Making new friends is terrifying. Making new friends as an adult is doubly so. So, what do you do when you move into a new neighborhood? Hide inside your house forever? As tempting as it sounds, it’s not an option. Instead, have a little courage and venture out to make friends with your new neighbors. To help you along, we have listed down 12 tips on how to make friends in a new neighborhood:
Ask for Introductions
The best way to make new friends is through your old ones. So, if you’re moving somewhere new, ask around to see if any of your friends know somebody in your new area and ask them for introductions. If asking your current group of friends doesn’t show any leads, turn to Facebook or Twitter. You’ll have a wider network online and someone or the other is bound to know one of your new neighbors. Get introduced, arrange a coffee date and ask your new friend for some neighborly advice, volunteer to help out in any way you can. By the time you move into your new neighborhood, you’ll have a friend to turn to.
Throw a House Warming Party
The fastest way to somebody’s heart is through food (and drinks). So, once you’ve unpacked and settled down a bit, throw a housewarming party and invite all your neighbors. Throw in a lot of snacks. Arrange for beer or wine. Try and connect with your new neighbors over a few drinks. You’ll meet a lot of new people. And though many of them won’t be more than acquaintances in the future, you’ll also meet a few who might turn into your next BFF.
Show Genuine Interest
To make genuine friends, you need to have a genuine interest in their lives. Ask your new neighbors about themselves and share part of yourself with them. Bring over baked goods or a pot roast that you made yourself. Volunteer to help out in neighborly ways – picking up their mail, looking after their house when they’re on a vacation, etc. You will be fostering goodwill which will help you become friends.
Attend Local Events
Most neighborhoods have a local event on holidays, festivals and other occasions. Be it a Christmas Party or a Halloween Neighborhood Makeover, participate. Make an effort and if possible, volunteer to help organize the event. At first, it might be a bit awkward, especially if you have to go alone. But soon, you’ll know a few people and start making new friends.
Join a Local Group
Neighborhoods usually have local groups or clubs dedicated to specific activities or causes. Pick out a few that you are interested in and join the group. You can also join classes on things that you’d like to learn, such as cooking or pottery. Regular meetings, coupled with a shared interest, are the perfect recipe for friendships and that is exactly what you’ll find here.
Frequent Common Spaces
Besides groups, clubs, and classes, there are several other common places in your neighborhood where you can meet new people. Want to get rid of those love handles? Join the local gym or swim frequently in the neighborhood swimming pool. Love to read? Try the local book shops or libraries. Take your pet out to the local park every day. Heck! Just start a conversation with the other person on the elevator. All these are common neighborhood places where you can meet potential new friends.
As the new member of the neighborhood, you will likely be invited to events and parties by the more friendly members of your new neighborhood. This is a golden opportunity to make new friends, so don’t hesitate to accept these invitations. Moreover, let them know that you’re thankful. Be kind, ask for advice and volunteer to help them out in any way you can. These people can speed up your acceptance into the neighborhood in ways you won’t believe.
Become a Regular
Once you’ve settled in your new neighborhood, frequently visit the same Laundromat, grocery stores, salons and coffee shops at all times. You will keep seeing the same people over and over again, making it easier for you to introduce yourself and giving you something to talk about. Once you’ve come across someone a few times, smile, say “hi” and introduce yourself. Who knows you might find your next BFF at your Laundromat.
Join Meet-up Groups
A lot of places have local Meet-up groups that organize face to face meetings and group activities frequently. Track down these meet up groups and join in. You will meet tons of new people, from diverse backgrounds and with a wide range of interests, in this group. And with more options, you are more likely to find someone who you click with. If you meet someone interesting, don’t hesitate to ask them for their contact information and invite them to a coffee date. It could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Besides local meet up groups, you can also find online communities of your new neighborhood. Go for a quick Google search to find them and join in. Visit websites like nextdoor.com and meetup.com to find these communities and get in touch with your new neighbors. Be friendly, interactive and kind, and you won’t have much trouble making new friends.
Get Close to the Other Newbie
If there is another newbie in your neighborhood, befriend them. Chances are they don’t know anyone in the neighborhood either, so both of you are on the same boat. You can help each other out. Just stop by to welcome them to the neighborhood. Maybe bring some cookies or cupcakes with you and start a conversation. It could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
A simple smile and some eye contact can go a long way towards making you approachable. So if you come across someone you see around the neighborhood frequently, just smile at them. If you see your neighbor while pulling your car out of the garage, wave at them. All these simple gestures can make finding new friends a lot easier.
Follow these 12 tips to make new friends as you settle into your new neighborhood and your social life will never be dull again.
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