You’ve just moved into your new home in your new town, and your family is busy deciding where the TV be placed and how to position the furniture. Movers are swarming all over your new home, and it feels like you’ll never be sane again.
Then, along comes a new neighbor with an apple pie and a tray of tea, coffee, or cold drinks, and your faith in humanity is restored.
This is the standard scenario we’ve all come to expect when we move into a new neighborhood. But how many of us actually reciprocate once moving day is done and the dust settles?
What should you do to be accepted in the community? Here is a list of tips, strategies, and tactics you can consider to ensure that you and your family meet and gain the favor of your new neighbors in no time:
- If you’ve done an international move to a country with a non-English lingua franca, you should try to learn some basics in that language before you head over to your new location. Even just being able to say “Good morning” in French, Spanish, German, Japanese or Swahili will help break the ice.
- If the neighbors have brought you some refreshments to ease the pain of the move, make sure you invite them over as soon as you have things settled. Make an evening of it. You might even want to enlist their help in inviting a larger crowd from the area and hosting a barbeque or pool party (if you have a pool).
- Find out about school car pools and offer to become one of the drivers.
- You could do the same regarding work. Depending on your work situation, and the local traffic and urban transportation services, you might enquire about car pools into the city, and again, offer your car as one of the vehicles for use.
- Find out about community volunteer programs, and see if there is something that particularly suits your skills and interests: are you good at organizing, fund raising, party planning, writing articles for the local newspaper, or sewing costumes for festivals and performances?
- Coaching sports – you or your partner may have a particular expertise in certain sports, like soccer, basketball, hockey, baseball, etc. Offer to become involved with a local school team, especially if your kids are on the team.
- If keeping fit is on your list of priorities, seek out running, walking, or hiking clubs or partners, or join a local gym and participate in group classes.
- Join a local service organization: Lions, Rotary, B’nai Brith, the local library or any of the dozens of other men’s and women’s organizations which work for the benefit of the community.
- Your kids will probably start making friends pretty quickly at school; invite their new friends – and their parents – over for a play date, Sunday brunch, or backyard party, as we suggested in this previous blog post.
- If you are so inclined, you can join a spiritual congregation; a study group, or an outreach program.
- Plant a garden in your front yard and be seen working in it. People will surely start to come over and ask about what you’re cultivating.
- You and your partner will meet new people at your respective work places and can start socializing with them.
Follow these simple guidelines, and within no time you and your family will be well-integrated into your new neighborhood…ready to meet and greet the next newbies!