Make Friends in Your New Neighborhood!
Moving to a new neighborhood can be exciting and frustrating, and getting to know new people in your neighborhood can be a challenge. Where do people hang out? Where do the people you want to hang out with hang out? What do people do for fun around here? What do fun people do for fun around here? Here are a few ideas to help you get out there and answer these questions for yourself.
Say hi… to everyone. From the postal worker to the people you pass on your morning run to the barista at the café around the corner, every person you meet is a potential friend, or a potential character reference. The more people you greet, the more people you will naturally fall into conversation with, and the more people you will eventually get to know in your neighborhood. Being exclusive from the start will dramatically decrease your chances of meeting anyone worth knowing.
Offer your help to neighbors, and ask for their help in return. Once you’ve met your neighbors, go out of your way to do them a good turn if you are able. Just like in commerce, word-of-mouth is the best recommendation for a brand of water heater or a new friend that you can get. If you are generally known in your neighborhood as a friendly, helpful person, word cannot fail to get around.
Familiarize yourself with where everything is: track down the cute cafés, bars, and parks that you like and would like to frequent. You’ll meet a lot more people hanging out in public than hanging out at home. Start introducing yourself to the employees and regulars in your new haunts. If they deem you a good fit for their group, you’ll begin to meet other people through them. Merely showing up on a regular basis is a good start. Make yourself available to friendship.
Ask the advice of your new acquaintances: what are the best restaurants around here? What community events are worth a visit? Take their advice, and then follow up. You will have something to talk about—restaurants, hair stylists, dry cleaners, kickboxing classes—and you will gain a lot of valuable information in the process.
Take a class or join a group in your neighborhood. Depending on your neighborhood, join a community garden, sewing class, cooking class, yoga class, poetry workshop, mechanics’ evening… If you ask around a little bit, you are sure to find a group already in place that appeals to you. And if there is not a Dance Party Tuesday already established in your neighborhood, consider talking to a local club or bar about starting one. By making your own group, you can attract people who are guaranteed to share your interest, if you have the time and ambition to make it happen.
Go to art openings, poetry readings, performances, and lectures offered in your neighborhood that are open to the public. You are sure—with minimal effort—to meet someone who would like to share their perspective on the event. Interesting people tend to show up at interesting events: be one of them.
Walk your dog or run around the same time everyday, and get to know the other people who walk or run at that time. Get to know who else is training for the 5k, or is a Shiba Inu enthusiast, or is starting a playgroup for small dogs.
And most importantly, keep an open mind. Accept the invitations and opportunities (using your common sense) that come your way, even if you aren’t sure a day at the racetrack is your cup of tea. You never know who you might meet, or what group of friends you may suddenly find yourself a part of by going with the flow and keeping your outlook positive.