It’s safe to say that many of us long for the kinds of neighborly relationships that our parents and grandparents reminisce about. They felt safe and supported and knew that if they needed a hand, they could count on their neighbor. But in this digital age, when it’s easier to communicate with your head down looking at a screen, it’s tempting to be anti-social when it comes to strangers. When you’ve had a long day at work, it’s hard to buck up the motivation to chat up the neighbor who is also out walking her dog. But when you live in an apartment, getting to know your neighbors can be rewarding in many ways. If you’re wondering how to meet your neighbors, here are a few tips on how to do just that.
1. Utilize the Common Areas
Reinhold Residential’s properties have tons of wonderful common areas, from clubhouses to lounges, to gyms, to rooftop patios. Spend some time in those places, even if it’s just to work on your laptop or watch TV. You never know who you’ll meet. A friendly game of pool or other games like Scrabble or Jenga can help let your guard down without the pressure of direct one-on-one conversation. Free gym and library memberships are included at many of the properties (Reinhold’s Philadelphia residents also receive a complimentary membership to the MetroFit basketball court and fitness center). There’s no better way to meet like-minded neighbors; someone who starts off as a mere spotter or study partner might soon become one of your best friends. Also keep an eye out at your community for events specifically for Reinhold residents (like Shadyside Commons’ Fall Fest on October 30).
2. Start a Club
Want to better control the odds instead of just relying on chance acquaintances on the rooftop terrace? Talk with your property management about organizing your own meet and greet, either in one of the common area on-site or out at a local bar or restaurant. It doesn’t have to be a one-time thing. If you’ve found something a bunch of you have in common, start up a weekly or monthly get-together. Whether it’s a book club or a running group, inviting residents with a shared hobby to get together on a regular basis is a great way to cultivate new friendships. If clubs aren’t really your thing, instead you can follow Reinhold Residential on Facebook and learn about events going on in the city—you may see a few familiar faces while you are out.
3. The Way to Their Hearts is Through Their Stomachs
It may seem cheesy and old-fashioned, but the reality is that everybody likes food. Whether you simply make a batch of cookies and knock on the door or you make up food-themed gift baskets and distribute them around the holidays, food is a great way to meet people. If you’re shy or intimidated by hand-delivering something, start by leaving a gift on their doorstep with a note. If you are the kind of person who thrives on entertaining, put together a simple brunch and put invitations in mailboxes around the neighborhood. There’s no wrong way to share the love of food.
4. Find Common Ground
There are a few things that every apartment dweller has in common. The trick is to figure out what those things are! One thing is that living in a small space means you all need storage options and good organizational skills. Contact the property manager and find out about starting a community rummage sale, for example. Participants can open their homes to other residents who want to rummage through their stuff. What better way to break the ice! Posters, CDs, cookware, books… you can learn a lot about a person based on the things they hold on to. The attempt to save space might also lend well to building a library system where you and your neighbors can check books out of each other’s collections. You probably won’t find a
book called, How to Meet Your Neighbors, but you definitely will learn a lot, which could spark many interesting conversations.
5. Keep It Simple and Just Say Hello
When walking or jogging around the community, smile at the people outside. It might seem like a small gesture, but it makes them know you’re approachable. Stop and chat when you see someone. If they’re new to the area, offer some advice on the best place to get a local beer or the best slice of pizza. It won’t take long to notice the people who seem to be on a similar schedule as you. You’ll see the same people again and again. Take that as a sign that your paths must be crossing for a reason and extend a friendly hand. You may not ever become best friends, but you’ll have a connection and a familiar face to count on if you ever need one. Take advantage of Reinhold Residential’s Live Well events to break the ice. Coming this fall we will host … (Lynn are there any upcoming Live Well events?)
Having a strong relationship with your neighbors can only enhance your living situation. It is personally satisfying, but also builds a sense of community. It can be awkward at first, and it’s always more comfortable to stick to your existing friends, or to your nightly routine of looking at your phone for an hour after dinner, but each day is a new opportunity to make a positive connection. Try not to freak yourself out when you wonder how to meet your neighbors. It’s often as simple as just saying hello.
Learn more about Reinhold Residential’s apartment communities and contact us today!