How to be a good neighbor

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Moving into a new place can be overwhelming. Besides being busy with the move, you may be apprehensive about introducing yourself to your neighbors. Maybe you’re too shy or maybe you just feel outright awkward. Whatever the situation is, here are a few ways to break the ice and avoid having to go years giving the polite-yet-distant wave when you see your neighbor across the hall or bump into them in the produce isle at the grocery store.

A sweet gesture (in more ways than one)

Almost everyone has a sweet tooth or is nice enough to appreciate homemade goodies. Baking some muffins or cookies for your neighbor might seem cheesy but is actually a great way to make someone feel welcome and comfortable in their new or current community. If you’re worried about their diet restrictions, try searching for gluten or guilt-free dessert recipes.

Plan a potluck

Food and drinks are a great way to gather up your neighbors for a friendly meet and greet. Try to encourage a variety of dishes so that vegans and vegetarians can feel like they have real options instead of eating celery the whole night. Throw out a few conversation starters and see which one sticks. Maybe you’ll find a new favorite recipe or better yet, a new friend.

It’s all fun and games

After long days at work sometimes we just need to unwind with some silliness and laughter. Invite your neighbors over for a night of charades, cards, or board games. Help create an atmosphere of playful fun by downplaying competition and emphasizing the goofy and no-judgement aspect of the evening. Everyone should be allowed to let loose for a few laughs in hopes of forging friendships.

Pencil in a play date

Maybe you’ve noticed that your neighbor has a child your age or a pet that might get along with yours. Ask your neighbor if they would be interested in meeting up at the park or going for a walk. This might help you get to know one another and even open the door to future baby/dog sitting for one of you.

Get up and get active

It’s almost always easier stay in shape when you have someone to help hold you accountable. Knowing someone is waiting for you will help you get out of bed instead of hitting the snooze button for a third time. Start a running, walking, or biking club and you’ll be surprised at who shows up. Even if it’s just you and one other person, at least you’re opening yourself up to new people and new experiences.

What are you doing to make your neighbors happy and comfortable in their community? Let us know in the comments.