Relocating to a new town or community can have its challenges. New people, new environment, new cultures and definitely a new community. Some of us will take years to finally fit into the community, bearing in mind some of us find meeting new people a little intimidating.
Below are a few pointers that you can use to enhance the adaptation process to your new neighborhood.
1. Making the first move
It’s a widespread culture for neighbors to make the first move in approaching someone who has just moved into the neighborhood. What if you change the rules and make the first move? Approach your next door neighbor, then introducing yourself. It’s that simple. It might be that your neighbor was also hesitant to come and approach you in fear of disturbing you and your family. When making the first move, pick a time when your neighbor is not busy or rushing somewhere. A simple hello or wave can be the starting line of a conversation. Since you are new, you have many inquiries about the neighborhood community services (like garbage collection, local stores, and local repair services). All these are good topics to talk about with your neighbor.
2. Making yourself approachable
Being in a new environment, many might find it comforting to sit in the house rather than take a stroll. Well, that is a seclusion tactic that won’t help a lot if you want to get used to your neighborhood. Create time to make yourself available and approachable to the other members of your community. Occasionally sit on your front porch or take a stroll down the block. When coming home from work, don’t wear your usual grumpy face. If you are dining at a local restaurant pick a seat at the bar, rather than the corner seat at dinner. Communal seating encourages conversation. If you have kids, when dropping them at school, chat with some of the other parents before driving off. Also, use the weekends to take your kids to the local playground parks. Social interaction with your neighbors will require you to keep your face away from the phone: smile, maintain eye contact and greet people with plenty of enthusiasm.
3. Checking out the local spots
As mentioned in #2, local joints are the best place to help you fit into your neighborhood. You will find people whom you share the same social interests with and ones whose kids go to the same school as your own. If you have a dog, then you will meet other dog owners. Within no time you will have a favorite hanging joint and a great hanging out crew. Be accommodating and kind to anyone who approaches you in these local places. Be friendly and play a role in how people will interact with you. While checking out these places, you will also meet social groups and organizations that are community-based like the parent’s committee where your children go to school.
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