In life we all move from time to time, and so do the people around us. This means that at some point or another we’ll all have to face the decision of whether or not to meet the neighbors, and if so, how to go about doing it. So in the spirit of embracing socially awkward moments, here are a few tips to help you manage the dreaded “meet-the-neighbor” opportunities that life throws your way:
Do Your Research
Before you go walking over to the neighbors house with a jello mold and a Full House smile, it’s good to take your time and do a little research. When you’re out front getting the mail or working in the yard, try and take note of what your neighbors are doing. Are they the type of people who have couches in their garage and sports memorabilia plastered on the walls? Do they always have the blinds closed, never turn on the porch light, and immediately close their garage after getting out of the car?
These are the types of behavioral traits you should look for when you’re decided when, how, or even if you want to introduce yourself. Remember, “unfriending” someone in real life can be a lot more difficult than it is on Facebook. While it’s great to have neighbors that you’re friends with, just keep in mind that they, unlike other people will know exactly where you live and can get a hold of you easily. If they seem like the type of person that you wouldn’t want dropping by for unexpected visits all the time, then you might want to postpone your introduction.
Take it Slow
When you move in to a new home or apartment, or when a new neighbor moves in next to you, remember that you don’t have to rush things and meet them immediately. If you’re the type that likes to help out, however, you may consider offering to give them a hand when they are moving in. Helping with a few boxes can lighting the load and be a great for you guys to break the ice. If you’re not around when they’re moving in then make your initial contact as casual as possible.
A simple wave from the driveway, or “hello” as you’re walking by will more than suffice. Slowly build up your confidence with simple gestures until either you or your neighbor feel comfortable enough to have a full conversation.
What About the Noise
When there is a problem with the noise level it is usually due to one of two things: 1. Your neighbors make way too much noise and it is disturbing your peace, or 2. You are the type of person that makes way too much noise and you are disturbing your neighbors.
If you know that you’re going to be having band practice, doing lots of wood work, or throwing a party with tons of people and music, then it’s always a good idea to let your neighbors know before hand. When you stop by to speak with them and let them know about the noise, you can let them know that if the volume gets too loud that they can simply ask you to turn it down. By giving them a heads up, you’ll be showing genuine interest in their feelings.
There is a good chance that neighbors who are overly loud or noisy are unaware that they are disturbing you. Clenching your fist and screaming into your pillow over lost sleep won’t fix the problem. You’ll need to wait until you have regained your positive attitude and had time to think about what you can say to them. Once you have your mind clear and a good idea of what to say, then you need to go over and speak with them directly. Be polite and non-confrontational, but still be very clear in explaining to them the problem. More often than not your neighbors will be happy to oblige.
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