Socially Yours: House Manners

Sep 13, 2021 at 03:36 pm by RMGadmin


In today’s highly mobile society, it’s not so unusual for people to move into a neighborhood almost without being noticed. Even so, being hospitable to newcomers is a time-honored American tradition. Whether you are welcoming the new household on the block or you are the new household on the block, here are tips for making a good first impression:

Meeting New Neighbors

Calling on new neighbors is one of those rare instances when dropping by unannounced is good manners. If you see your new neighbor in his yard, go over and say “hello” or knock on his door and introduce yourself. The goal is simple: To welcome them and exchange names and perhaps telephone numbers. 

Welcome Gifts and Offers to Help

A welcome-to-the-neighborhood gift will brighten the newcomer’s day and ease the hassle of settling in. Typically, gifts are homey and inexpensive: a plate of cookies, a bouquet of garden flowers, a bottle of wine.


As a newcomer, you’re likely to be on the receiving end of gifts, advice, and helping hands. It’s certainly okay to decline help politely if you don’t need it right then or postpone visits until you’re a little more settled. But do be sure to show your appreciation to your new neighbors for their thoughtfulness.

Welcome to Our New Home

A housewarming is one of the few parties you can throw for yourself. A casual affair such as a backyard barbecue is an excellent opportunity to introduce neighbors to your family and old friends. Be sure to include next-door neighbors and anyone you see regularly.

Establishing Your Boundaries

When you move into a new neighborhood, you may wish to establish your willingness or unwillingness to participate in neighborhood activities or organizations. When asked, it’s fine to state what you will or won’t do. On the other hand, it’s smart to show support for your community and to participate when you can. You can maintain your privacy without being seen as standoffish. 

Socially Yours is YOUR Magazine’s monthly column with advice, tips and tricks for staying polite, socially acceptable and always mannerly for the busy community socialite, from the expert on all things mannerly.