Whether you like to charge into the new year with a long list of goals, or gave up on New Year’s resolutions years ago, it’s likely that at the start of 2016 you have a desire to improve your relationships.
That’s why we want to give you some helpful tips for building relationships with your neighbors this year. With even the simplest of actions, you can create connections that draw out the unique gifts of others for a neighborhood that’s healthy and thriving. Read the list below and pick one to get started!
1. Learn a Name or Fact
– Learn 1 neighbor’s name every week or learn something new about those you already know. We have a dry erase magnet on our refrigerator where we put names of neighbors we’ve just met, along with their address. As we remember names, we can learn more about them or add new ones.
2. Host Dinner – Have 1 neighbor over for dinner once per month. Even better if you can get invited to someone else’s house. 🙂 Keep it simple, especially at first – soup or chili is a great start. (hint: be sure to check for allergies)
3. Have a Party – Hold a neighborhood brunch, soup party, Super Bowl party, or BBQ. Like #2, but larger scale. Potlucks are great too, because everyone in the neighborhood has something to share and gets to participate.
4. Share a Gift – If someone is facing a particularly difficult, or even celebratory time, make or give them something to encourage them and show support. (A great one if you’re the creative type!)
5. Watch or March in a Parade Together – With the MLK Holiday upon us, this is a great opportunity to invite friends to stand for a cause or organization. If you’re really ambitious, you could even create your own parade on your street.
6. Start a Group or Club – A book club or any kind of group that’s based on shared interests is a great way to form relationships with neighbors. Research shows that these kinds of groups are the connections that change – and sustain the change – in a neighborhood over time.
7. Pray for Your Neighborhood – Ask God for his wisdom and his eyes to see the gifts in the people all around you, and to give insight into their life situations and how you can come alongside them.
8. Go for Walks. Don’t forget to say hello to those you pass! Sometimes just being visible and available is all it takes to naturally bring about a great conversation.
9. Organize a Neighborhood Resource Market – (Or convince someone else to organize!) a system in which neighbors barter fresh produce, homemade wares, or services.
10. Ask for Help – This can be overdone this, but if you have a true need, ask for your neighbor’s help. When people feel needed or there’s mutual support, relationships and connections are strengthened.
Bonus Tip: Join an online resource hub like NextDoor.com, Long Beach Time Exchange or KCLB’s newMap App.