10 Ways to Meet Your Neighbors and Not Be Awkward About It
Moving to a new rental home presents new opportunities. As you unpack boxes, it's time to set up your home oasis with the perfect shower curtain that matches your bath mat and that great new area rug to slide below the coffee table. New beginnings can be bright and fun, but when it’s time to meet your neighbors, it can be awkward.
You may be a person that struggles with how to introduce themselves to new people without making things weird. Don't worry, we have you covered. When it's time to meet your neighbors, use these ten tips to help you introduce yourself more comfortably.
1. Moving day bonus
It sounds too simple to be true, but sometimes the best introduction is while unloading your POD or UHaul. If your community features homes that are close together, your moving in is sure to be an attention grabber. Get to know your neighbors as you unload boxes and furniture, and make sure to smile, say hi and answer polite questions.
2. Channel your inner barista
Meet your neighbors by modeling your greetings after your favorite barista. Smile, nod and say hello. Keep interactions casual until you get to know the locals better. As you encounter neighbors more frequently (your regulars) expand the conversation with polite observations about life, the weather and neighborhood goings-on.
3. Introduce kids through fun activities
If you have young children, they'll be interested in the neighborhood children too. For young children, a simple way to meet your neighbors is to play outside. Games like bubbles, sidewalk chalk and riding scooters are sure ways to show the group that you'd like to have some new friends join you too.
4. Take a walk
How to meet your neighbors at any age is easiest if you are outside your home. Take a walk through the neighborhood to explore and meet new people. Try walking at different times of the day and be sure to stride at a casual pace. People will be unlikely to approach and greet you if you're cruising at top speed or look like you are too busy for a quick chat.
5. Decorate for the holidays
Now is your chance to meet your neighbors by creating a conversation piece. String up those spiderwebs and light up those jack-o-lanterns, or hang up a giant snowflake light to welcome winter. Get to know your neighbors by giving them a common subject to talk about. You may even get some compliments that could lead to a conversation with your neighbor. Perhaps even exchanging decorating tips and ideas.
6. Have a garage sale
Meet your neighbors and get rid of all your excess stuff too. Have a garage or yard sale to purge all those extras that hitchhiked in your moving boxes, and earn a little cash while saying hello. Choose a weekend day for the most foot traffic.
7. Support a charity
Choose your favorite nonprofit and volunteer to sell candy bars, popcorn or take pledges to run for a cure. Supporting a charity gives you an excuse to knock on doors and say hello without feeling weird. In addition, you can help support the planet and the community in a positive way. It's a win-win.
8. Attend meetings
Attend your local community meetings as a way to get to know your civic-minded neighbors. Sign up to attend the local HOA, townhall or PTA meeting as best works for you, and learn about the concerns of those around you. Your community-mindedness will likely help you meet your neighbors that also care about making their home a better place.
9. Playtime with pets
Dog walkers have an instant icebreaker at the end of a leash. As you take your dog out for a regular run, take note of other friendly dogs (or other pets) that regularly walk nearby and say hello to the neighbors — two-legged and four. Just make sure to use correct etiquette with unfamiliar pets as some dogs do not like to be approached. Ask permission before petting or offering a treat.
Less formal than a committee are the simple things that make rental life better. Offer to help someone bring in their grocery bags, help rake some leaves, sweep a doorway or even clean up the trash that a non-resident left behind. Volunteer for the little things and you'll be making new friends before you know it.
Time to meet your neighbors
Renting a new home in a new neighborhood can feel isolating, and having to meet your neighbors can be unpleasant in the beginning. However, if you embrace this experience, practice kindness and remember to remain positive, you’ll find yourself socializing with some new friends quicker than you think.