emissions. Since neighbors cost us less than cars, our life becomes less costly.

Resistance to positive change or prevention puts our trust in extractions that are not actually in our whole best interests. But rather our wallets!

Neighbors can be personally empathetic with you, whereas everything outside of a close circle has little recognition or care for you on a personal level.

Related post: Best tips for building a tight homestead community

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While Rachelle's hands are clean for the keyboard, she enjoys writing and designing creative content and resources. You will most likely find her outside planting a cabbage, foraging berries for breakfast, and collecting herbs for year-round tea or making food.

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