If you’re about to move to a new home, or have recently moved, you may be feeling some anxiety. Leaving behind the familiar for t he unknown would intimidate most people.
While you may be moving to be closer to a new job, adjusting to the demands of your new workplace are likely the least of your wo rries. New friendships for you and your family may concern you much more.
Moving to a new neighborhood can be intimidating, but remember that there is reason to be optimistic too. You never know what g reat people could be waiting just around the corner.
Consider these 3 ways to get to know your new neighbors.
1. Stage an Activity Focused on the Neighborhood’s Kids
Children tend to be a soft spot for their parents. Maybe your greatest concern about moving is whether your kids will be able to find new friends. But other parents are probably worrying about their children finding friends too.
So why not help everyone out? Stage a creative activity to help neighborhood kids get to know each other. Here are a few ideas:
- Pirate theme party
- Bingo tournament with white elephant gifts
- A “Just Dance” (video game) contest
When your kids make friends in the neighborhood, you may find their parents are much easier to meet and be friends with too.
2. Enjoy Outdoor Interests and Activities
Friendships often grow from familiarity. We like feeling comfortable, and we feel comfortable with what we know. The more we know someone else, the more opportunity your friendship has to grow.
So how do you become familiar with your neighbors?
Try sharing your outdoor interests. Doing what you enjoy gives others a chance to get to know you. Plus, if you’re having a good ti me, you’ll be more approachable.
Consider the following simple activities:
- An evening stroll about the neighborhood
- Exercising locally, whether running, cycling, or playing Frisbee at a nearby park
- Playing with your kids in your yard
Sharing a genuine interest is a great way to make a friend.
3. Watch for Other Mutual Interests
If you feel shy, know you’re not alone. Your indoor hobbies-while less obvious than outdoor ones-can help you befriend neig hbors. Many of them may be shy as well.
A survey done by Meyers-Briggs showed that the ratio of introverts to extroverts is about 1:1. In other words, for everyone strolling around the block, there is someone else inside reading a book.
Over time, your neighbors can come to appreciate who you are. If you would like to speed things up, consider making a special effor t to get to know neighbors soon after arriving. The following ideas can help the introverts out there:
- Pay attention: Someone else may share an interest you have in watching sports or even playing Gin Rum my.
- Join a local club: What better way to find a friend who shares your interest? Maybe the neighborhood ha s a book club.
- Visit a senior citizen who lives nearby: A visit to someone who may not be able to visit others can mean a lot. And connecting to one person can make you feel much more at home.
- Invite a neighbor over: When you’ve made an acquaintance, invite them over to a casual activity, even if it’s just watching a ball game.
Don’t Forget to Be Optimistic
There are plenty of ways to meet people without knocking down their door to introduce yourself-although that would probably wor k too. Friendships will form as you remain open to them and make sensitive efforts.
Be optimistic about your new home and neighborhood. As good neighbors get to know you, they will value your goodwill and desir e to be part of the neighborhood.Share this: