Meeting the new neighbors is kind of like asking someone out on a date. You don’t know how you will be received, and all bets are off if they happen to be crazy. In other words, you are rolling the dice when it comes to introducing yourself to a new neighbor. And just like dating, you want to put your best foot forward.
Unlike dating though, you are stuck with this new neighbor relationship for as long as y’all live next to each other. That may seem a little daunting, and avoiding these people really isn’t an option. Otherwise, they will think you are some sort of shady recluse. So, the Square Cow team has put together a guide for How to Meet Your Neighbors!
Step 1 – How to Throw a Party
You could hang out next to the mailboxes all day and introduce yourself to everyone, although that can come across as creepy. Our recommendation? Throw a party. Preferably, throw a patio party (if yours is big enough) or some kind of block party. We just recommend trying to keep it outdoors to avoid major cleanup and to accommodate a larger number of guests.
Of course, do it around the warmer months so people want to hang out with you outside. Whatever you decide to do, make sure it’s accessible to your neighbors and that there is no set time, just a time range. Do NOT require an RSVP, and DO try to make it on a Saturday/Sunday afternoon when folks will most likely be off work.
Step 2 – How to Invite
You don’t have anyone’s number or email address yet. No worries. There are plenty of ways to invite folks over. Your new neighborhood might have a community bulletin board where you can post on near the mailboxes. If you can, print off flyers and have the post office deliver them just to your neighbors’ mailboxes (unless you can just place them in there yourself). A more personal and effective approach would require a bit more of your time. Pay attention to when your neighbors get home, walk their dogs or take out their trash. Cross paths and introduce yourself and give them the invite then (having a flyer with day, time and location would be a nice touch in these situations.)
If you are more digitally inclined like us cows, find your neighborhood group online (look for one on Facebook first). Post the digital invite and request that everyone who sees it online communicate the message to other neighbors who may not be paying attention to this digital space.
If you don’t want a large group of neighbors all at once, then ignore everything else we just said, and just drop off invites at the houses of the neighbors you want to meet specifically.
Step 3 – What to Talk About
Yeah, this may seem like a no-brainer, but the questions you ask communicate to your new neighbors what kind of person you come across as. For us, we ask questions like: Do y’all carpool, or would you like to carpool? Do we have kids the same age, and could we coordinate pick up/drop off schedules? Would y’all be interested in coordinating a neighborhood garage sale? Do we have a neighborhood database with everyone’s contact info? These are just a few examples, but maybe they can help you get started.
Maybe you and some of your neighbors will hit it off. Others, you are glad to know, but it’s just an occasional chat when you run into each other at the mailbox or while out walking dogs. And still others, you at least want to be amicable, even if you would prefer to keep your distance.
The point here is to make sure you have at least a decent relationship with those who live next to you. Good luck and welcome to the neighborhood!