As if meeting people and making new friends as you age isn’t already difficult, moving to a new town or neighborhood can make it even more of a challenge. I personally have always found it difficult to forge friendships with people in my neighborhood. I have always felt like it was wise to be cautious, especially since you never know who will end up being the nosey neighbor who tells all your business.
Making friends and close acquaintances in your neighborhood is actually an excellent idea though. It is nice to be able to have someone that you can depend on that lives so close. It also makes outdoor events such as grilling and game nights more fun when everyone can just pop over and stumble home. For extra points make sure you become friends with your neighbor that has a pool. You won’t see your children all summer.
Talk To Strangers
One way to make friends or at least have your neighbors start to perceive you as friendly is to engage with them when you see them outside. I have always tried to this when I see my neighbors by bringing up something random. Be sure to not give away too much personal information about yourself of course, unless you really do want them to know all of your business. Trust me, most of them will be talking so much you won’t have a chance anyhow.
By going on walks around your neighborhood you can easily expand your immediate circle of people you know. Strike up a conversation with neighbors you see working in their yards or walking their pets. Owning a pet of your own is also a great conversation starter. I managed to meet the same lady twice when my own dog kept running several blocks away to her house.
If your neighborhood has a rec center or pool, that is an excellent place to hang out and attend events. Likely you will meet people that have the same interests as you if your rec center offers any types of community classes. Ours offers pet classes and quilt making just to name a few. If you have a special skill sign up to teach a class of your own!
There’s An App for That
Last by not least there is actually an app for communicating with and learning about your neighborhood called Nextdoor. I have actually used this app to make a good friend, find a lawn guy, and even find someone close who can care for my dog when I am away.
Nextdoor will have you verify your address (by sending you a postcard with a special code) before letting you have access to an account. This assures that only people actually living in your neighborhood will be able to join. I love that it has this extra safety feature.
After joining you can personally invite your neighbors to join and build a stronger neighborhood together. My neighborhood uses this app for everything from recommendations for services, to selling personal items and curb alerts. Suspicious person in the neighborhood or missing dog? Everyone will be notified in minutes. If your neighborhood isn’t already on Nextdoor then you can always start your own.
Getting to know the people that live and breathe closest to you isn’t always a bad option. Unless of course, you have that neighbor from HELL. You know the one I am talking about. There is always one.
Building a strong neighborhood is all about keeping an eye out for one another and being there in times of need. Coming together as a community is important, and you never know when you are going to need to borrow a cup of sugar.
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