Moving to a new neighbourhood can be a nerve-wracking and if you have children, a sometimes frightening experience. Arriving into a new area means not knowing any of the individuals and families living around you, and if you're not the most social person, it could be tough to get to know them. The good news is that breaking the ice with those new neighbours is easy enough that even shy people can get to know some new people and make some new friends. With that in mind, here are a few tips that can make the process a bit easier.

Throw a Housewarming Party

Too shy to stop by a neighbour's house and say hello? Consider throwing a simple housewarming party. Whether it's a sit down dinner for those living closest or a friendly backyard barbecue for the entire neighbourhood, you'll get the chance to meet and greet with established community members. Make things easy with a potluck dinner – simply ask your guests to bring a dish to share with the group.

Whip Up Some Cookies

Those who love baking have an easy way to break the ice and meet their new neighbours: they can bake up a batch of gooey chocolate chip cookies, a dozen cupcakes with delicious frosting or some simple brownies. Having something to snack on when you're meeting new neighbours is both helpful and fun.

Ask a Few Questions of the Local Experts

Worried about where to find a great restaurant for dinner? Have some questions about local organizations that are suitable for kids of a certain age? Curious about which hospitals in the area are the best? Now is the perfect time to knock on some doors and get answers to those questions. Asking advice gives someone the chance to act the expert, while you get the opportunity to form a new relationship.

Look for Community Events

Community events and organizations are one of the best ways to get to know people. Whether it's a block party, a holiday decorating meeting or a kids' soccer league, these groups often feature a large number of people living in the surrounding community. Before joining any group or attending a single meeting, look for events that interest you. If you want to lose weight, join a group of neighbours meeting once a week to workout or take walks together. If you want to give back to your new neighbourhood, consider volunteering for a community garden or another locally-focused group.

Smile and Wave!

Many of those who move to a new area find themselves sitting around and waiting for others to approach them. Being active helps to get out and meet new people faster. The next time you find yourself standing outside watering your lawn or watching the children play, don't be afraid to smile, wave or just nod hello to those passing by. You never know when someone might just stop to chat or introduce themselves.

Edmonton is full of families, young people, couples and others, but new residents can't expect to just sit back and let others come to them. Even those who are on the shy side can meet new people and break the ice when they join community events and host housewarming parties.

Posted by Sarah MacDonald on

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