Let’s face it, one of the worst things about moving is meeting new friends. Work affords most people an opportunity, but many people want friends outside of their workplace, especially if they live far from where they work. It’s nice to have someone to chat with while you shovel snow or walk the dog, to make a buddy to walk in the evening with, or just know there’s someone you can call to check on your house while you are away. As adults, it’s sometimes harder than we think to make new friends or approach new people. Most children are naturals at it, but it can be intimidating for even the most outgoing adults, especially when you’re the newcomer. There are ways to break the ice, though!
Five Ways To Meet Neighbors
- Leave a note in their mailbox
- Walk your dog at the same time they do
- Take them brownies or another homemade treat
- If their children are outside playing, take yours out to play too
- Ask them for advice on local restaurants, doctors, barbers etc.
It might seem odd at first, but most people would be very flattered to receive a note in their mailbox that said, “Hi, My name is Ann and I just moved in across the street from you. I’d love to chat sometime and get to know my neighbors. My number is ____ or just swing over and say hi!”. This works well if you are very shy or are worried that you will catch them at a bad time. It leaves the ball in their court. It also gives them two vital pieces of information: your name and number.
If you see that they have an adorable little Yorkie, make sure you walk your poodle at the same time (assuming your dog is friendly and vice versa). Conversation will naturally flow about the dogs, and then you can move on to information about yourself and your families. Make sure to take a doggie waste bag and practice your best doggie manners!
Many people wait on neighbors to come make the first move or bring a dessert over, but why? Someone has to make the first move, and if you both wait, you may wait forever! Take a break from your unpacking and pop over with a treat to say hi. It will be a pleasant unexpected surprise and will refresh you and maybe your neighbor will offer to help you finish unpacking!
There’s no better icebreaker than kids. If you both have kids, wait until they bring theirs out to play and then make sure yours go out to play as well. Children naturally gravitate toward each other and want to play together, which will afford you the opportunity to talk about local schools, pediatricians, playgrounds, etc.
If you’re more outgoing, just walk up to their door the old fashioned way and knock on their door to introduce yourself and say you hope to become friends. Have a few questions prepared in case they are shy such as: where is the best place for pizza? Who do they think is the best barber in town? Do they have a recommendation for a dentist? Most people are happy to give help and talk about what they know, so this will make the conversation easy for them.