Building and having a strong relationship with your neighbors positively affects your living situation. Good neighbors make our lives more pleasant, and it gives us a sense of community. This goes beyond knowing the neighbor on either side of your apartment; this includes getting to know the other residents in the building. Whether you’ve been there for years or you’re new to the apartment community, meeting your neighbors may be awkward at first, but here are a few ideas to get you started.
Remember to smile. This is a simple thing that can often be overlooked. This will make it easier to approach you, and it allows your neighbors to feel comfortable with you.
Start with small talk. If you’re in the parking lot or riding up the elevator with a new neighbor, introduce yourself and ask the neighbor how he/she is doing, and ask about their day. Make it a habit to say hello to your neighbors.
Bake cookies, brownies or a casserole for your new neighbors. Drop the goodies off while introducing yourself and let the new neighbors know where you live. Give them tips, like where they can get the best local brew or the best slice of pizza.
Start walking or jogging around your neighborhood. Stop and chat with your neighbors along the way to make yourself more recognizable. Also by doing this, you will familiarize yourself with the faces of the people who live in the area. This will create a safer environment for everyone, as you’ll be able to spot a stranger in your neighborhood quicker, and your neighbors will be more aware of what’s going on with your apartment.
If you have a dog, walk around your apartment building and explore your new neighborhood. In addition to giving your pet some exercise, you’ll get to meet other pet lovers. Ask questions about the neighborhood. For example, ask about pet parks, cafes and other pet friendly spots in town.
Throw a party. It doesn’t necessarily have to be an all-night bender; it can be an informal barbecue, pool party or a get-together to watch a game. Invite your new neighbors by hand-delivering invitations, which will give you a better idea of what your neighbors are like. The get-together should be relaxed and the environment should be welcoming.
Get involved with the neighborhood. If your apartment community has an association, go to the meetings. These meetings are important to help you learn more about your community, as well as your new neighbors. Also, familiarize yourself with local clubs and organizations. Use websites like www.meetup.com to help find organizations based on your interests.
Shop local. Hit up the local farmers market and talk with the employees and other shoppers. Chances are, if the other shoppers love to shop local, they can give you insight on other great local shops and markets.
Photo Credit: iStockphoto/kali9