how do you meet the neighbors?

vacuumfreakDecember 4, 2006

Hi there! I was just wondering some good ways to meet the neighbors. I've been in my first apartment for two months now, and I don't know anyone yet. I'm assuming that it's because we all work. I see lots of cars at the complex, so I know I am not the only one who lives here. I think it would be great if I could meet some of my neighbors. We could go for walks together around the complex, go to the grocery store, share meals (cooking for one person is too much!), take care of each others' cats if one of us is away... check to see if we left our oven on. I know, you can do that with friends too, but it would be so convenient to be friends with people that live right here. I think people just aren't as friendly as they used to be in the good old days. I had actually considered hosting an "open apartment" one evening. Prepare some snacks and put a flyer up at the mail boxes to do a meet and greet. Just not sure who would show up, and I don't know if I want "everyone" knowing whats in my apartment. Is there an online community where people go from different complexes to post that they are looking for their neighbors too? How do you meet yours? Thanks!

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Sounds like a wonderful idea, but I feel that nowadays many people (especially those living alone in apartments in big cities) are just too wrapped up in their own lives and/or are afraid of strangers. I wouldn't have an "open apartment" myself. Your building doesn't have a party room?

If you want to post flyers (the catsitting idea might appeal to many residents) or hold a party in the common areas, it would be a good idea to check with the management :)

Then there's the traditional ways of meeting people: just talk to them in the elevator (particularly about topics related to the apartment building, the neighbourhood or other issues common to everyone), hold the front door open for them...

Good luck--if your plans work out, they would likely enhance the lifestyle of all residents.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2006 at 5:42PM
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A better bet is to send invitations to the people wholive closest to you to come over for instance Sunday at 6:00 for snax and wine. You don't need to know their names. We used to just make a printed flyer and put it on their door in an envelope. We just went to one at the house across the street.
You are likely to be more friendly with people who live close to you, because you see them oftener. I married the guy who parked two cars down.
I don't think I would start with a big party in the common area. You only want to meet a few people to be friends with--or exchange catsitting, or chat with. Thats hard to do in a big party you are arranging. Krusty's ideas about talking in the elevator, etc. about common topics is excellent. I have offered magazines I'm through with to my neighbors; shared some of a bucket of apples I got. that works too.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2006 at 4:33PM
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This is a great time of year. I'd do some baking and bring a few goodies over to your neighbors. Knock on their door, introduce yourself, talk for a while and you can see if you want to build any type of relationship. Some of your neighbors you won't want in your apartment, while others could turn out to be life long friends.

It could be something other than baked goods. Don't leave them at the door as your real reason is to meet them.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2006 at 11:28AM
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Are you allowed to have a dog? These make great conversation starters.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2006 at 4:56PM
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The "meet and greet Open House" thing is EXACTLY what we did on a Sunday afternoon a couple months after we moved in and had finished our decorating. We limited the time (2-4 pm), put our flyer out by the mailboxes and served light snacks buffet style. We chose not to include alcohol after some consideration. It was a perfect way to meet our neighbors and decide which ones we wanted to know better........

    Bookmark   December 17, 2006 at 3:13PM
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OMG! I would NEVER host a meet and greet in any apt complex I have lived in. None of them were dumps to be sure, but one just never knows about people. I would not want a drug taker or similar type person to know what was in my apt!

Most buildings run credit checks,but undesirables do slip thru the cracks.

I have my own friends selected by me who share common interests, not just their close proximity.

I chat with my neighbors in the elevator or lobby, hold the door open, Help the guy in the wheelchair return his netflix envelopes,but that is where it ends.

It takes time to get to know your neighbors. My hallmate is a nice young girl.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2006 at 7:54PM
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Yeah, forget hosting a party. Not everyone enjoys parties (or enjoys the same kinds of parties) anyways.

Just chat them up when you see them at the mailbox, on stairs/in elevators etc. Weather, the building, general stuff. After you get to know a bit about them, offer a mild compliment or two; often that really breaks the ice.

Also, it is always good practice to visit the people above, below, and beside you from time to time or when new people move in; ask them if you are making any noise that bugs them. If they are annoyed, you can head off a conflict before it even starts. If they aren't annoyed, and seem nice, you can (using some good character judgement) possibly even offer email or phone number to call you if they have any problems, or just want to communicate about something (if they're going to have a New Years get-together and want to let you know ahead of time, for instance).

I'd never trust neighbours so far as to look after your cats or anything like that though, not unless you got to be real friends (which is unlikely). But nonetheless, networking with neighbours can avoid alot of problems and if problems with the landlord come up or bad tenants move in, you'll all be happy to be in contact with one another as you can deal with problems together.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2006 at 7:29AM
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The average lease in my apartment complex is 9 months. The apartments are physically situated to provide as much privacy as possible, with the entrances staggered and the personal decks or balconys facing wooded areas. While other residents can be seen and heard, it is possible to go for days without actually coming into personal contact. For example, I hear the guy downstairs, but only see him on weekends because he works nights. Some residents smile and say a brief hello, while others keep their heads down and don't make eye contact. It sounds like you're looking for the kind of friendship Mary and Rhoda (the old Mary Tyler Moore show?) enjoyed. I don't think people with a 9 month time frame see the benefit in investing in that depth of friendship.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2006 at 4:07PM
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Hi there. Thanks for all the varied responses. I certainly enjoy others' points of view. This is certainly a slow moving forum! Haven't done anything yet. I already know 1 neighbor... very nice guy who I actually spent new years with. But, I met him online before I even moved to the complex... we've knows each other for about 5 months. My complex is divided into two sections... there is an "expensive side" where the apartments have plush carpet, dishwashers, balconys, and washer/drier hook ups... rent is 7 to 800 dollars. My side... the "cheap" side has flat carpet, no washer/driers (though I am right across from the wash room), and no dishwashers... rent 479. This is my first place, so I certainly don't need a luxury apartment and my quality of life is acceptable for me. My point is that the people on my side are the working or working/college (like me) people who really never come face to face with each other. The few people I have spoken to haver all been living there anywhwere from 5 to 10 years because of the affordable rent and decent location. I will probably stay until I graduate college (3 years maybe), get a career, and find a life partner to buy a home with. So, the 9 month theory can't be generalized for my situation. I notice that people often post things for sale or lost pets fliers by the mail boxes, so I posted a flier with a brief description of myself and my E-MAIL address... not my apartment number or phone number. Of course either maintenence or the post master rips them all down after a little while... most are lucky to stay up a full day. I also posted one in the laundry room which stayed up for a week. NO ONE responded. I posted an add on Craigs List and got one person from the "other" side (just like the person I already knew). So... I think I am going to just let things happen naturally... it's obvious that this either isn't meant to be or people just don't care. I thought thought it would be convenient to have friends that live right there. I gave it the old school try, and now I'm done. I have a car, and the people I know that don't live in my complex come over when we both have time so I guess I will just keep the neighbors as neighbors and that's it. Kinda sad really, but there it is.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2007 at 3:28PM
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It can be this way when you buy a house also. First home I bought I lived in for almost two years. First neighbor I met there was the week I was moving out. Next house I lived in for 2 1/2 years and never met the neighbor on my side or back yard. I would wave and they looked the other way. Current home/ neighborhood is great. We moved in and 5 neighbors brought over goodies and introduced themselves. One brought over a hand drawn map of the neighborhood with the families names and kids aprox ages. We have yearly neighborhood Christmas parties and other events to get together (national night out, easter egg hunt, during haloween a neighbor sets up a "party room in their garage for the adults). I had heard this was a tight group of neighbors and this was one of the biggest reasons we moved here. This year I am planning on doing a quarterly news paper. Updating everyone on big events/ neighborhood items. Big stories will be along the lines of new paper deliverly person/ births/ new jobs, etc.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2007 at 1:58PM
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You say you are right across from the room with the washers and dryers? Well, I suggest you have a load of laundry ready at any given time, and when you hear someone in the laundry room, you make an effort to your laundry at that moment. That would also give you the opportunity to size up the person in there - you can take your time or you can speed things up and head back to your apartment.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2007 at 8:43AM
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I dont know what kind of place you live in,but many apartment complexes have parties themselves,exspecially in summer.Like a open house pool party and stuff.
I always run into my neighbors at the mailbox.
Where I live no one is really that nice.Kinda a bunch of old crotchedy people.Oh yeah,and crazy underwear guy who is next door.
He always comes out in the hall in his tighty whiteys.
I think he's a little nuts.He thought me and my husband were cops...why,I have no clue!
I miss this one neighborhood we lived in.The apartments sucked,but the neighbors were so nice! We had tons of friends.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2007 at 6:57AM
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There used to be a time when people knew their neighbors. There used to be a time when people were socially courteous.
There used to be a time when people could function without cellphones, blasting music, IPODs, and big screen televisions.
There used to be a time when people got dressed up to go out.
There used to be a time when people read books and played the piano for leisure.
There used to be a time when pepole did not thinkg that the world revolved around them only.
There used to be a time when children were not the center of the universe either and their every whim catered to.
And I am not going to end this post with, the good old days, for there were plenty of other problems (intolerance, social inequality), but there seemed to be more innate respect for self and others, which makes one a good neighbor.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2007 at 8:02AM
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This is so funny because I have lived in my building for ten years now. And I only know one neighbor and I only really say hi to them. (nice elderly couple) My old neighbor in the apartment next to me I didn't meet them until my car caught fire one day in the garage and his car happened to be the one parked next to mine.

One day I was on the elevator( we all do the hi, have a nice day thing in there) and when I got off another woman got off too. I walked down to the left and she did too. I was saying to myself why is this woman following me. Turns out her livingroom is butted up against mine. Were neighbors. When I got in my apartment I laughed so hard. I had been living there for six years already and didn't even know what the people there looked like.

I'm not big on having neighbors over to my house anyway. I'm just not that trusting. Besides my home is my seclusion away from the world and its issues. I don't want people just popping up ringing the bell when I'm in relax mode. Its a great thought and I suppose would really be nice but I'm just not up for the effort.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2007 at 2:51AM
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I guess I can really help on this one
Check to meet your neighbors

Here is a link that might be useful: Meet people in your area

    Bookmark   September 22, 2010 at 7:14PM
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