Dear introverts, we know it’s difficult to read this, but getting to know your neighbors and allowing them to get to know you can truly be a lifesaver. Especially if you live alone in a new neighborhood like many students and young professionals. It’s overwhelming, true, establishing that initial contact with strangers who happen to live next door. However, the benefits far outweigh the anxiety you must be feeling. Indeed, extroverted people have it easier breaking the ice in a blink of an eye. The good thing is you can learn a thing or two from them.
Know thy neighbor and the best moment to approach
First things first. Before you rent an apartment, you should explore your neighborhood online. Find a platform with building or neighborhood reviews and go through them. They will give you valuable insight into what kind of community you can expect after you move in.
It is not the same if you’re moving to an apartment building or a family house. It is much more difficult to introduce yourself to neighbors in a building, though not impossible. Also, it is tough to guess the best time to initiate contact and not seem pushy. Usually, we’re all on tight schedules so choosing the right time to approach is vital. If your neighbor doesn’t seem in a hurry, you should take the opportunity. Offer to lend a hand if they’re coming back from the grocery store or if they’re returning from walking their dog. A simple hello, I’m your new neighbor is a good start.
Great minds think alike
The best way to introduce yourself to new neighbors is to make yourself visible. Don’t be that one neighbor that doesn’t talk to anyone. Greeting people with a smile and a few friendly words doesn’t cost a thing. Over time, you will notice more things about them which can serve as conversation starters. People bond over things they like but also over things they both dislike. The weather is always a safe topic.
Furthermore, you can use sports to initiate a conversation. Maybe you’ll meet your neighbor at a game or take kids to the same soccer practice. If you see your neighbor wearing apparel featuring your favorite team you can safely comment on the last game. Sometimes, team affiliation, hobbies or preferences are not so obvious. So, before you get your billiard table to your new address and invite your neighbors for a game or two, find out if your neighbors even like to play pool or if there’s something else you could invite them to join.
Host a party and introduce yourself to new neighbors
Whether you live in an apartment building or a suburban house, make the effort to invite your closest neighbors to a housewarming party. Do it while most of your belongings are still packed. Your new neighbors might offer to help you assemble furniture, hang paintings or chandeliers or lend you a tool. Don’t talk too much about yourself; while introducing yourself is important, so is learning about your neighbors. Don’t forget to exchange phone numbers before they leave.
Inviting your neighbors to a housewarming party has one more benefit. Since they live close by they will likely know which item you might cherish the most after moving in. Don’t underestimate your neighbors and expect imaginative gifts for first-time homeowners. Everything from tool kits to meal delivery subscription for your first month counts as helpful.
Meet a neighbor to meet more neighbors
You don’t have to meet everybody at once. Even though a housewarming party has become a tradition, it may not suit you. You can meet a neighbor or two at first and then ask them to introduce you to other neighbors they know. The best way to do this is organize a get together at your home. However, before you invite anyone over, consider hiring a cleaning service and get your new home squeaky clean. After all, you only get one chance to make the first impression and you should make it count. Moreover, it is normal to feel insecure and your neighbors will most likely understand that. Asking them to help you become a part of the community will also make them feel like an important part of the same community.
A neighbor may contact you directly once you move in and invite you to join a group activity. It is not unusual that neighbors in close-knit communities gather over common interests or goals. You should accept, as it is a great opportunity to meet people and introduce yourself to new neighbors. However, you don’t need to do anything on a large scale to get noticed.
Doing small favors for your neighbors when the right opportunity arises is one of those things. In the time of online shopping, it frequently happens that a shipment gets delivered to a neighbor. Use this as an opportunity to get in touch but make sure you’re not pushy, indiscreet or invasive. Helping others makes most people feel good so don’t hesitate to ask your next-door-neighbor for assistance or a piece of information.
To sum up
Before you start worrying, remember that your new neighbors were once new neighbors themselves. They probably know well how it feels to be the new kid on the block. If they don’t approach you first, they will likely be ready to offer assistance if you kindly ask them for help. Additionally, ask yourself what would you like in a neighbor. Certainly, a person who is kind, friendly, discreet, sincere, and approachable. When you sum it all up, it seems that the same things that make a good neighbor also make a good person. So, let it show!