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Give me ideas for getting to know my neighbors!
In Discover the Gifts
David Burton
Jun 24, 2021
I once ran a poll and asked for ideas. These were the top 10 vote getters. It does take some time and some effort, but here are 10 great ways to love your neighbor: 1. Invite one neighbor over for dinner each month. We have found that having people over for coffee and dessert is just as effective. 2. If someone is new in town, invite them to join your plans for the weekend. 3. Organize a walking group or running club. 4. When someone tells you they have an upcoming job interview, a test, or a doctor appointment, mark it on your calendar. Follow up on the big day with a note of encouragement to let them know you are praying for them, or ask them how it went afterward. Better yet, do both! 5. If you see someone moving in, bring them dinner, cookies, or basic supplies they might need before they unpack, like paper towels, toilet paper, and hand soap. 6. Ask your neighbor to be their friend on Facebook. This is a great way to find common ground and things to talk about the next time you see them. 7. Practice random acts of kindness. Take your neighbor's trash out, or put their trash can away after pick-up. Mow their lawn "just because." 8. Use your kids as an ice breaker. Invite a fellow mom and her kids over for a play date and get to know her over a tall glass of ice tea. 9. Get outside the walls of your house. You'll meet neighbors as you walk the dog, take walks, work in your yard, or hang out at your neighborhood pool. Don't just wave; be intentional about saying hello and getting to know them. 10. Organize a neighborhood get-together so that your neighbors can meet each other. More commonly I asked, "how can I meet my neighbors if I am an introvert." Here are the top suggestions in my publication "Introvert-friendly neighboring ideas" 1. Read a good book about neighboring to get you inspired. Let me recommend these books: “The Art of Neighboring,” “Next Door as it is in Heaven,” “The Abundant Community,” “How to Love Your Neighbor Without Being Weird,” or “This is Where You Belong.” 2. Make yourself available by spending more time in the front yard working, doing a hobby or even eating on a lawnchair or at a table. 3. Do small acts of kindness for other neighbors or acts of kindness. There a list of suggested ideas at www.thelibrary.org/kindness. 4. Write one handwritten note a month or a week and mail or deliver it to a neighbor. Try expressing gratitude to a neighbor for something they do. 5. Ask a neighbor to borrow something. 6. Attend neighborhood events (if someone hosts them) or attend neighborhood meetings (if any are held). 7. Sit on your front porch or in your front yard, and smile at anyone you see outside. 8. Start taking walks through your neighborhood and say hello to anyone you see. 9. Wait to close the garage door until after you have unloaded your vehicle. If you see a neighbor outside or a car driving past, raise a hand to say hello. 10. Keep your head up when you check your mail. Acknowledge anyone you see outside. 11. If you have children, bring playtime or snack-time outside to the front yard. Invite neighbor kids to join if the opportunity arises.
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David Burton
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