While social media makes it easier to connect with someone, doing so in real life is a different thing. You may have grown accustomed to socializing with likes, shares, and private messages online. However, having an actual connection in your own neighborhood is often more beneficial and fulfilling. A study by Nextdoor.com shows that sixty-one percent of Americans are curious about their neighbors.
You can use these handy techniques regardless if you have just recently moved into a new neighborhood, or you simply want to turn expand your social circle.
So Many Reasons to Connect
Much like your friends online, your neighbors can be quite diverse. A neighborhood includes people of different ages and backgrounds. Conversing with different types of people can serve as an eye-opener. Plus, you receive an emotional benefit. Connecting with local peers makes you feel involved in a community.
Befriending your neighbors is also a practical choice. If you encounter an emergency, it’s nice to know someone the vicinity you can go to for help. This saves you time, which can be crucial in life-threatening situations. You can also give back to your neighbors. For example, keeping an eye on an elderly person across the street could really help them. As we discussed in a previous post, knowing your neighbors also increases safety.
Explore Your Community
Take some time to wander around the neighborhood. This provides you a chance to discover communal places within the vicinity. While walking has its own health benefits, it also gives you an opportunity to bump into an unfamiliar face. Take this chance to ask about the community. Learn about the places to hang out. Look for local coffee shops and bars. Or talk to other parents while your kids play in the park. You may also want to ask around if there are groups within the community. Look for events, too.
Hang Out Frequently
Once you’ve mastered your neighborhood, frequent communal areas. Social places provide a comfortable setting for introducing yourself. As you visit certain hangouts, don’t be afraid to make small talk. Once you’ve become a regular, you’ll see familiar faces here and there. This makes it easier for you to strike up conversations.
Flash Your Loveliest Smile
It’s no secret— a smile attracts people to you. Strolling around the neighborhood with a glum expression will repel any potential friends. So keep your friendliest smile ready to go. It’s also important to make eye contact. Walking around with your head down gives people the impression that you’re not interested in socialization.
Compliment Your Neighbors
People crave validation from others. You can dole out compliments to your neighbors as conversation starters. Friendships start by finding common interests. So find something interesting in your neighbor and start from there. Admire their landscaping or mention their adorable dog.
Invite Them Over
It may seem daunting to host a barbecue party, but it can be really fun as well. Having your neighbors over allows you to socialize in the comfort of your own home. Parties expand your circle in one night. It’s okay if you don’t invite everyone. Having fewer people around makes the gathering more intimate.
Exchange Phone Numbers
If you click with a particular neighbor, exchange phone numbers. Apart from showing your confidence in your neighbor, it can also be quite practical. This could be particularly helpful in times of need. You will need to have someone near your home in case of an emergency. Any neighbor you deem trustworthy who lives a few blocks away can be a candidate for an emergency contact.
The tips mentioned above are effective in befriending neighbors young or old. It may take you some time to earn the trust of a particular person because friendship takes time and effort. Like all things, befriending your neighbors can be highly beneficial to you in the future.
PHOTO: Tookapic / CC0 Public Domain