So, you’ve moved into a new building. Maybe this new building is also in a new neighbourhood or city, maybe it’s even in a new country. It’s great to walk around and explore your new community, but it won’t really start to feel like a community until you make some friends and get to know the locals. We know how hard it can be, especially if there are cultural and language barriers in place, so we’re offering these tips as a way to help get you started meeting your new neighbours!
1. Small talk in the hallway, elevator, or stairwell
One of the places we most frequently see our neighbours is an obvious one: the stairs, elevators, and hallways. It’s important to make sure the moment you choose to strike up a conversation is convenient for the other person, so really try and make sure you aren’t talking to them when they’re rushing to go somewhere.
2. Holiday Cheer
The winter holiday season is a time that presents many opportunities for conversation. Consider making some cards for your neighbours, handing those out gives you a reason to knock on the door and say hello! Want to be even more warmly received? Make some simple treats to hand out (good idea to make a gluten-free/nut-free option) with the cards and you’ll be the hit of the season!
3. Nextdoor, etc.
There are some great social networking apps popping up over the last decade designed to connect neighbours. Apps like NextDoor aren’t just a great way to learn about what’s going on in your area, they’re also a great way to connect with your neighbours and meet people. Protip: be positive in your posts and comments, nobody likes someone always putting out negativity.
Whether you or your neighbor have them, pets are a great way to start a conversation with someone. Everyone loves having their pets complimented, and asking about the pet is a great way to start a conversation as the discussion moves from the pet to the owner!
5. Offer to help
Whether you see someone struggling with groceries or maybe even a new neighbour moving in, offering to lend a hand is a great way to make a first impression and get to learn about your neighbours. It’s important to ensure your offer of help doesn’t seem condescending, so ensure your offer is more about you helping than them struggling.
6. Ask a question
Maybe you’re standing in the lobby around 5PM and a new neighbour is too? This seems like a great opportunity to start a conversation by asking them about their favourite local places to eat, the coolest place around there to grab a drink, etc.
Whatever method you choose, it can be really useful to know your neighbours. Whether it’s borrowing a cup of sugar or having someone to talk to, maybe someone to check on your apartment when you’re out of town, all of the world greatest friendships have started out with a simple conversation!