So, you’ve successfully completed your move. You’re sitting pretty in your new place, moving boxes stacked in every room, as the moving truck drives away. You had your utilities turned on, and you’ve either bought an unpacking service or you’re unpacking yourself. You did it! How exciting! But, that’s not all you have to do to get settled in your new neighborhood. It doesn’t matter if you live in Toronto or Stoney Creek, an important part of settling in is meeting the neighbors. But, especially in this modern age, this poses a lot of difficulties. Your neighbors have lives, schedules, just as you do. So, how do you meet your new neighbors without being invasive?
Of course, one easy trick is to use the move itself as an excuse. After all, you’re new here! You don’t know when you need to take the recycling out, or any of the daily minutiae. Where are the nearby corner stores? Plus, you can use the move as a conversation starter. Just walk up to them, introduce yourself, and apologize for any inconvenience the movers might have caused! Of course, real professionals won’t cause inconvenience, but it’s a very solid excuse to start talking.
Plus, your neighbors are undoubtedly curious about the new face moving in. That opens you up to a lot of questions that can get the conversation flowing. They might ask you where you’re from, how the move was, why you moved, why you’ve ended up moving to Hamilton, or any number of things. Particularly socially adept neighbors might even end up inviting you to social gatherings! Or, if you’re a particularly socially adept neighbor, you could instigate a gathering yourself, inviting them over to a housewarming party.
Meet your new neighbors with kids, if you have some
As a rule, children make friends more easily than adults. Plus, arranging playdates is the perfect excuse. Of course, think of your children in this endeavor, and put them first. They shouldn’t feel pressured to befriend someone just because you want to talk to their parents! If they’re a six-year-old, they won’t have anything in common with the neighborhood twelve-year-old. But, having a friend on the same block can be really fun! Especially if they have similar interests. Maybe you discover your children share hobbies when you meet your new neighbors, and now your little darling has a friend to go to softball or hockey or art class with.
Check out what kid activities your block has, and see if your child wants to go to any of them. Of course, only if you’re financially stable. But, you don’t need money to take your kid to the playground! If your child is of that age, an excellent way to meet your new neighbors is to make conversations with the other parents watching over their children on the playground. Of course, be careful to keep a watchful eye on your own little angel!
If you want to meet your new neighbors, you have to make the first move
It can be very stressful, yes, but the payout is worth it. One of the most common expat problems is the inability to connect with someone, and you need to nip that in the bud. The first move is usually on you! But, you have to extend your neighbor the consideration you would like in return. Don’t approach your neighbor when they’re leaving the house, they’re probably in a hurry. Breakfast, lunch, and dinnertime are usually out too – it can put you both in an awkward situation! Plus, no one wants to let their food get cold just to talk to someone.
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Consider organizing some sort of cookout or gathering. If you’re not financially stable, just invite them over for a glass of wine or a cup of coffee. The important thing when meeting new neighbors is just making the effort. Plus, your neighbors will be more inclined to invite you to their houses, since you’ve invited them to yours first. Also, don’t underestimate the power of a simple wave and ‘hello’ in passing. That and a sincere smile – or a believably insincere one – can often be enough.
Play to your strengths when you’re trying to meet your new neighbors
You have to be genuine about it. Well, you don’t, but that leads to more problems down the line. Why do you want to befriend someone if you can’t be yourself around them? So, playing to your strengths is the way to go. Are you an avid gardener? Connect with your fellow gardeners. Is one of the reasons you wanted to find apartment movers in Hamilton your desire to be connected to an inner city activity? Surely someone will share that passion.
- Shared interests bring people together. Meet your new neighbors by discussing them!
- A simple introduction can be worth its weight in gold.
- Are you an excellent cook and have the time and money to make something? Greet your neighbors with some cupcakes or an apple pie!
- What do you enjoy doing? Would you enjoy doing it with other people? For example, biking can be a fun sport to do with your neighbor.
- People like feeling helpful. Ask them questions, even if you know the answers – just don’t ask everyone the same question! What’s the best Indian food place that delivers? When do you put out the recycling? Where’s a nearby vet for your pet?
- Maybe your neighbors won’t share any niche interests you possess, but that doesn’t have to discourage you.
- If you have pets, meeting people will be very easy. Take your dog out for a stroll or to the dog park, see who comes to you. Plus, if a conversation stalls, an excited ‘do you want to see a picture of my cat/dog?’ will definitely kickstart it again.