Meeting Neighbors

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Meeting Neighbors Empty Meeting Neighbors

Post by Wondering on Sat Mar 28, 2015 3:30 am

So, if all goes well, my husband and I (and the baby and dog, of course) will be moving soon. I would like to get to know our new neighbors on a friendly basis. Not to necessarily be friends, but to be friendly.

We never really got to know our neighbors at our current place, so I'm not sure how one goes about meeting neighbors. Do you take them baked goods or casseroles? Is that a real thing or just a TV thing? (Are they supposed to bring you casseroles? (I like casseroles.)) We live in the Pacific Northwest, not the Midwest or the South, so friendliness with neighbors isn't a default.

Do you just go up and ring their bells and say "Hi, we moved in. Nice to meet you?" That seems weird. But both my husband and I are introverts socially (me less so), so all of it seems weird and uncomfortable.

What sorts of meeting new neighbors (either as the newcomer or the ones already there) stories do you have? Tips or advice?


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Post by eselle28 on Sat Mar 28, 2015 3:43 am

I wouldn't suggest knocking on doors, and at least in the Midwest, if anyone gets a casserole it would be the people who are new to the neighborhood. (It's not as common as it used to be, but it happens. I got a casserole once, and my sister got a couple when she bought her house.) I've found that things work a bit more easily if you just make a point to take a couple minutes and introduce yourself when you do see them. Summer's coming, and if your new place has a yard, you might see them coming and going enough to say hello and get things started. After that, I've had luck with making small talk for a bit and then doing them a small favor - either offering to get their mail and keep an eye on their place if they mention they're going out of town or occasionally shoveling their snow as well as mine have been ones that have worked well for me, especially with neighbors who are older than I am.
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Post by reboot on Sat Mar 28, 2015 10:47 am

Seconding Eselle. You can also introduce yourself and ask questions about the area (e.g. where is the best grocery? how does X work here?).

Also, as a dog owner, you have a natural in with other dog owners you will see walking in the neighborhood. Tell them you just moved in and ask about vets, dog parks, etc. Sure, you can Google it, but getting people's opinions is nice.

I met my neighbors because my dog is Helper Dog (see Helper Dog is an Asshole) and flames out at other dogs. When I saw they had a dog, I gave them a heads up and let them know despite the fact that she sounds like a feral hellbeast, she is actually not vicious and gets along with other dogs when not on a leash. After that we started saying Hi and then after a while chatting and watching each other's houses when out of town.
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Post by Barretts_Salt on Sat Mar 28, 2015 6:59 pm

I second both Eselle's and Reboot's suggestions.  Both of those should work well for our neck of the woods.

May I ask what city you will be nearest?  Or at least which county?
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Post by Wondering on Mon Mar 30, 2015 1:43 pm

Thanks for the tips!

My main concern about waiting for an opportunity to meet people is that this is what I thought would happen at our current place, but it never did. The only person we know on our cul de sac is the one neighbor who came over while he was out with his kids and said howdy while we were doing something outside. Our immediate neighbors on one side are never outside. They go from the car to their house, and that's it. They don't even mow the lawn. The immediate neighbors on the other side only go out in their fenced back yard to smoke or mow.

So, I'm worried if I just wait for a chance to come up, it never will. Although, I should say I did worry. Apparently, pulling a U-Haul van into the driveway brings out the nosiest of neighbors to say hello. Wink One next door neighbor came to introduce himself while we were on the driveway, and so did one across-the-street neighbor. So, maybe this is just a friendlier neighborhood? Or a nosier one. (I'm actually fine with nosy neighbors. They keep an eye on your house when you're out of town.)

I am still concerned about the other next door neighbor because he is very elderly and has a service doing his yard maintenance, so I'm not sure how much he'll be outside. Maybe once we're fully moved in and living there, I'll need to make a conscious effort with him?

Nah, not gonna post that info on a public forum, Barretts_Salt. Smile

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Post by eselle28 on Mon Mar 30, 2015 3:36 pm

Ah, sounds like it may just be a difference in neighborhoods. Some people are obviously friendlier than others, but I think there's a whole-greater-than-its-parts thing that happens when several people in the neighborhood are either actively friendly or really avoidant. It sounds like you might be in one of the friendlier ones, luckily!

I think having one specific neighbor whose circumstances are a little different might merit a different strategy. Maybe...bringing over some cookies and introducing yourself once you're settled in? If you'll be having guests or a small party at your place anytime soon, knocking on the door to give advance notice of any parking issues and letting him know you'll try to keep the noise at a reasonable level works too. I'd say wait a few weeks, though, because being older doesn't necessarily mean that he won't enjoy being out in his yard. My parents use a lawn service, but they also sit outside all the time (and enjoy getting to know the younger families in the neighborhood, both because they enjoy it and because young families and retired people can be helpful neighbors to each other in different ways). Not everyone is similar, of course!

Oh, and congratulations on your new house!
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Post by kath on Mon Mar 30, 2015 6:46 pm

Congrats on the new house!

I also think sometimes cookies can work, especially if it's a specific person you want to be nice to / are suspecting you won't find another way to meet.

Also, I live in a very suburby-suburb, and it seems like kids and dogs are the best ways to meet people in your neighbourhood when it's a suburby one. I grew up in an inner-city neighbourhood so I want to meet people at the local coffee shop / walking along the high street, and my current neighbourhood is not remotely walkable and has no high street or coffee shop*. But with kids and dogs, you tend to be out walking the dog or playing with the kids, and kids meet other kids, and there you go.

(When they aren't babies, although neighbourhood parent-groups are likely to be a thing).

*And I just kinda let it slide because I ... actually don't really want to hang out in my neighbourhood right now, to be honest.
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Post by Barretts_Salt on Tue Mar 31, 2015 9:49 am

Wondering wrote:
Nah, not gonna post that info on a public forum, Barretts_Salt. Smile

Fair enough:)  If you're going to be in either Snohomish or King county you're more than welcome to pm me, should you wish.  Even if it's just to ask for my email for further information.

Happy new home!
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Post by InkAndComb on Tue Mar 31, 2015 1:47 pm

Cookies with a note is common here (midwest). Also, if you're feeling extra gracious, include some gluten free cookies since that's a common thing nowadays :3
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Post by Wondering on Tue Mar 31, 2015 4:59 pm

Thanks for the congrats, guys! We're really excited. Grin

Yes, I think waiting a little while to see if the one neighbor is ever out and about it good. I don't see any lawn furniture out in his yard, but it's still rainy here.

I figure the baby will be meeting some other kids when she's older, but yeah, not now. And neighborhood parent groups, well, I don't have much hope of that working out for me (see my comments in the Postpartum thread), but it's worth a try to get to know the other neighbors even if it doesn't work for parental support.

I may bring cookies, but only gluten-free if I know someone has celiac. Just like I won't be bringing dairy/egg free cookies unless I know someone's vegan. Wink

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Post by Wondering on Sat May 30, 2015 3:03 am

Update on this. One of our new neighbors brought us greens fresh picked from his vegetable garden. It's not casserole; it's better! Smile

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