If a new neighbor has recently moved in and you aren’t sure how to approach them, there are several different ways you can welcome the family into your neighborhood without overstepping or seeming pushy. Not everyone is receptive to an overly grand meet and greet. However, there are simple ways to introduce yourself to new friends.
How should you welcome a new neighbor into the neighborhood? Go up and briefly introduce yourself, offer useful information about the region, bring over some food, respect their boundaries, or offer to host a dinner party if they seem open to the idea.
How to Welcome A New Neighbor
Finding the right time to approach new neighbors can be tricky. Do you walk up as they are unloading their moving trucks? Try to catch them as they are walking their dog one morning before work? Or just wait until it naturally happens? It all depends on how soon you want to start to form a lasting bond.
The truth is that it’s critical to have a friendly relationship with the people on your block. At the very least, you should try to have a civil understanding. It just makes everything that much smoother if everyone is on the same page.
A friendly neighbor is someone who can help in a time of need and if we’ve learned anything over the last few years it’s that anything can happen.
When you are ready to break the ice, introduce yourself with or without your family by your side. It doesn’t have to be a long-winded discussion. Instead, keep things casual, light, and fun. You might want to include your:
- Where you live on the block
- Where you kids go to school (if that is applicable)
- How long you’ve been in town
- Email address or phone number if you feel comfortable
Don’t Be Pushy While Greeting New Neighbors
If your new neighbor doesn’t seem to be in the mood for talking, don’t push and don’t take it personally. Moving into a new home is just as stressful and tiresome as it is exciting.
We never truly know the reason behind a personal move. Was it a financial decision, business-related, or something they rather not discuss? Is this a joyous day or an upsetting one? As they unpack, they might feel frazzled, overwhelmed, hurt, and confused. If you sense any of these emotions, don’t internalize them. It might not be about you.
Meeting you just might not be on top of their list and perhaps these new neighbors weren’t in the right frame of mind during your first introduction. If that was the case, give them a second chance. Everyone deserves one.
New Neighbor Welcome Note
If you aren’t ready to meet face to face just yet, how about considering writing a new neighbor welcome note – one that is filled with just enough information to kick off an introduction and leave communication lines open. Here is a sample of what that new neighbor welcome note could sound like:
Hello [NAME/New Neighbor], Congrats on your new home and welcome to the block! My name is ________ and I just wanted to officially say hello and welcome you to the neighborhood. I live at ___________ and have been here for _________ (months/ years) with my __________ (family members). If you ever need any help or have any specific questions about the town, please feel free to reach out! My email is ___________ and my cell is ___________. Text whenever you need.
If you caught your new neighbors right in the middle of moving their boxes into their house, consider offering them help if you have time on your hands and your health allows for it. Even if you just unload the truck and bring the boxes to their door, it will save them plenty of time and energy.
If possible, consider arranging a group of neighbors to come and help. The more the merrier.
Offer Information About The Neighborhood
Want to provide serious help? Gather some of your favorite takeout menus, car repair shops, local bakery business cards, and other store hour round-ups, and place them in a folder, manilla envelope, or binder for your new neighbor. This resource will prove to be invaluable over the coming months. Other options to include:
- internet service providers
- local school numbers
Want to get ahead of the game? Curate this list ahead of time and share it on a Google Drive with some local friends so they can also contribute to the information. That way, the info can be adjusted and updated as the group sees fit. When someone new moves in, print and share!
While you might be an outgoing extrovert, there is a possibility that your new potential friend is really an introvert who isn’t comfortable with close encounters. Both ways of living are perfectly ok and there is a way to gel!
Living in the same neighborhood doesn’t mean you have to become best friends. Sometimes being neighbors is just that – friendly greetings and warm nods. A hand when it is needed and nothing more. Learn to respect those boundaries early on. You will never be able to change someone’s personality.
Welcome Food Platter (be mindful of allergies)
Bringing food to someone who just moved in near you is a staple. Wouldn’t you agree? Just make sure that you remain mindful of typical allergies – like peanuts. Otherwise, this friendly gesture might have unfortunate consequences. It is wise to include a list of the ingredients used to make the dish just in case. Everyone has different reactions dietary preferences.
If you aren’t into baking or cooking, here are some other gift ideas for new neighbors that you can bring to make friends feel welcome:
- Baked treats from your favorite bakery
- Bagels and coffee
- Housewarming gift basket that includes gardening seeds, jams, wine and cheese, or cooking essentials
- Gift cards to local shops
- Movie night basket
Host A Block Party
A block party is a brilliant idea when a family with kids moves in next door. It’s like the best way to introduce everyone at once. Adults can mingle with other adults, while the kids can just be kids.
Sometimes being introduced to a group of people can feel overwhelming, but generally, block parties are tons of fun. Just keep it simple!
Host A Dinner Party
Not ready to go big with a block party? How about keeping things small with an intimate backyard BBQ? Make it a potluck and ease up some of your stress. You could set specific hours so your guests know that they don’t have to commit to an all-nighter. Or better yet, consider hosting a Sunday brunch instead.
I hope these welcome ideas have inspired you and helped build up your courage to head on out and make new friends. It’s not always fun being the new kid on the block. So, let’s change that.