• Keeping Friends

In the Media: When neighbors are friends

Published: February 1, 2015 | Last Updated: February 1, 2015 By | Reply Continue Reading
New York Times

New York Times

When your neighbors are friends you may feel as if you are living in Utopia. After all, good friends offer companionship as well as practical help and support. Not only is it convenient to have a friend living next door or close by, but it also helps build intimacy and enhances your sense of confidence when you feel as if you are part of a “tribe.”

In the Real Estate section of the Sunday New York Times (January 30, 2015) journalist Ronda Kaysen writes about groups of friends who choose to live in the same apartment buildings in New York City. Some are couples, some are singles, and others are families with children. Some are millennials; others are older adults.

She asked Dr. Levine to weigh in on the phenomenon. She wrote:

“We used to live with extended families. In the tenements there would be multiple generations living together. Now most people are in small apartments by themselves,” said Irene S. Levine, a clinical professor in the department of psychiatry at New York University Langone Medical Center who has a blog on friendship.

“To have your group nearby gives you some self-confidence — it makes you feel more connected. It can enhance your life to have that sense of support.”

Kaysen also makes the point that there could be potential downsides to these arrangements if the neighbor/friend relationship takes a nosedive. It can be awkward to have to see your friend in the elevator when you’re no longer on speaking terms or haven’t been invited to the party.

Read Kaysen’s provocative article in the Real Estate section of the New York Times.

Some prior posts on The Friendship Blog relevant to the topic of when neighbors are friends.

Would you like to live with neighbors who are also good friends?

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