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It’s A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood: Neighborly Ways To Make Your Community Flourish

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

With many singles entering the life of martyrdom, couples are embarking on a whole new life. Whether you will be moving from your parent’s house into an apartment, condo, townhouse, home of your own, or whether you’re going to take the plunge and move off Long Island, it’s all about starting over, and that may very well mean making new friends and acquaintances. And you don’t have to be newlyweds, many empty nesters are experiencing similar experiences as they voluntarily venture toward warmer climates.

One of the fastest, easiest ways to “make friends” is to get out more. But, amidst the unpacking, working and perhaps being genuinely unfamiliar with your new area, you simply don’t have the time or the desire. Well, you don’t have to. According to the experts, finding friends is as simple as stepping into your own back or front yard…and literally (potentially) right next-door.

As a matter of fact, experts note that maintaining a healthy social life and getting involved as part of a community including involvement in community issues and projects is directly related to well being.

Experts encourage maintaining friendships or at very least cordial and diplomatic relationships with your neighbors. Common interests and goals not only make you feel better (about the area you are living in) but also feeling part of a community is found to heighten your sense of purpose and identity, while also building confidence and security.

Yet, professionals point out that being part of a rewarding community takes some effort on your part.

1. Be Friendly and Approachable: Being the “new kid on the block”, no matter what age you are, can be very trying. Try instead to smile, being cheerful and approachable, and don’t forget to greet your neighbors. Saying hello indicated that you are a warm, friendly person who is easily approached and who IS interested in getting to know others.

2. Reach Out: Reluctance and other inhibitions, including shyness, should never stand in the way of doing the “right” thing or taking a “risk”, you may be worrying un-necessarily. Consider making the first move. If you see your neighbor, walk over and introduce yourself, and don’t forget to offer your assistance, letting others know you are interested (in making friends) and available to pitch in to the community.

3. Host A House Party: Consider organizing and orchestrating an event that will bring your neighbors out and allow you to meet each other and establish a relationship and/or potential friendship. How about a neighborhood bbq, a yard sale, or block part? Experts note this is a great way to get to know new people, while also getting to know them in a fun, festive situation.

4. Extend a Helping Hand: Ask if there is anything you can assist with. Offer advice of restaurants or entertainment, if you are a neighborhood veteran, perhaps even invite the family out with yours. Keep an eye out and take note of what the newcomers are “struggling” with. Offer your knowledge, expertise, and assistance.

5. Learn To Mix “Business” and “Pleasure”: Familiarize yourself (and your family) with local concerns and issues. Converge regularly to discuss areas of consideration and interest.

6. Create an “enviable” environment: Clean, safe environments are ideal family foundations. Join “forces” with those around you to ensure that your community is offering and providing your family (families) with both. Experts advise keeping an eye out for each other’s children, strange strangers, activity, or noise. Also make sure homes and streets are well maintained and be sure to discuss it all at the next meeting.

7. The More The Merrier: Get the entire family involved. How about banding together with your neighbors for neighborhood sports, or carpooling to events. Experts recommend organizing intramurals or tournaments for kid, meanwhile affording adults the opportunity to enjoy themselves, relax, and get acquainted, as well.

8. Apply Good Ole’ Fashioned Manners: Remember the days when “welcome wagons” were popular and new members to the community were greeted by homemade pies and the such. Experts say, the same principles should hold true today. Do a little something special for a new person or family….and, make every effort to include them in neighborhood activities and decisions.

9. Proceed With Caution: While you “do” want to stay involved, you also have to know when to “back off”. If you’re not going over to visit or constructively help, give others the space to conduct their lives in privacy. Don’t snoop, gossip or get involved with areas and issues that are clearly none of your business. If you hear of see something you don’t like or a friend confides in you, make sure NOT to cross that very fine line, remember it could cost you your friendship and your good standing.

10. Get In The Game: Much like the lottery: “You’ve got to be in it to win it”. Making the most out of your situations required some effort on your part. Get involved with what’s happening in your area. Being a “social butterfly” means soaring above what’s holding you back and helping create and be part of a rewarding community environment and experience you remain enthusiastic about living in and being part of.

Long Island Home & Lifestyle Articles > It’s A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood: Neighborly Ways To Make Your Community Flourish

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