5 Ways to Get to Know Your Neighbors and Turn Them into Friends

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Friendships are often formed close to home. However, it can be difficult to make that close connection when you move to a new place, whether following career opportunities or familial obligations. To help you foster a true sense of community (especially if you’re new to the area or yearning to broaden you circle), we rely on these five ways to form friendships that could last the rest of your life.

Create new traditions

Did you just host the most amazing dinner party? Make it a regular thing! While neighborhood traditions can range from an annual potluck to a seasonal charity clothing drive, avoid placing the responsibility on a single person or family. Instead, pick activities that everyone can contribute to. If you’re planning a block party, for example, divide up the duties between households. Not only will it give everyone a fair share of work, splitting up tasks encourages more people to stay involved over the years.

Invest in the community at large

It’s easy to think of your neighborhood as limited to the people who live on your street, but in reality it’s so much more. Don’t forget about the local institutions that make your neck of the woods so unique. Shop at local businesses, attend community events like plays or art fairs, and volunteer at the local school or place of worship to get to know the broader group of people around you.

offer up your support

“It takes a village,” so the saying goes. Pitching in to help someone in need is one of the best ways you can create an unbreakable bond with a neighbor. Think about taking a meal to new parents or picking up the paper for someone out of town. If you’re unsure how to volunteer your services, start with an old-fashioned knock on the door and a simple introduction. Letting those around you know that you’re available if they need help may not seem like much, but it’s an important step towards building the sense of trust you’re striving for with those that live around you.

Celebrate and relax together

Take advantage of seasonal spirit and encourage the whole neighborhood to get in on the action. Build on already-existing traditions like the Fourth of July that everyone can enjoy. No matter the occasion, taking the time to relax and have fun with your neighbors will allow you to get to know them in a totally authentic and positive light.

Build community spaces

Sure, we all may have hated group projects in high school. But there’s something undeniable about working as a team to build something new. Pitch a fence around a community garden or fix up a local playground — communal projects provide a common reason for residents of every age and background to get together. Beyond benefiting from the fruits of your labor (think of all the fresh veggies!), sharing an accomplishment with others has emotional benefits as well. You’ll all appreciate each other that much more.

FriendshipCaitlin Ryan