Creative ways to meet the neighbors
Having a friend a few doors down is such a rare privilege these days. How well do you really know any of your neighbors? I’ll be honest that I have done a terrible job myself of making the effort to meet my neighbors. It is time for those old ways to come to an end. Knowing your neighbors, at least on a very basic level will increase your own safety, boost your social life, all the while strengthening a sense of community, which us social beings innately crave.
Parading all of your personal belongings from the U-Haul to your door on move-in day is the ideal time to meet the people who live around you, but for many of us it is just too late. Breaking that communication barrier can be quite awkward especially if you have already passed your neighbor a hundred times in the parking lot.
It’s time to make the effort, here’s how:
- Throw a Party – Inviting a few of your neighbors to your housewarming party, a stock the bar party, or a little wine and cheese get-together, you will certainly open the door to become better acquainted. Introduce yourself the next time you see them in passing and invite them to “stop by” your get-together this Friday night. If meeting in passing doesn’t happen too frequently then pop a friendly note under their door. Even if they don’t end up coming by, you’ll have made a friendly gesture and will more than likely be meeting with them in person soon.
- Get the Dog Lots of Exercise – Not only will your puppy love the extra excitement and adventure, you’ll likely cross paths with another dog lover in your complex. You can let your dog do all the introduction work when they inevitably go greet the other pup. Just follow their lead – without the butt sniffing, of course.
- Utilize Those Amenities – Pop into the gym room around 5:30pm on a weekday to work on your fitness as well as run into a neighbor. Sharing a sweaty gym drastically raises your chances of talking to a new person. Also, consider spending some serious time at the pool. Roll out your towel and set up camp for a bit. Pools in Arizona are a mecca for overheated comrades and the best way to meet others in your community. The secret here is to bring treats! Load up your mini cooler with enough beers to share, maybe a bag of chips, or a bowl of cut-up watermelon. No one has ever been put off by a neighbor offering to share a refresher at the pool.
Meeting your neighbors may not even be as complicated as I’ve made it above. Sometimes a smile and a simple “hi” in passing can be enough to initiate a friendly relationship. Just keep yourself open, give a little wave as you pass them in your car on the way to work. You’ll be glad you met the strangers living around you, for better or worse!