Have you just recently finished moving to a new address? Then the toughest part, moving, is already behind you. All your things might be in your new home, but that doesn’t mean that the process of settling into your community is done. Now let’s see how to meet your neighbors, bond with them, and maybe even make some new best friends along the way.
Don’t hesitate to introduce yourself once you’re done moving into your home. By making the first step, you will show your neighbors that you are outgoing and open to new friendships. We recommend knocking on the doors of people’s apartments and simply introducing yourself. In fact, some of your neighbors might do the same when they see you moving in. Some might even offer to help, which is always a bonus. You probably already know that it is customary to greet arrivals to the neighborhood with a home-cooked meal in order to meet them. To make you even more welcome and at home, a kind neighbor may make you a cake.
So, how to meet your new neighbors after you got a vague idea of who they are? You might want to throw a small get-together in your home so you can introduce yourself to them and to help you get to know them all better. This could be a weekend afternoon barbecue, a quiet dinner, or a full-blown party. It mostly depends on the type of people that live in your neighborhood.
Getting all the new people in the same room is not enough to really get to know them. It is important to show genuine interest in their lives, hobbies, and personalities. Don’t hesitate to ask questions about their jobs or interests. Do they have pets? Are they art lovers? Be assured that every subgroup holds a meeting at least once a week. But keep in mind that there are some topics that should be avoided in the early stages of friendship. For example, it might not be smart to talk about political affiliation, religion, or gossip about the people in the neighborhood. You might want to leave that for a later time when you have settled into the local community, but don’t be afraid to ask about local issues. Maybe, just maybe, you’ll be able to help, for that’s what a stand-up neighbor would have done, right?
If you stumble across a book or a movie that you think some of your neighbors might like or even enjoy, don’t hesitate to share it with them. It will show that you listened to them while they talked about their interests, as well as that you have a genuine intention to form a strong friendly bond with them. Go to the local book club meeting to introduce yourself. Or to the cinema. Or go to the good, old internet and sign up to some of the online meeting places. There you can more freely express what you like and why.
Participation in that kind of cultural event is a sign to your new neighbors that you are a person who’s not afraid to share an opinion and also interesting to talk to. That way you’ll make sure that you’re accepted, if not by every single neighbor, then at least by a large majority of them. After all, not everyone can like you, and vice versa.
Sure, talking about common interests and throwing a party are great first steps to help you meet a person. But to actually make friends, you will need to share some experiences together. That is why it is important to become involved in neighborhood activities. There are many ways in which you can do this. Take your time to learn the pulse of the community. Showing interest, short of outright prying, will show you like a good neighbor and that is something that everybody needs. Among the good ways for that might be taking part in a PTA meeting.
The first big getting-to-know-you party is over with. Now it is time to pick and choose the people you felt the best connection with and work on becoming friends with them. We suggest you invite them over to your home every once in a while to connect over mutual interests. For example, you could start a book exchange, a post-moving home-decorating contest, a weekly art quiz, or a movie night with them. Introduce them to your favorite pastime, and spending time indoor or outdoor with your newly-discovered best neighbor will be more fulfilling in a number of ways.
Is there a happening in the town? Like, a festival, a book fair, or a concert? Why not invite your neighbors to join you? This will be the best way for everyone to bond in a relaxed, informal environment. The meeting will certainly have a good vibe, and every neighbor will feel that he knows you better than before.
Is your neighborhood organizing an event to help the community grow, raise funds, or clean the environment? Whatever the cause is, don’t stay locked up in your home going through the contents of your boxes. At least consider participating. There is no better way to bond with the people in your neighborhood than over a passion and a goal you all share. And if there are ways, and we’re sure that there are, to contribute to the life in your neighborhood, making it better home for everybody, every moment of your time spent on those activities will be good for you and your settling in.
Of course, these are only some of the ways in which you can become an active member of the community. You might also want to consider joining a local club or association. Don’t hesitate to ask around about what the neighborhood offers and put in some effort to be an active participant. Sign up for everything where you feel your time will be spent in good fashion, with your newly-found friends from the neighborhood, doing together what you all like and what is needed.