Ways to Make Friends with New Neighbors
By the time you become an adult, your friend group is pretty much set. You probably have a group, or groups, of friends from college, high school, or growing up that you have known for a very long time. Maybe you even have a friend or two from one of your early jobs out of school. The point is, by the time you become an actual adult, making new friends is hard. When you are younger, your life is geared towards meeting people and making friends. You go to school, social events, have nights out on the town, and generally just have more opportunities to find people who will become friends.
The exception to this rule is when you move to a new home. When you move to a new place as an adult, there is a built-in opportunity to meet new people and add new friends to your circle. Your new neighbors are people who you will conceivably be spending a lot of time in close proximity to for a very long time. Here are a few ideas on how to make friends with your new neighbors.
This is the oldest trick in the book but that is because it works so well. Baked goods have been making neighbors friends for generations and it works as well today as it did in the 1950s. Taking the time to bake some cookies or some bread for a neighbor is not only a nice gesture but it is a good excuse to go knock on your neighbor’s door. That is really what this is all about too. Sure, everyone appreciates some got, fresh baked good but more than anything else, it gives you a reason to interact.
If you are baking something for a new neighbor, there are one of two ways you can go. You can keep it incredibly simple and just bake something like cookies or banana bread. These things are easy to do and most people like them. Just make sure you stay away from nuts as much as you can because you never know about people’s allergies. The other way is to bake something that tells your neighbor about you. If you have a recipe that has been in your family for a long time or a cultural specialty, it is a great icebreaker to start the conversation after you ring the bell.
Have a Poker Night
Playing cards, specifically poker, is the great equalizer in modern life. No matter who you are, what you do, or how much you have, anyone can play cards. When you move into a new neighborhood, you can easily make conversation with neighbors by asking if anyone in the neighborhood hosts a weekly or monthly poker game. If there is one that goes on and you tell the host that you love playing poker, an invite is sure to follow.
If there is not a regular game in the neighborhood, that is the perfect opportunity to start one. Talk to your neighbors and find out who plays poker or is interested in learning. Once you have a group of 4 or more people, you can host your poker night. All you need is a deck of cards, some nice poker chips (which you can find out more about with this Giftwits buying guide), a card table, and some snacks and beverages. If the first night is a success, you can make it a regular thing and add more neighbors as you go.
This is another cliché but going to your neighbor’s house to “borrow a cup of sugar” is another tried and true way to introduce yourself and eventually make friends. Again, the key to making friends with your neighbors isn’t necessarily what you do, it is just that you do it. Having a reason to take that first step is big and asking to borrow something is a perfect excuse. It doesn’t have to be sugar either, you can ask to borrow a tool or something else you may not have when you first move in. Most neighbors are happy to lend something small and start a relationship.
You don’t have to be a complete freeloader either. You can use borrowing something like an invitation for your neighbor to borrow something form you as well. If you go to your neighbor to borrow a step ladder, you can tell them that if they ever need lawn tools, feel free to ask you because you are an avid gardener. Something like that will go a long way towards making friends.
Have a Barbeque or Happy Hour
When you are first meeting your new neighbors, both you and they may be a little hesitant to commit to a full meal or full night of hanging out. You want to ease into the full-blown hangout. This is why an afternoon barbeque or a happy hour is a great entrée into hanging out for real. Tell your neighbors you are having a weekday evening get together or a weekend afternoon cookout and they can stop by to grab a drink or a burger.
The nice part about this is that you can invite some of your “real” friends over for the party as a social buffer. You will be comfortable and having a good time and your neighbors will free comfortable popping in and popping out when they want since they are not the guests of honor. It is a great first “neighbor date”!
Get a beer pong table for your backyard
Nothing will make you more popular than owning your own beer pong table. Close neighbors love to crank a cold one open and spend time outside, especially during the summer time. A beer pong table and turn any drinking event into a competitive drinking event. All you need is a decent beer pong table, some disposable plastic glasses and a few ping pong balls. I’ve recently purchased an affordable beer pong table after reading this article, and I couldn’t be happier with the results. You and your neighbors will thank you for this. Your wife? Probably not so much.
Being a new neighbor is a great opportunity to make new friends. Using the tricks above will make it easier to start a conversation and kick start a relationship. Just remember, even though you probably haven’t made any new friends in a while, it is always nice to and your neighborhood is a great place to start.