When I was a kid, it wasn’t unusual for neighbors to come knocking on the door of folks who had recently moved into the neighborhood. Sometimes they’d just introduce themselves, and sometimes there was an actual “welcome wagon” type gift. Occasionally, an especially nice neighbor might bring some baked goods by. Sadly, this practice is not as common as it once was. In order to meet your new neighbors, you have to be pretty intentional.
Breaking the ice with your neighbors may feel awkward, but it’s worth it if you plan to live in the neighborhood for a long time. Besides adding a friendly feel to your new location, neighbors who know you are more likely to help you out if you need it. A stranger at your door in the middle of the afternoon might make the lady across the street watch out her window till he goes away, or call you if things seem suspicious. A runaway dog can be returned to it’s correct owner if your neighbor has chatted with you while you walked it day after day. A neighbor can bring over a package mistakenly delivered to them without any weirdness.
If you’re an introvert, or just a little shy, meeting neighbors can be tough. So, how can you do it without feeling weird? Here are some simple ways.
This seems obvious, I know, but it’s the first easy step! Simply being outside is a great way to casually introduce yourself to neighbors passing by. Sit on your front porch, plant some flowers out front, wash your car, or take a walk around the block. Spring is fast approaching, and it’s the perfect time to get out of the house!
Join the Neighborhood Facebook Group
Lots of neighborhoods have Facebook groups where folks can post about missing pets, garage sales, and local events. This is a fantastic way for extreme introverts to get familiar with the goings on of their new ‘hood! Sure, there will be lots of petty stuff (Who is playing that loud music!! SOME people aren’t shoveling their sidewalks!! Someone is stealing my newspaper!!), but there’s lots of good, too.
Attend Neighborhood Events
If you joined the Facebook group, chances are you’ve heard of some local events. Block parties, community meetings, and even yard sales are great places to meet the neighbors and get involved in your new community. Going to these events is also a great way to meet the most active folks in the area. These are the people to call if you’ve got a neighborhood question (who lives where, specifics about a HOA rule, and referrals to local businesses). It pays to know the busybodies!
Use Your Kids (or Pets!)
If all else fails, children and animals are a fool-proof way to meet your neighbors. Children make friends so easily, you can just ride their coat tails and meet their new friends’ parents. Walk your child to school, if you can, and you’ll meet lots of other parents. If you don’t have kids, use your dog! Walk your dog around the block everyday and folks are sure to chat with you about it. If you are childless AND petless, just comment on someone else’s dog! Everyone likes to talk about their pets, so it’s an easy conversation starter.