Making friends is no easy feat and is one of the reasons some are anxious when moving to a new neighbourhood. Unlike our younger years when we couldn’t care about the best approach, becoming friends with a stranger is not as simple as walking up to them asking if they want to share your toys. It requires some strategy that may seem daunting, but very rewarding, especially if you take our advice on how to make friends with people in your new neighbourhood.

1.       1. Research your neighbourhood

There is a big chance some information exists about your neighbourhood on the internet. So before going out and saying hello, find out more about the culture. What’s more, and if there is any, search for where residents hang out, especially places you’d like to frequent. This will allow you to walk around these areas to meet new people who might have the same interests as you.  

2.      2. Go knocking on some doors

 Getting to know your neighbours requires some effort. Although some might come to you, it’s always good to also take a walk around to familiarise yourself with the surrounds. While you’re embracing your new environment, go up to some doors and introduce yourself as the new neighbour. You don’t have to have a gift of any kind. Just stick to small talk and ask about the neighbourhood. For example, you can ask if there are clubs or parks where people congregate regularly.

3.      3. Attend Town hall or Neighbourhood Meetings

If your neighbourhood has regular town hall or neighbourhood meetings, or there are groups such as reading clubs, you should attend those to meet new people. You’d most likely find this information by talking to one or two of your neighbours. Find out when the meetings happen and if they are open for all to attend.

4.      4. Do some recon

Once you have spoken to your new acquaintances, try to gauge their attitudes. This is so that you don’t end up befriending someone you won’t particularly like welcoming into your life. Unless you fall into one of these categories, you want to watch out for:

a)      a. The neighbourhood gossip – They might have all the news, from who’s getting a divorce and which child is considered a problem to who doesn’t mow their lawn, but they are never to be trusted and likely to gossip about you.

b)      b. The condescending neighbour – You’ll know them when you see them. They tend to be very judgemental and look at others as if they’re below their calibre. They’re likely to even inspect you from head to toe before deciding to reach out and shake your hand.

Those who are friendly, welcoming and seem to keep to themselves would be the ideal people to make friends with.

5.      5. Host a get together

Inviting your neighbours over for a dinner, BBQ or just cocktails is also a good way to get your foot in the door. After gauging what kind of people you’re living with, you would know what kind of events they’d be inclined to enjoy or whether they like to come to events at all. It is, however, likely that they will accept your invitation – neighbours will do anything to investigate the new residents and their furniture.

Making friends won’t be easy, but it can be done. In every neighbourhood there are people just like yourself who like to meet new people. Once you have made that connection with those you want to call friends, you’ll find living there will be more fulfilling and will enjoy your new home even more.