As springtime approaches, more and more families will take advantage of the warmer weather to move into that new home they had planned for. We all know what it’s like to feel like the new family on the block, and while it can be exciting and thrilling, it can also feel scary and overwhelming. Here are four ways to approach your new neighbors, welcome them to the neighborhood and create a relationship that could last a lifetime.
- Welcome Wisely: Don’t just barge over when your new neighbors have their arms filled with boxes. Pick a time when things seemed to have calmed down a bit and there isn’t as much chaos. While you might be excited for a new family on the street, remember how stressed out they are. Be relaxed and don’t hang around too long. Read their body language and be able to tell when they are ready to get back to work or need space. Don’t take it personally, just understand that it’s a crazy time and that a quick “hello” is probably best.
- Be Thoughtful: Even if you’re just popping by to say hi, be interested in your new neighbors. Ask where they’ve moved from, why they relocated and if they could use any help with anything. Offer suggestions for painters, landscapers and babysitters. Even let them know which house is yours, in case of an emergency. If both of your families have kids, offer a play date or to help them to the bus stop. Let them know that you hope to foster a relationship by asking these types of questions that will help you get to know them better.
- Second Chances: Sometimes the first interaction with a new family doesn’t go quite as planned, and this can be for a variety of reasons. Whether the stress of the move overwhelms your new neighbors or they just aren’t in a position to foster a new relationship just yet, don’t give up. There is always another chance to create a great relationship, so always take the higher road. Whether you are getting the mail, walking the dog or taking out the trash, always be one to initiate conversation and suggest activities. The worst they can say is no!
- Old School Gestures: We often think of a nice “Brady Bunch” gesture as bringing cookies to the new neighbor. But you can still do that! Bringing by a bottle of wine, some brownies or a cute gift basket is a great way to welcome someone to the neighborhood. If they have kids, think about adding something in there for them like a basketball or a hula hoop. Extra thought goes a long way and will show the new neighbors that you care.