Be the Good Neighbor Guy or Gal in NYC

Part of being a good neighbor is maintaining friendly relationships with your neighbors. This can be hard to do in NYC where everyone is too busy to stop. The fact is, getting to know your neighbors can make your building a better place to live.

Part of being a good neighbor is becoming a friendly neighbor. The thing is, it’s not the easiest thing in the world to become friends with your neighbors, especially when you live in NYC and even more especially when you’re a grown-up. Kids make friends with each other two seconds after laying eyes on each other, but, due to a plethora of reasons, many adults have learned to approach new friendships with the apprehension and wariness of a cat. Some blow off going out of their way to making new friends altogether. They’ll either wait until it happens by chance, or they’ll stick with the ones they have.

You may think it’s too much of an effort to make friends with your neighbors, but having good relationships with our neighbors is what makes coming home so great. Having a friendly neighborhood vibe can make a building seem a lot less lonely. It can even go so far as to make neighbors more likely to work together when issues arise, instead of attacking each other, or look in on each other if something seems amiss. Wondering how to break the ice? Read on for a few tips.

Pay Attention to Your Resting Face

You don’t have to go down the street with an insane grin plastered across your face, but you can at least make sure that your resting face isn’t scaring people away as they approach you. You may be thinking, “Oh, there’s that guy who lives on the third floor.” But your face may be saying, “Get away from me.” You don’t have to smile if you don’t want to, but you can make sure you’re not wearing an expression that is scaring your neighbors away from reaching out and saying hello.

Introduce Yourself

This may seem like the hardest thing in the world, but try and introduce yourself. You’ve probably been there; you see the same people in the elevator every morning, you exchange awkward smiles or make small chit-chat about the weather. When the elevator door opens, you blurt out, “Have a good day,” but you never exchange names. Next time, introduce yourself. Knowing each other’s names helps break the ice and paves the way toward being a good neighbor. You might not end up becoming building besties or elevator buds forever, but it will be a lot better than awkward chit chat.

Host a Get-Together

One thing you can do to become friendly with your neighbors is to suggest hosting a get-together. Hosting it with one or two other neighbors can take the pressure off of you. Once you land on a date, you can ask everyone to bring something along. Throw in a few bottles of wine, spirits, juices, sparkling waters, food, and some good music, and you’ve got a party on your hands. Invite some of your own friends to the mixer so that you feel less awkward. Let people know they’re under no pressure to attend and that it’s just a way to connect.

Remember, when it comes to making nice with the neighbors, you can’t control who ends up becoming a real friend and who ends up becoming a smiling/nodding buddy; that’s for Mother Nature, the Universe, God, Buddha, or tequila to decide. What you can do is try to make your relationships with your neighbors as friendly as possible. Doing so will make living in your building a whole lot more pleasant.


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