As a child, most of us experienced the dread that came with going into a new class at school or being the new kid on the team. Even if some of your best friends – and memories – came from those experiences, the initial process was most likely at least a little scary.
Moving into a new neighborhood can sometimes evoke that same feeling, especially if it’s in a new city or state. You don’t want to seem too eager to meet people but want to form friendships in your new environment. Don’t worry – it can be a lot easier than you think. Just take a breath, and read on to see what simple steps you can take to be the newest cool kid on the block.
- Be friendly. Though this may seem like a no-brainer, waving at or saying hello to your new neighbors – even though you’re probably tired and sweaty from unpacking your 100th box – makes a good first impression. Even if you start with small talk, making an effort to get to know people in the area shows them you’re interested in what they have to say.
- Introduce yourself. Start with those living next to you, and reach out for at least a greeting in the first few days at your new place. If you’re feeling extra brave, take them tasty home-baked cookies or another such treat as an icebreaker. If you notice they could use help with a tedious yard chore, offer to assist them. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture to win them over. Plus, you never know when you might need their help.
- Walk the dog. Granted, this one might be hard to accomplish if you don’t have a pet, but taking a stroll through your new neighborhood gives nearby residents a reason to stop and talk with you. If you have children, stop by a local park where both you and your kids can meet new friends. You’re probably not going to encounter new people if you’re spending most of your time in front of your television.
- Get active. This doesn’t mean you need to train for a marathon to grow friendships in your new locale. Find a group or organization to join that meets your interests while introducing you to others who enjoy the same activities. Whether it’s a book club, an art class, a local school association or a neighborhood sports league, getting involved with others lets you do something you like with the bonus of forming new friendships.
- Host a housewarming party. This kind of gathering can be as casual and small as you’d like; the main purpose is extending a warm invitation to those you want to get to know. Ask your new neighbors to bring a friend or two along, and don’t forget to include coworkers or parents from the new school your child attends.
- Volunteer. Getting involved with a cause about which you care can be a great way to not only make your community better but also connect with people who share the same passions. Spending time with those with interests similar to yours makes growing new friendships almost effortless.
That wasn’t so hard, was it? Basically, it’s all about taking the time to find out more about the people where you live and being the neighbor you want to have. Next thing you know, you may even find yourself as the new president of the local homeowners’ association.
See for yourself how the community amenities offered by Copperleaf make meeting your neighbors so easy you could do it in your sleep.