All eyes are on your moving company truck driving down your new street, but who are these people now known as your neighbors and will you ever meet them?  Even though numerous ways to connect via social media and electronics exist, they sometimes detract from in-person meetings that truly acquaint people and build relationships.  When you move somewhere you may not know what the neighborhood protocol is, so you may miss opportunities to make new connections if you avoid meeting your neighbors.    Step out of your comfort zone and discover how to meet your new neighbors and explore your new neighborhood.

Greetings and Salutations

Don’t be afraid to smile and say hello to your neighbors even if you tend to be shy or the person looks intimidating.  Remember looks can be deceiving.  Even the woman with the Resting You-Know-What Face could be a lovely person and possible friend.  Women’s Health suggests inserting compliments in your conversations or commenting on their beautiful landscaping, for instance.

Hang Out Outdoors

The only way to get acclimated to your surroundings and acquainted with your neighbors is to become more than part of the scenery.  If there’s a central place where other residents frequent, make an appearance even if it’s to sit and observe.  Strike up an outdoor interest and attend neighborhood events, says Apartment Therapy.

Be a Joiner

In addition to meeting neighbors, joining clubs and volunteering produces more ways toward making friends and connections.  Using the Internet as a guide, locate your local gym, religious organization, or meet-up groups for activities.  Before moving, ask everyone you know if they know people who currently live in your new neighborhood and if they can introduce you.  To get further acquainted with your neighbors, start a neighborhood group like a neighborhood watch or book club, says Women’s Health, or organize a block party.  If you organize a neighborhood-wide yard sale, sell anything undesirable that you kept in storage and meet neighbors in the process.

Use Your Kids and Pets

Although it sounds sneaky, meeting people through your kids and pets is an ideal socializing tool.  When your children play outside, observe where other children play and take them there.  Once you’ve met neighbor kids and their parents, host a playdate with them, especially if they’re around the same age.  If your kids are enrolled in school, join school organizations and local sports teams to meet other parents.  With your dog in tow, walk around the neighborhood, so you can meet other dog lovers.

Make the First Move

It’s a big step but introducing yourself to neighbors will eliminate any unfamiliarity and foster relationships.  After learning their names and getting acquainted, neighbors can offer the neighborhood and township scoop.  If you need a nudge to talk to them, bring cookies you baked or show off your neighborly behavior, by helping them with unwieldy bags or exchanging misplaced mail.  If you’re confident enough, when you’re holding your housewarming party for loved ones include the neighbors or plan a get-together for just the neighbors so everyone can get acquainted and build up your community.