Friendly neighbours are a gift
Ensure friendly relationships with your new neighbours.

Regardless of whether you like it or not, life inevitably changes, so do not fear change but rather change your fear – transform it into an exciting challenge to undertake something new and to achieve something better. A unique opportunity to improve your life is offered to you when you move to a new place. The fresh start will allow you to experience what you have never had the courage or the chance to do. So, instead of letting regrets about whatever good you have lost overwhelm you and make you feel sad and lonely, just think about what you can gain and change for the better after the move.

Adjusting to a new lifestyle in a new neighbourhood with new people around can be very stressful indeed, but only if you approach the matter in the wrong way – locking yourself up in your new home and spending endless days of hard work trying to quickly finish any required repair work, complete the tedious unpacking process, clean the entire property and arrange it so that your daily routine can go back to normal as soon as possible.

All this must be done, of course, along with changing your address, managing all the boring paperwork, finding a good school for your kids, a good doctor for your family and so on. And you surely think that the sooner all the issues are settled and your home is arranged, the easier you will get your life back on track? That is not entirely true.

While you need to get the essentials ready in the short run, it is recommended that you take a break from the unpacking process and have a look around. You will have plenty of time to put the finishing touches to your home later; in the first days after the move, your priority should be to get to know your new neighbourhood and to try to establish a place for yourself.

Good neighbourhoods ensure good lifestyle.
Explore your new neighbourhood – you may be pleasantly surprised.

Here are some proven strategies to quickly befriend your new neighbours and get to know the unfamiliar surroundings easily and with little effort.

Introduce Yourself

Seek to meet your neighbours right after you move in. There is a chance that some of them will come to greet you on moving-in day, having noticed the removal van and curious to know who will live next door. These people may have come just to gossip or to offer a helping hand – either way, act politely and break the ice with a good joke and friendly attitude. Probably you will be tired and bored, but the first impression is crucial, so find a way to reveal your best side.

Others will probably knock on your door during the following days to say “HI” and welcome you to the community. Don’t hesitate to take advantage of any friendly endeavor – ask for some useful advice, search assistance or inquire information. Your neighbours will certainly be glad to help and get to know you better.

However, if the people in the neighbourhood happen to be too engulfed in their own business, or too introvert, or too considerate about invading your privacy, be courageous enough to make the first step. Go to their places and shake hands – this is a kind gesture, not a weird one. Mention how excited you are to have moved in their neighbourhood and that you would appreciate it if they show you around the area and share inside information about all the positive and negative aspects of their community life.  Exchange contacts and invite them over to visit your new home as soon as you have settled in.

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Throw A Housewarming Party

Even if you are not exactly in a party mood with all the stress and all the chaos, caused by the moving process, having some fun with your new acquaintances will only do you good. Organizing a party will distract you from the endless tedious tasks you have to complete and will serve as a sign of your good will to the local people. Asking everyone in person is probably the best strategy, but an interesting hand-written invitation in their mail-boxes will also do the trick nicely.

Make the event informal – drinks and snacks, some nice music and amusing stories are all you need. Relationships usually progress at a slow pace, so do not expect miracles. Just relax, get to know each other a bit better and above all – demonstrate positive attitude and good intentions. Arrange to get together with at least some of the people again some time soon – meet for a coffee in the morning, or visit the local market during the weekend – whatever works for you. True friendships often begin in a simple manner and develop steadily into valuable lifelong relationships.

Be Easily Accessible

Hang out in the neighbourhood.
A friendly smile will encourage your neighbours to come to you.

Your neighbours will find it difficult to express their good will if you keep your door shut. Spend more time in the front yard if you have one – even if no work needs to be done, why not just read the newspaper on the porch or play with your pet outside? Whether you are gardening, or sweeping the doorway, or enjoying a cup of tea, make yourself available – it will be interpreted as an open invitation to come for a chat.

Even if you have moved to an apartment, try to stay outside for a while. Hang out at the favourite local shopping center, walk the streets to neighbourhood businesses or sit on a bench in the nearby park. You will give people a chance to talk to you and you will get the chance to observe daily life in the community. Where do people gather? Which are the popular coffee shops and restaurants? What entertainments are to be found in the vicinity? It’s a win-win situation.

Communicate With Your Neighbours

Certainly you share your secrets and dreams only with your best friends and beloved people. But striking informal conversations on common topics even with your new neighbours is neither difficult, nor binding in any way. Do not hesitate to engage in social interactions easily and on every occasion possible. Ask for assistance and guidance to quickly learn your way in the unfamiliar surroundings. Correct information concerning cheap and quality shops and services, trustworthy doctors and reliable providers, good schools and safety issues is of uttermost importance, so refer to your neighbours for help. Maintain a kind and positive attitude all the time!

The local people will be more willing to accept you as a part of their community if they feel that they can trust you. Share your opinion and your experience sincerely and freely (but always in a polite manner) and you will be rewarded with a respectful and warm treatment. Do not try to impose rules and standards from your previous lifestyle – be open to new ideas and learn to appreciate differences. Ask for the way things are done in your new neighborhood – it will be wise to observe the inner order of the community. But if something troubles you or you have any ideas on how to improve the situation, offer a resourceful solution. It will be highly appreciated.

Find Common Interests

Common interests unite people after moving to a new place.
Look for hobbies and interests that connect you with your new neighbours.

If you want to befriend your new neighbours after a move, try to get involved in the community life as much as possible.

Do not neglect the available opportunities and join any activity that you find likable. Maybe you have always fancied photography but there were no classes held near your previous home, no tours organized especially for photo-taking, no specialized camera shops with a large variety of photography-related gadgets in your old neighbourhood, etc. And now you learn of a photography club located just round the corner? What are you waiting for? Apply for membership in whatever club or activity attracts you! You will be able to find people who share your interests and points of view.

Sports centres, book clubs, volunteer organizations, dancing studios and all other places designated for practicing crafts and hobbies are the perfect venues for finding people with similar interests. Sharing a common passion unites people and one feels best when in the company of kindred spirits.

Participate actively in the cultural life of the community. Help organize festivals, concerts and various other fun events in the neighbourhood. You will soon get a better feel of belongingness!

Be A Considerate Neighbour

Visit local events and common spaces to meet more people and to have a reason to spend more time together, but what is of higher importance – do not remain indifferent to the needs and the problems and the emotions of your neighbours. Even if nobody asks for help, be courageous enough to take the initiative – do your best to comfort a person if something bad happened, volunteer in case of a disaster or a misfortunate event, or just assist the sick or elderly community members in everyday chores like taking out the garbage or shoveling the snow. A caring and considerate approach will win the hearts of your neighbours. And once they place confidence in you, make sure to never mislead their trust.

Bonus Strategies

  • Even a small gift is a sweet gesture.
    It is not the size of your gift that matters but what it implies.

    Offer a compliment once in a while. A casual and sincere positive remark about their nice garden or lovely curtains, for example, will flatter your neighbours and encourage them to communicate with you;

  • Don’t annoy the people next door with careless and inconsiderate actions. Avoid loud music and noisy parties, keep the adjacent area clean, do not let your pets or children bother the others and do not impose your beliefs;
  • If you have children, organize a play-date or just take them to the playground during the first day after your move. Children are amazing at making new friendships! They will find playmates and you will find friendly parents to share experience and fun with! Pets are famous ice-breakers too – playing with yours in the park is sure to get you to meet other animal lovers in the area;
  • Find small ways to show kindness. Bring some home-made cookies to your neighbours; get a small gift for their kids; lend a useful tool or just a good book; give a greeting card or some flowers on special occasions – any thoughtful sweet gesture will do!

So, when you move to a new place, try to become the neighbour you always wanted to have! Thus you will be granted a peaceful and happy experience in your new neighbourhood. Dare to take the first steps, even if you can’t see the whole staircase – it may lead you to dear lifelong friends!

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