Meet Your Neighbors | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Meet Your Neighbors

"Welcome to the neighborhood!" How rare is it to hear or say those words anymore? More often it seems that face-to-face interaction with the people living next door to you has become primitive. Using technology for social networking may be more modern and sometimes convenient, but it stifles the chance to build a bond with your neighbor. Here are a few icebreakers to help develop or enhance your community connection offline:

1 Create a welcome package. Pack some essentials into a small basket to help new neighbors settle in more easily such as an area map, list of phone numbers of service providers for utilities, coupons for area restaurants, flowering bulbs, etc. It gives you more than enough reason to introduce yourself and make a favorable first impression.

2 Take a detour to your neighbor's heart through their stomach. This is another friendly yet traditional way to greet a neighbor. Share a store-bought cake or cookies while you engage in pleasant introductory conversation. For those who are not good at baking, this is not the time to try out your fledgling "Top Chef" skills.

3 Frequent your front yard. Neighbors rarely see each other anymore. Many choose to stay in the house or backyard to avoid interaction. Help promote it instead. Being more active in the front yard makes you seem more open and approachable,
according to http://www.associatedcontent.com.

4 Walk on by. You would be surprised to see how many other people are walking in the evenings around the neighborhood whether it's for health or leisure. Maybe this is something that you and your neighbor can engage in together. Offer to meet up with your neighbor some evenings to walk and talk. This is a positive way to spend time together and meet your own personal goal (source: http://www.changeofaddress.com.)

5 Talk is cheap, but it pays off. Something as simple and non-intrusive as a question about gardening or family can spark an interesting conversation. Open-ended questions that engage your neighbor to speak at length on a subject are a great way to make them feel comfortable speaking to and with you on a regular basis. Compliments are also great conversation starters and self-esteem boosters.

6 Pets and kids can really bring people together. Both are great common ground to build a conversation, and play dates will help develop a relationship. Schedule a play date for the kiddies or the pooches. (source: move.com.)

7 Lend a helping hand. If you're an expert at handy work or in some other field that is beneficial in a time of need, volunteer your services. There may be a day your neighbor can do the same for you.

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