Moving into a new home comes with its excitement, responsibilities and opportunities and one of these is the chance to make some new friends. In the UK it is becoming more and more commonplace for people not to know their neighbours so here are a few simple ideas for introducing you to those people who may need to lend you a cup of sugar sometime.
1. Say hello!
It’s likely that you’re going to catch each other’s eye at some point outside your front doors so a simple “hello” and a smile can be a simple but effective introduction. Given that we’re in Britain, social awkwardness will probably kick in at this point so fall back on our beloved national conversation topics such as the weather or how much you dislike moving house and then feel free to break off the conversation with a quick reference to the children who will reduce your house to rubble if you don’t get back to them.
2. If you see they need some help, offer to help
If you see your neighbour mowing the lawn or struggling with shopping, offering to help is a good way to make an acquaintance. Chances are you won’t be taken up on your offer but people really do appreciate the gesture. You never know when you may need their help.
3. Have a BBQ
This will of course only apply during the one week of British summer each year. A BBQ is a great way to invite multiple neighbours around and not have the formalities of a dinner party that can be intimidating and put people off.
4. If you don’t know what to say…
It can be tricky saying hello when the only thing you have in common is the fact that you live next to each other. The first hello is always the most difficult so here are some simple conversation starters.
- The bin collection. Ask when it is and most people will be more than happy to inform you. This is almost guaranteed to prompt an opinion-led discourse of how poor council services are and a scathing indictment about how council tax is in fact an injustice.
- Local events. Especially in some rural and suburban areas there are community events at the local community centre, church etc. Ask if there are any of these and see if there’s anything that you could go to.
- The local shop. Ask about which shop offers a newspaper delivery for example.
Moving into a new home is generally stressful and exhausting (much like selling property, but not with us of course) so the added burden of worrying about meeting the neighbours can be turned into a positive experience.