When you move into a new apartment building, one of the first things that you want to do is build a positive relationship with your next door neighbor. The same is true when a new neighbor moves in next to you. Consider it a chance for a fresh start with a potential new friend or, at least, a neighborly understanding that can make you both more comfortable asking each other to keep the noise down, or asking for small favors (pick up mail while gone, for example).
Many people avoid getting too close to their neighbors for fear of privacy invasion and too frequent visits, but you should not be afraid of building a great rapport with your next door neighbor. They can be your greatest allies in the apartment building.
Making an Introduction
Even if you neighbor does not stop by or go out of her way to introduce herself to you, don’t assume that she doesn’t want to meet you. She may just be shy. Try to catch your neighbor around for an easy introduction. If not, consider stopping by during the afternoon. Bring a small introductory present, such as a batch of homemade cookies or a candy canister. A gift that’s too large will be awkward, but a small token of appreciation will be much appreciated. It’s a fun way to break the ice and let the neighbor know that you have goodwill and want to be friends.
When introducing yourself, point out which apartment is yours, being sure to invite the neighbor over. When doing so, you want to indicate the time that works best for you. If you want people to call before coming over, have your card ready to give to the neighbor, casually saying he can call you any time he wants to stop by. This clearly communicates that he should call before stopping by, while also being a friendly invitation. There’s a diplomatic way of stating anything, and a friendly way of talking can create an instant rapport that’s positive.
Being a Good Neighbor
If you see someone doing something disrespectful to your neighbor’s property, pets or belongings, make sure to let the neighbor know. Also let you neighbor know if you see any suspicious activity in the apartment complex as a whole. Let your neighbor know the inner secrets of your dealings with the landlord, such as if you know how to get out of a late fee or how to get broken things fixed in a timely manner. You want to walk the fine line between being a gossip and being a talkative, open friend.
Favors for One Another
Offer to look after your next door neighbor’s pets or apartment when he is going out of town. When he tells you of his travel plans, he may be hoping that you’ll volunteer. You could save him a ton in pet sitting or pet walking services, and he’s sure to be willing and ready to return the favor when you go out of town. Being there for one another in this way can only strengthen the relationship and rapport that you have with your neighbor.
Honesty and the Overall Neighbor Relationship
Be honest with your next door neighbor. A neighbor is likely to know some of your secrets, anyway. By being honest and up front with your neighbor, you encourage a continuously positive rapport. If you need a bit more alone time, you can state this in a way that doesn’t ask your neighbor to stop dropping by unexpectedly or too frequently, but you never have to ask this directly. The honesty of your feelings of needing alone time communicates the message. As long as you are both honest and friendly, the more you get to know your next door neighbor, the better the rapport can be.