Moving into a new neighborhood can be intimidating. This is especially true when your current neighbors have already formed friendships and don’t seem interested in getting to know you. However, whether your new neighbors seem approachable or standoffish, there are some ways you can make friends as the new family on the block.
It’s probably not the first thing you feel like doing after unpacking what seems like a million boxes, but you really should introduce yourself to your neighbors, at least those living right next door or directly across the street as soon as possible after moving in. If you are outside and are in the middle of something and can’t introduce yourself at that exact moment, be sure to at least smile and offer a friendly wave. The idea is to create a friendly first impression. The last thing you want to do is communicate that you aren’t interested in knowing your neighbors, when, in reality, you are just worn out. This is your chance to make a good first impression, and you only get one chance, so make it good.
Walk The Neighborhood
You can’t really expect your neighbors to approach you if you lock yourself indoors like a hermit. Get out and about in the neighborhood. Taking a walk is a good way to do this. It serves two purposes. One, you get some exercise and two, you will have a built in opportunity to talk to your neighbors if they happen to be outdoors when you are walking by.
If you want to make friendships, do so by asking questions. When your neighbor is outdoors, during your walk, introduce yourself and then ask for suggestions on nearby restaurants, dog parks, community events, etc. Break the ice by asking them their opinion. Most people love to share that, so it’s a win-win.
When standing in your new neighbor’s yard, compliment something. Everyone loves a compliment, so this will do wonders for creating a relationship. Tell them you like a certain plant in their yard, compliment their shutters or the color they chose for their door, etc.
Exchange Contact Information
You can use the necessity of exchanging vital contact information with your neighbors as a way to become more acquainted. It’s a good idea for neighbors to know how to contact each other for safety purposes. What if your house alarm or fire alarm is going off, what if there is a fire, what if your dog gets out of the fence and is running amok in the subdivision? It’s a good idea to exchange numbers, and it presents a perfect opportunity to introduce your family and begin a relationship.
If all else fails, cook something delicious like a batch of cookies and take it over to your neighbors. Sure, there are allergy concerns to consider, but in most cases, everyone loves a heart felt gesture. This can be another way to break the ice if you haven’t the courage to walk up and introduce yourself outright.
Be patient. Friendships take time to develop. Don’t force yourself on your neighbors, but remain open, friendly and courteous, and they should come around quickly enough.