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Knowing how to meet your neighbors may seem like a daunting task. And in many cases, it is. There are unique scenarios that can make getting to know those who live around you fairly difficult. For example, not every neighbor in your new community is going to want to get to know you. Or perhaps your schedule simply makes it tough to find time to swing by and say hello to the family next door.
However, building a trusted relationship with those in your neighborhood can make the overall living experience more enjoyable. It also gives you someone to count on for keeping an eye out on your home. So here are some ways you can meet your neighbors and grow acquainted with your community.
Ask Your Friends or Family For Help
You might not know your neighbors, but that doesn’t mean your friends or family don’t. Reach out to the people you’re close with and ask if they know anyone who lives in your new neighborhood. If they do, see if they can introduce the two of you.
Yes, you read that right. A great way to meet your neighbors is by simply going outside. This is easier to do if you have a front porch, but can still be done if you don’t. Plan to spend some time doing lawn work or just grab a folding chair and a good book, and enjoy the fresh air when the weather’s nice. When someone walks by, offer a wave and say hello. Since you’re new to the neighborhood, the person you’re waving to likely won’t recognize you and may introduce themselves. If they don’t, feel free to start the introduction.
Take Your Pet With You
Note: While cats are amazing in their own right, this tip generally applies to dog owners.
Pets are cute and charming. There’s even a statistic floating around that strangers are more likely to strike up conversation with people who have a dog by their side. Break the ice and naturally meet your neighbors with a little help from your four-legged friend.
The easiest way to do this is by taking your pet on a nice walk around the neighborhood. Maybe you’ll run into another neighbor who simply can’t resist walking past a Labrador without stopping to give a pet or two. This is when you can strike up a conversation and start introducing yourself. You can also use this opportunity to ask a few questions about the town, like if there are any dog parks nearby.
Seek Tips and Suggestions
There’s no better conversation starter than the classic “know any good places to eat around here?” We recommend using questions like these to meet your neighbors. Of course, you should introduce yourself first before asking any set of questions.
A whole lot of planning doesn’t need to go into this gesture, either. Simply explain to your neighbor that you’re new in town and are looking for some suggestions. A pro tip would be to choose a neighbor you’re likely to have the most in common. If you’re not sure how to determine this, spend a few days observing the neighborhood. If you have kids, scope the front yard of the houses around you for obvious signs there might be other parents, too. Look for things like playhouses, scattered children’s toys, or adults with bags under their eyes.
This trick can apply to any interest or similarity. If you spend most of your free time kayaking, say hi to the neighbor with kayaks tied to the roof of their vehicle. If you like to garden, knock on the door of the neighbor who you’ve seen wearing a gardening hat.
Join Local Committees and Clubs
When you move into a new home, it’s likely you’re going to want to get involved in your new community. Joining local committees and clubs is a great first step. Search for organizations in your city online to start volunteering on days that work with your schedule. Who knows, maybe some of your neighbors volunteer at the same organization as you!
Some local organizations you can join or places you can volunteer at include:
- Public Library
- Humane Society
- Habitat for Humanity
- Chamber of Commerce
- Museums and Art Centers
Give a Gift
Gift giving is a kind gesture that goes a long way. Swing by your neighbor’s house with a small gift to introduce yourself. You don’t have to get too fancy or creative with the gift, either. A pretty succulent or fresh flowers can do the trick.
Say Hello Online
Sometimes, it’s just easier to strike up a conversation from your computer. Thankfully, online applications like Nextdoor make it possible for you to meet your neighbors without having to leave your home.
Using the platform to connect with your neighbors is easy. You just need to visit the website, enter your residential address, create an account, and find your neighborhood. From there you can post on the neighborhood’s page giving a brief introduction of you and your family. Check in with the application throughout the week, as it’s likely your neighbors will share posts about furniture they’re selling, community events, or suspicious activity in the neighborhood. Nextdoor is also great for homeowners with busy schedules that don’t have a lot of time to visit with neighbors in person.
If your neighborhood isn’t on Nextdoor, you can always create a page for your neighborhood. However, seeing as you’re new to the neighborhood, this might be a little awkward. Instead, check Facebook to see if someone has created a group page for the neighbors to join and connect on.
Take It Easy
Moving into a new neighborhood can bring lots of excitement. However, it can also feel a little strange being in a completely new setting. Give yourself time to adjust and grow comfortable meeting new people. Also, remember that everyone starts off as the new kid on the block. The uncertainty you may be feeling is probably similar to what a neighbor down the street felt when they moved in a decade ago. Don’t feel like a failure if you haven’t grown acquainted with your neighbors by a certain timeline. Think of it as a journey and roll with it from there.
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