The following is a guest post.
We woke up on Saturday to see a moving truck outside. The new neighbors had finally arrived! We’re an outgoing clan, and the first instinct on everybody’s part was to head on over and say hello. But as the family CEO, it was my job to put the brakes on our welcome wagon ambitions. Recalling our past moves, the first day or two of unloading and unpacking is unquestionably stressful. While new neighbors need to be welcomed, they also need their space at the start.
The situation inspired me to create a list of dos and don’ts when it comes to introducing yourself to new neighbors:
DO wait at least three days before popping over.
You want to give your new neighbors enough time to deal with setting up their new home and getting a lay of the land. Knocking on the door amidst their hectic first few days will both sideline your introduction as well as create an unwanted distraction.
DON’T act as the neighborhood ambassador.
There’s no need to offer yourself as some sort of conduit between your new neighbors and the other families living around you. Not only do you not know how many other neighbors have already introduced themselves, you aren’t an authority on the block any more than anyone else.
DO bring something over.
Whether something baked or a bouquet of flowers, there’s certainly nothing wrong with giving your new neighbors a welcoming gift. With that said, stick to simple ideas such as the aforementioned, or maybe even a gift card to the nearest home improvement store (every new homeowner needs nails).
DON’T ask questions.
Introduce yourself and your family, but stop there. While you may be wanting this to be your opportunity to examine the new family on the block, asking questions will not only make that apparent, it’s hardly the right way to begin a new friendship. Let them explain themselves, and if they don’t, don’t press any further.
DO offer help.
Whether through offering yourself as a guide to the neighborhood (rather than acting as one off-the-bat), or simply by giving them your number, make it clear that you want to help them but only if they need it. This is just about the most neighborly thing you can do, and by keeping your agenda short and sweet and completely on the side of altruism, you stand to create a stronger tie to your new neighbors.
If you’re an outgoing family eager to say hello to recently moved-in neighbors, remember to go about it the right way. You’re about to initiate the beginnings of a relationship that may last for years, and that’s hardly something to be taken lightly.