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When you first move onto a street or into a complex there is a good chance that you will run into your neighbors out and about. To avoid any awkward encounters later on it is a good idea to introduce yourself right away. A simple, “Hello, I’m so-and-so, I just moved in,” will go a long way. If you are in the process of moving in or doing yard work or any other task, your neighbor will probably understand that you are not in the mood to chat and will leave you to it. However, this leaves the door open for a longer more in depth conversation at another time. Leave it too late to introduce yourself and you may miss the window of opportunity. Try to get around to at least say hello to your new neighbors within the first month of moving in.

Neighborhood Conversation Topics

Sometimes it can be hard to find things to talk about with your neighbor, especially if you are not good at small talk. It might seem easier to simply turn the other way, push the elevator door closed as quickly as possible or avoid eye contact when walking your dog up the street. Look for things you may have in common or take the time to complement your neighbor, such as the top local golf courses. If he is constantly walking his dog, spark up a conversation about the breed and his behavior. A complement like “what a nice looking dog” can put you in the good books. If you notice your neighbor spends a lot of time gardening or doing yard work, then perhaps complement her on her choice of flowers or ask her a question about gardening.

Take the time to ask them about the new neighborhood. This is an excellent way to break the ice and also find out the hot spots in town. Neighbors with children will love to answer any questions you have about parks, public schools and play groups in the area while single couples will probably enjoy filling you in on the various night clubs, restaurants and evening activities to attend.

Neighborly Complaints

Friendly neighborhood chats are a piece of cake when compared to having to speak to your neighbor about a complaint or concern you may have. However, in order to make the confrontation process smoother, it is best to be at least friendly with your neighbors. That way, when the time does come to voice your complaint, you will avoid any awkwardness.

The most common neighborhood complaint is a noise issue. Perhaps your neighbor plays loud music past midnight every night; perhaps his house becomes the party house every weekend; perhaps he chooses 5am to mow his lawn and wake up the neighborhood; perhaps your upstairs neighbor has decided to take up tap dancing or tuba playing. All of these things can lead to serious noise complaints.

The best way to approach neighbors is casually. Choose a time when you know your neighbor will be awake and relaxed. Avoid late night calls to families with children and early morning knocks for people that work late. Voice your concern as politely as you can. Avoid any rude or condescending tones. Be up front about the noise but do not come off as harsh. Avoid threats to contact the landlord or call the police right away. Give them a chance to tell their side of the story, apologize and stop the nosier. If this doesn’t happen and the noise continues, you may need to contact the landlord or go to higher grounds to get the noise to stop.

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