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Introducing Yourself to Your New Neighbors
Moving into a new neighborhood can be tough on every member of your family. And if your neighbors aren’t outwardly introducing themselves within a couple days of you moving in, it’s easy to feel isolated. But don’t worry — there are plenty of ways you can break the ice!
How to Meet People in Your Community
It’s hard to seem welcoming while you’re holed up inside your house. Use these tips to meet your new neighbors while you’re outside.
Relax on your porch, lawn or driveway. Whether you’re enjoying a beverage after work or having your morning coffee on a Saturday, take it outside — you can enjoy the weather while appearing inviting to your neighbors. Position your seat so you’re facing the road and sidewalks and give a friendly wave to passersby.
Clean up your yard. Even if your home’s lawn was in pristine condition when you assumed ownership, take some time to personalize it or clean up any small flaws. Neighbors will see you making an effort to improve the appearance of the neighborhood and they might even offer to help.
Host an outdoor get-together. We’re not talking about printing hundreds of fliers and leaving them on every doorstep in your neighborhood. Instead, introduce yourself to your next-door neighbors and tell them about your outdoor housewarming party. Encourage them to invite others too.
Get involved in neighborhood events. Within most communities, the neighborhoods within plan things like block parties, charity events, homeowners meetings or other sorts of get-togethers. An easy way to meet your neighbors is to attend these events. Join neighborhood social media pages and keep an eye out for these types of opportunities.
Spend Time and Talk to Your Neighbors
Putting yourself in situations to introduce yourself to your neighbors is one thing — talking to them and establishing a new relationship is another.
Be friendly. No matter if you’ve just lugged the heaviest couch in the world up two flights of stairs and down another, don’t let your frustration flow into your interactions with your neighbors. Be friendly from the get-go and you’ll put out a positive vibe that’ll help you integrate yourself into the neighborhood quickly.
Offer to help. Notice a neighbor with a truckload of furniture or backseat full of groceries ready to be taken inside? Offer to lend a hand. Even if they don’t accept your offer, they’ll appreciate your kindness. With that good first impression, they’ll be more likely to say hello in the future and lend a hand when you’re organizing your garage.
Ask questions. Showing interest in your neighbors and avoiding overwhelming them with information about yourself is a great tip in establishing any relationship. Don’t get too personal — keep it light and friendly.
Find Common Ground in Your New Community
If you’re in a totally new community, you can ask neighbors about the best restaurants to go to, where they shop for groceries and anything else you’re curious about. And if you have young kids, you can ask if there’s a reputable neighborhood babysitter or daycare service around.
Notice common interests. Did you notice bikes in the driveway or gardening tools in the lawn? If you notice something about your neighbors or their space that falls in line with your interests, mention it!
Help your kids make friends. If your neighbors have their kids in tow or you’ve noticed them playing around their home, consider asking about setting up a play date with your children.
Good Fences Make Better Neighbors
If you’re knocking on every door and introducing yourself to everyone on the block, that might be a bit much. Try hooking into your community by visiting local grocery stores and checking out their community bulletin boards. It’s a good idea to keep a healthy distance, here’s how:
Put up some boundaries. It’s easy to come off as the super personable, talkative and outgoing new neighbor early on — but if that’s not your usual style, it’s OK to re-establish your privacy and keep your space to yourself. Don’t feel pressured to put yourself out there all day, every day!
Avoid negativity. If your neighbor starts badmouthing other neighbors or criticizing the old residents of your home, take note and be careful. A neighbor who immediately leads with negative comments might be worth steering clear of for the time being. Keep it light and positive in conversation.
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