One of the hardest parts of moving to a new home (or even a new city like Charleston) is getting socially acclimated when you move. This is especially true if you’ve lived in one location for many years and gotten to know your neighbors fairly well. Changing cities or even states uproots your entire social structure and it can be difficult starting over. As an adult with a family, work, and other responsibilities; meeting your neighbors and re-establishing that feeling of community you had before can present a challenge. Nonetheless, it is important to remember that you didn’t immediately know your neighbors when you first moved into your old neighborhood either. The following five steps can help you integrate into your new community and become well acquainted with your new neighbors.
Part of integrating yourself into a new neighborhood is making it possible for your new neighbors to meet you. If you never leave your home, then your chances of meeting new people is relatively low. So make it a point to be seen in your community by going outside, sitting on your porch (this is Charleston we’re talking about here), going for walks, walking your dog if you have one, and so on. Also, watch how you carry your body language or expressions that could possibly be interpreted as angry, grouchy, or closed off which will push people away. It can be very easy to think you don’t give off this type of vibe to people, but one quick audit from a friend can assure you of the truth.
Familiarize Yourself With The Local Area
Every neighborhood has its local gathering places such as restaurants, parks, libraries, cafes, dog parks and so on. Going out into the community is one of the best ways to become a part of it. For example, getting to know that group of baristas or simply talking to other dog owners at a dog park will help expand your circle of acquaintances and build new friendships. Furthermore, you’d likely be surprised how much a couple nice interactions with strangers here in the Holy City will leave them wanting to possibly help you if you’re just willing to ask for advice on things to do or places to check out.
Make Use Of Existing Connections
Nobody moves into a new area completely free of past connections and you can leverage these to start meeting people in your community. Local chapters of existing clubs you belong to, alumni associations, religious institutions, employer relocation programs, and even just advice from people you already know can be very useful.
Nothing builds new relationships like a shared hobby or interest. A few of these like something as simple as a love of coffee and pet ownership have already been noted above. There are several different ways to meet new people through common interests including online websites devoted to meetups, civic organizations, activities, charities, neighborhood groups, or even clubs devoted to specific sports leagues or teams. There may even be a local Facebook group for your neighborhood. Involving yourself in things that you were already passionate about allows you to meet new people who share that same interest.
Lastly, remember that it takes effort to accomplish anything, this includes meeting new people. When moving to a new neighborhood it can be daunting to reach out because you’re new and don’t feel like you’ve integrated yourself into the local community yet.
Be sure to start with the basics as simple as waving or making small talk with your neighbors, which are perfectly normal starting points. Don’t be afraid that you’ll be perceived as intruding as many of your new neighbors likely want to meet you as well. Be ready to take that first step, Charleston isn’t heralded for it’s southern charm and hospitality for nothing.
If you’ve been considering real estate moves lately, let’s talk about your options.