You flop down on the couch, exhausted and ready to relax. But as the dust settles, the implications of being in a new apartment start to sink in. You suddenly start to feel lonely, out of place, and a little bit nervous. Sure, you could invite some friends over, but by the time they arrive it would be time for them to go home again.
Laughter echoes from down the hallway and pulls you out of your thoughts. “Oh yeah,” you think. “Neighbors. I have neighbors.” You’re tempted to go knock on their door, but what would you say? What if they think you’re creepy? Let’s face it, moving is hard, and for many people making new friends is even harder. Not everyone is an extrovert, and that’s okay!
If you’re one of those people, here’s some tips to help you get to know your new neighbors:
1. Be Friendly
This may be stating the obvious but sometimes, as a society, we just forget to be friendly. Our days are often stressful and during the commute to/from work it’s not uncommon for our minds to be on another planet entirely. It’s nothing personal towards anyone, but over time it becomes a habit.
Saying “hi” is especially important when you’re in a new space. If it was your first day at a new company, would you ignore all of your co-workers? Most likely not. The same rules apply with your neighbors in your new apartment! Smiling and greeting people makes them feel more at ease around you, and thus more open to spending time getting to know you.
2. Break The Ice
Keep in mind, many people will be just as nervous as you are, if not more so! It may be that they’d also like to talk to you, but are terrified of being too forward. It will take some bravery the first few times, but don’t be afraid to knock on someone’s door and introduce yourself. We promise, it gets easier.
Worst case scenario? They don’t answer.
Once basic introductions are out of the way, your neighbors will be more likely to strike up a conversation the next time they see you in passing. With most people, a little goes a long way towards establishing a friendship.
3. Use It Or Lose It
Not all apartments have amenities that go above and beyond, but if you’re lucky enough to have them, take advantage of them! If there’s a pool, use it! If you’re a workaholic and there’s a co-working space, use it! If you’re a fitness nut and your apartment has a fitness center, use it! You see the pattern.
Not only is this a good way to get the most out of your rent, it’s also a great way to get to know your neighbors and meet people that you’re likely to have things in common with. Generally speaking, people who share your interests are far easier to talk to than those who do not. It will also help you to better familiarize yourself with your new digs.
4. Get a Dog?
Okay, now hear us out, because there are some disclaimers that apply to this one. Dogs are not for everyone, so do your research!
- First off, find out if your apartment allows dogs and, if they do, check to see if there are any additional fees or restrictions involved
- Second, reflect on your lifestyle to determine the personality and physical traits your ideal dog would have. Many shelters will take this into consideration when helping you to find your new four-legged friend!
- Third, make sure you’re in a position where you’re able to care for a dog– both financially and personally. Dogs are terrific company, but they’re also expensive and require a lot of your time
But, if you have a hard time breaking the ice with people and have done all your homework, inviting a dog into your home may be the best decision you’ve ever made, for yourself and your social life! Just ask any dog owner, and most will eagerly tell you a long-winded story about the time their dog helped them make a new friend. Your fellow dog-loving residents will stop to greet your dog, and by default, you! Dogs are a great conversation starter that can slowly help you pave the path to friendship.
Additionally, having a dog around can make a space feel much less empty. So even on your quiet nights alone, you can rest assured that there will always be at least one faithful friend nearby.
Lonely No More
So, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and put yourself out there. When it comes to meeting new people, a little goes a long way. Obviously, everyone is different and what works for one person may not work for another, but with these tips you’ll be well on your way to making some new, like-minded friends.
Being in an unfamiliar place can be intimidating, but the moving process doesn’t have to be!
If you’re thinking about moving, let us do all of the heavy-lifting so that you can sit back and focus the smaller things, like getting to know your new neighbors.