6 Ways to Connect with Your Neighbor Now – Practical, non-threatening ways to get to know your neighbor even if you’re not acquainted. Knowing your neighbors helps you to feel less lonely or isolated.
Today we’re discussing some simple ways to connect with your neighbor. I have found that some of the most awesome people live right in my neighborhood. Right on my street. Seriously. I’ve made great friends with my neighbors but it didn’t happen in a week’s time. Simple things over time led to open conversations which led to open doors which led to great friendships. And I wouldn’t want it any other way.
When I moved into this neighborhood 12 years ago I literally knew no one. And it stayed that way for quite a few months. You see I had this idea that I didn’t care to know my neighbors. It certainly wasn’t something I was going to pursue. But along came this dear woman who lived across the street. I noticed she had kids that were my kids ages and she began small talk with me. Eventually asking to go on a walk together. The rest is history.
We pretty much became best friends. Our kids played together. We did home projects together. We went shopping together. We got together as couples and had dinner. It turned into a flourished friendship that I will forever hold dear in my heart. I can’t thank her and God enough for this invaluable relationship right across the street.
So that was my first experience of what a neighbor should be. And it wasn’t me. It was her. Reaching out and saying hello. Striking a conversation and being a friend. So these tips come from my own experiences as giver and receiver of connecting with my neighbors.
Strike up that first conversation. Find common ground.
Does it feel weird at times? Yes, especially if you’re not an outgoing person. And especially if you’re an introvert. But find some common theme to discuss. There are plenty of things to look for when striking up a conversation. Just look for clues. Do you both plant flowers? Ask how they care for those beautiful zinnias. Are you an animal lover? Have you noticed them walking their dog? Ask about their pet. Name, breed, etc. There are plenty of things to look for when striking up a conversation. Just look for clues. Did you happen to notice that they are renovating? Ask them how it’s going or how they found someone to hire? Or talk about your own upcoming renovation project.
Ask to go for a walk.
Maybe it will seem awkward at first but this as simple as it gets. There’s no privacy invasion. You’re breathing the clean, beautiful air. You’re getting exercise and you’re getting to know your neighbor better. This, in my experience has been a great connector with neighbors. Simple. Open. Relaxing. Why not try it? To get the conversation going just talk about why you moved to the neighborhood or what ‘sold’ you on your house purchase. If you or your neighbor are new to the area, talk about some fun local thing that are happening soon.
Offer your expertise or help.
Look for needs you might be able to meet. Have you noticed a neighbor hasn’t picked up his newspaper for several days or the lawn is longer than usual? Is there an elderly person living there who may be having health or mobility issues? Is the neighbor’s trash cans blowing around the neighborhood? Simple ways just to show you care. Extremely hot day? Take the neighbor a glass of sweet tea while they are cutting the lawn. There are many small ways to make an impact. Are you a great photographer, cook, seamstress or mechanic? Look to meet the needs that you excel in. I’ve offered to take photos for people I know.
Give what you have.
Have things to donate? Why not offer them to the people in your neighborhood first. Nextdoor.com is a great way to connect with and build relationships with your neighbors. We’ve had people offering clothing, a fish tank, a couch, dishes, plant sharing, etc with our local community group. Instead of dropping off clothes at Salvation Army why not seem if anyone in the local community needs them first? When you drop off this is a great time to possibly meet someone new and strike up a conversation as well.
Organize a community project.
Right now in our neighborhood our entrance is in need of some desperate help. So we’ve discussed organizing a simple community project to get it cleaned up. Have you noticed a part of your community that could use a little TLC? What a great way to rally the neighbors together to make things look better. You might get to know some people you don’t already and you can feel great about making your neighborhood a better place to live.
Another excellent idea is to plant a garden together. Community garden is a great purposeful way to not only work on something together but you’ll be spending time together regularly.
Host a gathering on the front lawn.
Last year I hosted 3 monthly summer gatherings on the front lawn. I invited anyone in the neighborhood who wanted to come. We called it Friday’s on the Front Lawn. It was a learning experience for sure and I value everything that came out of it. The gist was simple. Fresh baked cookies, lemonade and neighbors. It was just a simple invite to come and hang out a bit and get to know your neighbors. Because I considered this a beloved experience, I’m doing it again this year. And guess what? We’re inviting you! That’s right?
Have your first Sips and Sweets on the Front Lawn. We’ll be live right here in our neighborhood hosting our Sips and Sweets and we’d love to have as many of you as possible to reach out in your own street or neighborhood. Will you join us?
Sips and Sweets can be fit to your neighborhood demographic.
Our first gathering will be on or around June 26th and it would be so amazing if you would join with us and host your own gathering on your street or in your neigborhood.
Will you join us? If so, I’d love to offer you a free invite. Sign up here to get on our email newsletters that include practical tips for gathering and great food recipes.
Stay tuned as we rally in our neighbors to connect better with one another.
So tell me. Have you purposefully reached out to your neighbors? And what neighbor do you cherish most and why?
Til we meet and eat again,
FOLLOW ALONG : Gather for Bread
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