It happens all the time. Someone new will move into your neighborhood or you will have a new co-worker come in and you want to be friendly, but you really don't know how to go about it without being a bit annoying. Here are a few things you can do a little at a time to help your new neighbor feel at home!
Introduce Yourself - Take a moment to introduce yourself to the person. Don't tell your whole life story, just maybe your name and where you live or where your desk sits (or what department you work for). That way, they will know where to find a friendly face if they need one! Make a point to ask them their name and let them know if they have any questions about the neighborhood, just let you know. They may want to visit more and may speak more about themselves or they may not. Don't push. Let them feel comfortable with you before you push to know how many kids they have, what kinds of pets and if they like to go out to lunch! That would make it more awkward for them to ask you a question or for some help because they may worry it will turn into an hour long conversation.
Offer Lists - During another time, offer a list of your favorite places in the area, or services a new neighbor might need. Offer your email address or phone number so if they need anything else, they can easily ask you. If it is in the office, give them other co-workers contact information that they might need during the course of their work day or a list of favorite restaurants you and other co-workers go out or order from for lunch. Something that is tangible that they may need to look at down the road is important at this point.
Think Gift - Along with the gift of information that I just mentioned, you may want to give a gift. Some neighborhoods give a house warming gift basket, others may just take over a baked good. Still some may just send a card welcoming them to the area. At work, give of yourself if they need help learning some new protocols or how to use some software. Maybe give them something special for their desk so it feels more warm and cozy for them. Little things like this make a person feel cared about and like they belong.
Include Them - When you are the new kid on the block, you immediately feel like an outsider. One way to help a new neighbor to feel less like that is to invite them to things. Have them come to a party to meet other neighbors, let them know how the parents help their kids when they trick or treat or make sure that when a group of you go out after work, that you invite the newbie to come along. Being included can mean a lot to someone. If they decline a lot, don't quit asking! Even if they never take you up on it, they still feel like a part of things and that is important.
Give Some Insight - Give some insight about the neighborhood or office, but avoid ugly gossip. For instance, let a neighbor know that there are small kids down the road, so everyone tries to drive carefully or a new co-worker the best time to talk to HR if they have questions or what might really be a pet peeve of the boss so they can avoid it. They don't need you to tell them all the ugly secrets people have, that will just make you look bad and make them wonder what you say about them! Do tell them the nice things about those around you so they can become more comfortable with them as well. When we are new and don't know the people around us very well, we can take a comment or even the way someone says something the wrong way. You may need to explain how "so and so" just talks that way to everyone and not to take it personally. A little bit of kind insight can go a long way to help avoid misunderstandings and miscommunications.
We all at some point or another will be the new person somewhere or the one on the other side that sees a new person enter our sphere of life. It's always good to be kind to someone and offer a helping hand. You just never know what that might mean to someone, unless of course, you have been the new one at some point!
Until Next Time!
Jen Lush--Associate Broker and Blog Writer Extraordinaire