Feeling Good in the Neighborhood: Easy Ways to Meet Your Neighbors

“A good neighbor increases the value of your property.” ~ Czech Proverb

It all sounds great in theory … Sure, I’m game. I’d love to break out of my comfort zone and meet some neighbors. How hard can it be? And yet for many of us, that’s easier said than done, whether we’ve just moved into the house next door or have lived on the same street for years.

However, if there’s one thing the globe has learned since the start of the pandemic, it’s that people were made for connecting. has compiled a list of easy (and relatively non-awkward) ways to meet your neighbors, ranging from the least effort to the most.

  1. Go online. Try searching for what could be an email list, Facebook group, or through an app like Nextdoor. This is an easy way to find others based purely on geography. If your neighborhood doesn’t already have something like this, consider creating your own.
  2. Say hello. A warm smile and a friendly, “Hi, I’m {So and So} … tell me your name?” can go a long way. Start with simple small talk or a generic question such as, “Know any great pizza places in the area?”
  3. Get outside. It’s tough to meet new people if you never leave your home or apartment, so making your way out will increase your odds of meeting anyone. Whether that’s finding your way to the local coffee shop, spending time on the front porch, or actively working in your front yard, eventually you’ll start to recognize new and friendly faces.
  4. Put your pet to work. Did you know researchers have found that people are more likely to smile and interact with people with pets? Why not let them do the walking (and possibly some non-verbal “talking”) for you? Pets are a great way to meet your neighbors, and people love to talk about their pets, too.
  5. Meet on purpose. Dropping off a thoughtful gift (a non-food item like a candle might be a good idea) when a neighbor moves in or running into them in the building’s common area might give you a chance to introduce yourself or share some bit of brief information about yourself or your family.
  6. Random acts of kindness. Doing something nice such as shoveling a snowy driveway, raking some leaves, bringing a meal to a family with a new baby, or bringing a newspaper to their door from a driveway can demonstrate tangible goodwill.
  7. Ask a small favor. Maybe it’s the proverbial cup of sugar or an egg for the cookies you’re making (be sure to share them later!) or asking someone to keep an eye on your house if you’re heading out of town can open the door to say you’re also able and willing to return the favor.
  8. Throw a party. This step definitely carries more risk, but there’s also the potential for a much higher reward. From a simple coffee & doughnuts in the driveway to a full-on backyard barbecue, think outside the box and slip some flyers under the doormats — or even go door-to-door with an invite — and let people know when and where they should show up!
  9. Get involved. Many communities have organizations specifically for newcomers. Taking a class in the area or volunteering your time for a worthy cause can all lead to new opportunities and new friendships.

Whatever steps you take (they don’t have to be in order), going out of your way to invest in new friendships will certainly pay dividends if you’re willing to give it time. Even if your neighbors don’t take you up on the offer to loan them a cup of sugar, they’ll appreciate knowing it was offered.