How to Make Friends out of New Neighbours

One of the hardest parts of moving is leaving behind an ideal neighbourhood full of friends and security. Especially if you're shy or introverted, moving into a new area can be intimidating and result in reactions from anxiety to tears. However, making new friends in a neighbourhood can help you regain the safety and support you thought you'd left behind with your old community.

Initial Introductions
When you move into a new neighbourhood, the temptation is to start unpacking immediately to make your new house feel like home as soon as possible. But getting to know your neighbours can give you a similar sense of security and wellbeing. Plus, introducing yourself right away gives the impression that you're friendly, accepting and excited about this new area and opportunity. Remember that your new neighbours are probably just as intimidated by you as you are of them, so extending the hand of friendship first is a good way to put them at ease.

When you introduce yourself, it's okay to swing by, but you don't have to feel pressured to let yourself in--a brief doorway introduction will do. It never hurts to bring along a gift like some homemade goods or flowers to let your neighbours know you’re interested in being friends.

Extending Invitations
After you’ve introduced yourself, try inviting your neighbours to an activity where you can get to know each other better. If it feels too personal to invite them into your home (or if you're nervous about how messy your home is from the move!), ask if they’d like to go out to dinner or to a movie. This way you can learn more about them in neutral territory.

Once you’ve gotten to know your neighbours’ interests a little bit better, it's easier to figure out other activities that appeal to all of you. You might join a night class together or go to a local cooking demonstration. If you and your neighbours have kids the same age, maybe they would be interested in joining a sport, club, or camp together--even playdates with your kids will give you a good chance to talk and become better friends.

Garnering Friendships
Once you’ve determined which neighbours you have a lot in common with and would like to form friendships with, start improving these relationships to form friendships that can last a lifetime. Give sincere compliments to these friends and let them know that you care.

You can also work with these new friends to gain even more friends in your neighbourhood! Plan a block party together or ask if your new neighbours would like to invite other friends to dinner sometime.

While moving to a new area and leaving your old friends behind can be sad, it doesn’t have to be frightening when you can make new friends out of your neighbours. Go the extra mile to get to know your new neighbours and extend a hand of friendship. This will make your new neighbourhood more enjoyable and help you feel at home as soon as possible.