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How to Introduce Yourself to New Neighbors

July 20th, 2011 - 12:21 PM

How to Introduce Yourself to New Neighbors
We all know that moving into a new neighborhood involves having new neighbors, but it's how you introduce yourself to them that will set the tone for your future encounters together.  Meeting new people can be difficult and unnerving (especially if you're overly shy), but if you respect their privacy, space, and time you can develop the kind of camaraderie everyone hopes to have with new neighbors!

Here's how to introduce yourself to new neighbors:

  • Start by "scoping" out the community and looking for the houses with families (i.e. toys outside, mini-vans filled with sports equipment, screams from the backyard), elderly individuals, gardeners, night owls, etc.  This way you can find any common ground you might share with these neighbors, making it easier to approach them.  One bit of advice here, though: when checking out the other residents, be careful not to be too obvious or stalker-like!
  • When you do decide to approach a neighbor, always respect their privacy and time.  Only approach when it appears to be a good time for them.  Avoid approaching in the early morning, dinner time, or as they are loading the car to leave.  Remember that their schedule is just as important as yours.
  • Keep conversations informal.  If you use information you've gathered from your observations, be casual about it.  Most people would feel uncomfortable if you know too much about them or their family when they don't even know you yet.
  • If your conversation with a neighbor feels awkward or forced and you simply have nothing in common, just introduce yourself and move on.  Being neighborly does not mean you have to be best friends.  You can still set a friendly and warm tone so that all parties are comfortable living next door to each other. 
  • Keep all talk short and let them be the ones to extend an invite for a longer conversation. 

An important thing to remember when you are trying to figure out how to introduce yourself to new neighbors is to be considerate of their feelings and privacy.  Nobody wants to feel pushed into anything— not even a friendship, regardless of how great you may be!  Allow time to get to know one another better and let the friendships develop on their own.  Make yourself available by hanging out in the front yard more than the back, or in a common area if you live in an apartment or condo.  Most of all, remember to just enjoy your new home!