I’m new to the area and therefore my apartment building. I’m nervous about meeting my neighbors. How do I break the ice? – Connie in Palmer, AK
TINA: How exciting! Couple of suggestions: throw an open house and invite all of your neighbors. It’s a terrific way to introduce yourself and have an opportunity to interact with your new community. It doesn’t have to be an extravagant event – simply a “stop by for a meet and greet.”
If that seems a little overwhelming, then stop by and introduce yourself to the neighbors on either side of you. It’s always a good idea to know your immediate neighbors in the event of an emergency. During the conversation, ask them simple questions as to how long they have lived there, what is the community like – start a conversation. Many times, others are waiting for the other person to make the first move. Embrace this exciting moment in your life and welcome new friends into your life.
LYNN: Connie, if you’ve had the opportunity to observe their schedule, then knocking on their door in an appropriate time window is easy. Have a card with your name and number so they can contact you if something comes up. Ask them if they can recommend some good restaurants in the area, or their favorite activities. This will initiate a conversation. Most people enjoy sharing their opinions and being helpful. If they seem rushed or distracted, introduce yourself and acknowledge that they’re occupied and you hope to see them around.
Around your complex, greet everyone with a smile and kind word. Strike up a conversation with the same types of questions when the opportunities present themselves. If you have an onsite gym, pool, or activity center – go and take part. Greet and meet your fellow residents. There may even be micro complex community events you can attend, and even volunteer to help. Seize every opportunity. Soon you’ll feel right at home and may have found some new friends in the process.
Lynn Whitbeck is the co-founder and President of Petite2Queen. She is focused on identifying and evaluating opportunities for women at work, helping them define their personal roadmap. She dedicates herself to delivering tools and insights, embracing visualization of the big picture, and identifying and implementing the minutiae of detail. Lynn aims to share lessons learned along her journey and enable positive uplift for women.