Making Friends with a New Neighbour or Co-worker.
A new neighbour or new co-worker is a wonderfully easy opportunity to make a new friend. It’s easy because you already have common ground, a reason to approach them and a reason for an exit. And because you will see this new neighbour or co-worker regularly it is easier to naturally allow a friendship to develop.
If you are shy, you may be use to stepping back when new people arrive in your neighbourhood and workplace. Try taking an active role in approaching them and starting the development of a friendship.
The first approach
After the moving van has left, give your new neighbour a day to sort themselves out. Then the next time you see them wave and walk over to say hi. If the opportunity for this doesn’t happen, knock on their door and welcome them to the neighbourhood.
In the work place it is most likely that you will get formally introduced. If not approach them “Hi, I’m Dee” is simple and does the trick.
Conversation topics are given to you. If the person is new to the neighbourhood you can ask them how well they know the area, where they moved from, etc. If you have children you could enquire if they have children and their age. Simple things like rubbish collection days, neighbourhood support groups (if there are any) are all topics.
New co-workers often have questions regarding office procedure and appreciate someone there to show them the ropes. Thinking back to the times I started a new job, I know I certainly appreciated those who went out of their way to help me get settled in.
If you are talking with a new neighbour then excusing yourself so they can get back to unpacking or so you can get back to what you were doing is fine. You can also invite them over for a coffee if you feel so inclined.
For a new co-worker excuse yourself so you can get back to your work and give them an open invitation should they need any help.
Even when I was considerably shyer I always took the opportunity to say hi and welcome new neighbours and co-workers. It prevents the awkwardness later of not knowing a person you work with, but more importantly it sets in place a good friendship.
This post is part of the writing project at the writers manifesto.
Posted: October 19th, 2007 under Tips and Tricks.