Getting to Know Your Neighbours
It can be really hard when you move into a new area, especially if it’s a community where everyone knows everyone else – although to be fair these sorts of communities are few and far between in modern Britain.
Making new friends can be difficult if you’re not very confident, and breaking the ice with a whole group of strangers can feel like a daunting task. But there are plenty of easy ways to connect with new neighbours and get to know the people you’re going to be living closely with.
Get to know New Neighbours with a Housewarming PartyOrganising a small gathering can be a great ice-breaker. Why not make it a housewarming and ‘getting to know you’ party. Pop round to immediate neighbours and tell them you’ll be having a bit of a get-together and invite them along. That way you’ll avoid the ‘noisy neighbour’ label and hopefully prove that you and your family are approachable and friendly. Hopefully a few of the neighbours will attend, even just to get a nose around the house and find out a little about you, and the people you do meet will hopefully become friends over time. If a new neighbour has just moved in next door to you, there are many ways that you can Make Them Feel Welcome, too.
General Chit Chat with New NeighboursIf you’re not much of a party person, why not invite them over for a coffee or a glass of wine one evening when you see your next door neighbours in the street. It can be daunting to introduce yourself, but once you get over the initial shyness, you’ll find that most people appreciate a simple ‘pop in for a cuppa’ invite. Doing this will give you a good opportunity to find out a bit more about mutual neighbours and the area you live in, and help you to Create A Friendlier Neighbourhood.
Offer to Help NeighboursIf you see a neighbour out in their garden, ask them if they need a hand. You could also offer to help them take their groceries in if you see them struggling home with armfuls of shopping. If you have noticed elderly neighbours, why not pop over and introduce yourself, offer to give them a hand with anything in the house or garden that they can’t manage, or pick up prescriptions and groceries for them on your way out.
Make a Good Impression on your New NeighboursNew neighbours want to know that you’re going to fit in and do your bit to support the community. So make sure you keep the garden tidy, keep the kids under control, don’t fall out with the neighbours over whose parking space is whose, and try to be as approachable as you can when you see neighbours in the street. Keep your noise levels down and don’t have people over making a mess or causing a nuisance.
Join Local Clubs and OrganisationsSpeak to neighbours about what’s going on locally. If there’s a local fete, it doesn’t hurt to join in, bake a cake or just generally be seen at these events. Carnivals, charity sales, anything that the locals are involved in, make sure that you’re there and show your face.
If you have children, they can be a great ice-breaker. Get to know the other local parents and offer to mind the kids or keep an eye on them. Join in the school run; find out where the local guides, scouts and girls' and boys' brigade groups are held.Find out if there’s a local Neighbourhood Watch Scheme and join this. Even if you don’t go to every meeting it will establish you as one of the people who can be trusted, and you’ll soon become one of the locals instead of ‘the new family at number ten’.