So the house next door just got sold, the new owners are about to move in. You suppress a sigh. What would they be like? What if they are too boisterous or uncooperative? What if they are quarrelsome or just plain freaks? Heaven forbid if they have a dog!
Neighbors are important. You see them every day; they share your concerns about the colony. They are the ones who know the difference between your good scream and bad scream. It is important to connect with them, right? These days nobody has time to make new pals, so if you’re not careful your new neighbors are just going to blend into the background. How to avoid that? Follow these simple tips:
10. First impressions matter
Some people would tell you different but it is the harsh truth, folks. Have you forgotten the offensive joke cracked by that new analyst, on his first day? Or the snotty accent your brother’s girlfriend used to have when you first met her? Not really. That is because it is human nature to hold on to unpleasant memories. If you mess up your first impression upon the newcomers, chances are you won’t be able to redeem yourself. So if you appear too eager, too distant or too bizarre on your first meeting with the new neighbors, they’ll maintain their distance from thereon. You might not even be able to fix it later. Tone down the excitement. If you’re an introvert, just put on your brave face and venture forth.
9. Throw your presumptions out the window
You saw the new neighbors bringing in huge crates of liquor. You even saw them arguing with the security guard. Immediately your internal sensors start buzzing like crazy. But hold your horses. This may not mean what you think it means. Having liquor may not mean that they are wild party animals. They might simply need it for corporate get-togethers. The guard might have been the guilty party in the fight. Or maybe they were just having a bad day. So don’t jump to conclusions with only half heard stories. Give them a chance to explain. More often than not, our assumptions are based on past experiences rather than the present. Reserve your judgements until you have some concrete reason to dislike them.
8. Keep it short and sweet
Now that you are done with the initial introductions, it’s time for casual conversation. You want to leave a good impression, but don’t go overboard. Don’t launch into long winded explanations about your job or why you’ve always hated the lady who lives across the street. Keep it short and keep it sweet. Bad mouthing others might make them laugh, but it won’t make you look very good. Remember, they’re new and they’ve a lot of work to get through. So initially, whenever you see them, stick to small talk. Stay out of there way, if it seems that they don’t want company.
7. Just say hello
This five letter word has great potential. It conveys that you want to make yourself known. It conveys that you remember and care. It is a greeting and a wish. Coupled with a smile, it is capable of making someone’s day. So if you’re busy or don’t have anything to talk about, just say hello. Smile or wave and greet them warmly and it is possible you’ll fall into a habit of greeting each other.
6. Welcome them with a treat
Food has power, people. Our moms and grandmas have been using it to their advantage for years. If you want to be mates with the new neighbors, welcome them with a treat. Bake a small cake or pick up a box of sweets. You could even bring them a batch of your mother’s home made goodies. A box of cookies won’t go amiss. Even a cup of coffee can be counted as a warm gesture. Show up at their doorstep with food and you’ll be hailed as a hero.
5. Be nice, not nosy
Let’s be honest, nobody likes an overly curious person, meddling into other people’s business. Of course, you want to know the people you’ll be sharing parking space with, but don’t cross your limits. Ask them about their family and friends. Ask them about their profession and interests. Don’t ask them personal questions, like why their mother doesn’t live with them. Don’t go inquiring about their sister’s failed marriage. If you’ve heard unpleasant things about them from a third source, it would be more prudent to keep it to yourself at first. Also, don’t gossip about the things you learn about them. Everybody enjoys rumor mongering to a certain degree, but it’s important to know when to stop. Be nice, so that no one gets the opportunity to point a finger at you.
4. Help them settle in
Everyone is aware what a pain packing and unpacking is. Furnishing a new house is tiring, especially if the family has children. What better way to bond than by offering assistance? They’ll need help cleaning up, if the place has been empty for a long time. You could help in organizing their belongings and making the place habitable. Offer your creative skills to help decorate the sunny nook of their house. It would also be nice to let their kid watch television at your house, so that they can work in peace. This way, you’ll get to know them first hand and they’ll see how helpful you are.
3. Make introductions
When we shift to a new city, town or even a new locality, we do it with a certain amount of apprehension. Leaving behind familiar things is hard enough, but the idea of starting all over again among strangers is scary. In such a situation, a helping hand is considered priceless. Take your new neighbors under your wing and introduce them to your fellows in the neighborhood. Get them inducted into the society’s welfare program. Offer to hook them up with a good maid service or put them in touch with your electrician and plumber. Point them to the best grocery store in the vicinity or just help them out with a suitable nanny and you’ll become their favorite.
2. Show them around
This is one of the best ways to get to know someone. Take your neighbor out and show them the best places to eat or shop. Take them to the multiplex for a movie and show them the nearest dispensary. Give them your opinions about the local schools. Point out the shortcut routes from your colony to the mall on the main street. It would also be a good idea to tell them which roads and shortcuts to avoid after dark. If they are religious, take them to the local places of worship. Hook them up with a good laundry house. If they are young and zealous, take them to your favorite nightclub. Take them to your favorite haunt and simply hang out to build good relations. When you spend time together, you’ll get to know them automatically. Invest a little time, you’re guaranteed to get good results later.
1. Invite them over
In our culture, opening the doors of our home equals opening the doors to the heart. We treat our guests like royalty and believe that they bring us luck and prosperity. Inviting your new neighbor into your home is the best gesture you could show. Invite them over for a meal or a game night. Prepare a welcome dinner and show them what a generous host you are. You may invite them just to watch television together. Such an act never fails to touch people’s hearts. It’ll build instant rapport and your bond with them will surely be strong.