How Men & Women Adjust to New Surroundings

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Moving to a new neighbourhood can be exciting and daunting. You must get to know the ins and outs of the area; find a new favourite grocery store to shop at, a park to go on your evening walks and discover the culture and vibe of the block. When it comes to experiencing and learning to adjust to new surroundings, a recent survey has found that men and women’s approaches differ quite significantly.

Discovery through technology and the neighbourhood

Research by MyGate, a community management app, reveals that men lean on technology a lot more than women for information about a new place. Men are also more open to turning to the people in their new neighbourhood for information and help. 62% of men interviewed said they often rely on technology and their neighbourhood for any help or information they need.

Women, on the other hand, prefer an approach that is more familiar when exploring a new area. Only 40% of female respondents would rely on technology or their neighbourhood for help or information. Perhaps safety being a concern, 60% of women are more comfortable seeking out close friends or family members for help and information. Just 38% of male respondents said they would turn to close friends and family for this kind of assistance.

The effects of the pandemic on getting to know the neighbourhood

The lockdowns and restrictions during the pandemic have made proximity the most important factor when it comes to most interaction. There has been a new appreciation for the ‘neighbourly’ neighbourhood; a greater dependence on the people and resources in your immediate vicinity.

The MyGate study reported that 81% of respondents claim that they would be more likely to depend on their neighbours as compared to pre-Covid-19 times. This implies that new residents in an area have little choice but to deep dive into neighbourly interactions and events. After all, getting to know those around you is hugely important now, not just for support and assistance but socially as well.

However, research shows that women still aren’t too eager to immediately rely on their neighbours for help. When it comes to differences in the attitudes of men and women regarding their bonds with their neighbourhood, there were some interesting results. Anecdotal evidence may point to women being more integrated within their neighbourhoods due to the traditional division of domestic labour usually falling toward females. However, it was found that just 25% of female respondents relied on the neighbourhood for any help or information. The men’s ratio was close to 35%. So contrary to the popular belief, men seemed to have formed a deeper bond with their neighbours than women.

Working with neighbours

For those moving into a new neighbourhood and adjusting to new surroundings, getting integrated within a community involves a significant amount of effort and time – all this on top of domestic duties, jobs, childcare, etc. It seems that men were more enthusiastic to be involved with community matters than women. Almost 49% of the men who had participated in the survey mentioned that they are ‘highly likely’ to work with neighbours to set up a joint representation to authorities in matters like water supply, waste management, sewage disposal, etc. Women tended to keep their relationships within the home again, with just 20% saying they had minimal contact with their maids, as compared to 30% of men. 38% of women even went the extra mile to provide their maids with extra food when required, as opposed to only 30% of the men surveyed.

The pandemic has highlighted the need for community spirit and good neighbourly relations. It seems like relationships among communities have been strengthened and renewed. Men and women seem to navigate integrating with their new neighbourhoods in slightly differing ways. Where women may be more cautious and take their time with approaching their neighbours directly, men seem to be more enthusiastic in their approach to see and be seen within the community. However, regardless of the different approaches, the sense of togetherness brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic can only make it easier for new residents to adjust to their new surroundings.

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