Last updated: July 28, 2023
Moving to a new area can be an exciting time. You usually spend the first few weeks finding your favorite grocery store, meeting your neighbors, and establishing a sense of community.
But it can also be a challenge. If you want to create meaningful relationships and form an instant community, you’re going to have to get creative.
Let’s get into some practical tips from someone who connected with her new neighbors by hosting a Get-To-Know-You game night with her family inspired by my book, The 2-Hour Cocktail Party.
Why you should listen to me: Hi! My name is Nick Gray. When I moved to NYC, I didn’t know many people and I wasn’t good at “networking.” I learned how to host parties that people wanted to be invited to. Now I’ve hosted hundreds of events all over the world and made lots of new friends doing it. New York Magazine once called me a host of “culturally significant” parties.
Meet Carrie LeSage
Carrie is an entrepreneur. When she moved to a new town in New England last year, she knew that she wanted to meet her neighbors right away.
Instead of knocking on their doors with baked goods, Carrie and her husband decided to host a party in their home full of people from her neighborhood. She invited them via text message and made sure to proactively follow-up.
Carrie also thought of delivering bouquets of flowers to her neighbors as a friendly gesture!
A Thoughtful Gesture: The Power of a Bouquet of Flowers
One way to make a positive first impression is through intentional, thoughtful gestures. In this case, Carries’ kids played a significant role by making bouquets of flowers from their own garden. To make it even more personal, they went door-to-door handing them out.
Her kids introduced themselves as new to the community and expressed their excitement to meet their new neighbors. They also clearly explained their intentions: “We just moved here and wanted to say hi because we’re excited to meet our new neighbors. Here are some flowers we grew in the garden at our old house. And here’s our number; feel free to let us know if we can ever be helpful.”
Carrie’s note: The kids also regularly delivered flowers, garden produce, or handmade Christmas ornaments to six different neighbors in our old neighborhood. People are often lonely, particularly if they are older, and love being remembered! And it is a way children can genuinely serve others.
Creating Opportunities for Connections
To further deepen the bonds with her neighbors, Carrie and her family decided to host a Get-To-Know-You game night at their house. How each neighbor was invited varied depending on who they had already exchanged phone numbers with. If they could, they extended the invitation via text message.
This personal touch allowed for a direct and convenient form of communication. However, since it’s a fairly rural area, some neighbors were not reachable via text.
In those cases, Carrie and her family took a more traditional approach. They went door-to-door and, if the neighbor wasn’t home, had a note prepared with their phone number ready to be left behind for when they returned.
By adapting to the circumstances of their community, they made sure that all neighbors had an opportunity to come enjoy the get-together.
Following Up with Personalized Communication
Because Carrie values individual relationships, she took the initiative to follow up with each neighbor. She sought their recommendations for local places they liked, creating personalized communication threads.
This showed genuine interest and provided an avenue for ongoing conversations that fostered a meaningful connection between them.
The Value of Community
By implementing the strategies from my book, Carrie and her family successfully formed an instant community with their new neighbors.
Building these relationships not only enhances social well-being, but also creates a support system and fosters a sense of belonging. Her willingness to engage, the thoughtful gestures, and her determination to establish individual connections all resulted in a true sense of community in her new home.
Learning how to meet your neighbors and forming connections in a new area can be a rewarding experience. By embracing the advice shared in this article (like delivering thoughtful gestures, hosting get-to-know-you events, and establishing personalized communication threads) you can build a strong and vibrant community anywhere you go.
The effort you invest in connecting with your neighbors will ultimately enrich your life and the lives of those around you. Happy gathering!
Carrie learned that:
- A simple gesture like handing out bouquets of flowers means a lot to neighbors
- Follow-ups are important, and it is more important to do them personally than just a blast message.
- When meeting new neighbors, it is important to show them you are interested in getting to know them.
Congratulations to Carrie and her family on having a successful get-to-know party with their new neighbors!
Hello, My name is Nick Gray. In my book, The 2-Hour Cocktail Party, I provide helpful guidance on how to host a great party for any event. I wrote this book to support anyone attempting to meet new people and develop closer bonds with their community.
When is your party? Send me an email and I will give you some bonus tips, including a pre-party checklist that you can print out. Plus I’ll answer any question you have, free of charge. I love talking about parties and I’m on a mission to help 500 people host their first party.