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Introducing Yourself to the Neighbours

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When it comes to meeting your new neighbours after your move, you have to be friendly. However, there are plenty of other things you can do to introduce yourself and your family to the people next door.

Having a decent relationship with your neighbours is extremely important. Of course, this relationship is a two-way street, so it is mutually beneficial. If you run out of milk or eggs, perhaps your neighbour has some extra you can borrow. If you need somebody to take care of your pet while your family is on vacation, your neighbour might be more than happy to oblige. Also, in case of an emergency, you want to be confident that your neighbours will be there for you to help out.

What can I do?

Put yourself out there. There are a variety of ways to do this, most of which will let your neighbours know that you've settled in and want to make new friends. This is important because many people won't want to feel like they are bothering the new family in town. So, make the first move if possible, or make yourself available at the very least.
  • Take a walk. After you've unpacked, explore your new area by strolling around the block. Observe your new neighbours, noticing if they spend time outside and if they have kids and/or pets.
  • Play outside with your kids or pets. If you have kids or pets, you have a major advantage. Children, dogs and outdoor cats can act as a buffer when introducing yourself to your neighbours. This is especially true if your neighbours have pets or children of their own, because then you already have something in common.
  • Let your kids break the ice. If you aren't the most outgoing individual, then you can use your children to make that first move. Maybe have your kids introduce themselves to the neighbours' kids and begin playing with them. This way, you won't seem as intrusive by walking over to their yard.
  • Decorate your yard. When you're outside, you are leaving yourself open. This may encourage your neighbours to come over and say hi, especially if you have a welcoming demeanor.
  • Host a party. If you really want to be bold, throw a party once you've settled in and invite all of your new neighbours. You can place physical invitations in everybody's mailboxes or you can walk up and down the block and ring on doorbells. That face-to-face interaction might make people more likely to show up!

What should I say?

If you have a lot in common with your new neighbours, then this should be easy. Both have kids? Talk about them and their hobbies. Both have pets? Ask about local veterinarians and parks. However, if you fear you have nothing in common with your neighbours, then you might have a bit more trouble finding something to say. Here are some tips for those situations:
  • Ask about garbage and recycling. You might not have much in common with your new neighbours. But you live on the same street and in the same town, so there's that. Find out what days the garbage gets picked up, and you can even inquire about the nearest recycling center to break the ice.
  • Talk about local stores and restaurants. Tell your neighbour you're looking for a good place to grab dinner and you'd like a recommendation. This simple topic can get the ball rolling on a great conversation.
  • Don't be invasive. Try to keep the conversation short so nobody feels uncomfortable. Do not invite yourself into their home. The most important thing is to be friendly, but acting overly friendly can come off as strange.
  • Sometimes, you don't need to say anything. If you don't fancy walking over to your neighbour's home and saying hi, there are other options. Simply smile when you see them. You don't need to be best friends with them, but you can still be nice.
By using these tips, you can introduce yourself to your neighbours and establish that mutually beneficial relationship for years to come.

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on February 9, 2015 - Moving Expert
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