If you’re an introvert, pat yourself on the back (from the comfort of your own home, of course) knowing that you currently make up about 25-40% of the population. On one hand, being an introvert gives you excellent traits of self-awareness. This stems from your preferences for periods of solitude and thinking before speaking. On the other hand, itching to avoid having to ask those around you about the weather or what they like to do for fun is limiting your pool of resources that can help in a time of need.
Say you just moved into a new house and need a ladder to hang up some cool artwork you bought from a market the other day. Wouldn’t it be great if you knew someone in your neighborhood who could lend their ladder instead of having to find one on Amazon that you’ll likely never use again? Or, in more serious cases, maybe someone broke into your home. Perhaps if you had taken a little time to get to know the family across the street, they could have told you about the unusual person scoping your house on weekday afternoons.
Long story short, homeowners can reap many benefits from establishing a community with their neighbors. Here are some ways you can feel comfortable enough to leave your dwellings and get that small talk going while being an introvert.
Being an Introvert Can Mean Starting Small
Getting to know your neighbors doesn’t have to mean knocking on every door and sharing your life story with whoever answers.
There are ways you can start small and focus on building a bond with neighbors closer in proximity, like the family next door or across the street. This is beneficial for you because the neighbors closest to you will make the best allies. Why? Because they can quickly check on your home while you’re away. They might even be willing to pick up your mail or watch your pets during your next family trip.
Starting small and building a connection with at least one family is already a step in the right direction and will help you feel more comfortable introducing yourself to the family a few houses down or in the cul de sac a few blocks over. The first family you bond with might already know some of your other neighbors and can help get you acquainted.
Invite Friends or Family with You
Sometimes all we need to feel more comfortable approaching strangers is the comfort of having someone we’re already close with along for the ride. Bringing a close friend or family member with you can ease awkward tension and can help get the conversation started. The companion you bring may find ways to pull you into discussions and can help find similarities between you and your neighbor so the two of you can form a connection.
If the companion you bring is more extroverted than you, their outgoing energy might encourage you to engage a bit more and feel more comfortable sharing details about yourself.
Join a Neighborhood Group
In the technologically advanced world we live in, it seems there’s an app for everything–even one for getting to know your neighbors.
Such is the case with Nextdoor, a platform that is essentially like a Facebook for your neighborhood. Applications like these help users stay connected with their neighbors and updated on any events. You can also use Nextdoor to ask common questions like whether someone has a bag of sugar you can borrow or knows of good schools in the area.
Each user has to be verified as a current resident, so you don’t have to worry about sharing your information with the wrong people.
If your neighborhood isn’t set up on Nextdoor, they might be keeping it old school with a traditional neighborhood committee that meets face to face. These organizations usually meet on rotation throughout the year to plan events, provide updates or share news and concerns
Give Yourself Time to Prepare
Being an introvert means you recharge by spending time alone. Binge-watching television, reading a good book, or replaying classic albums all within the comfort of your home is an introvert’s utopia.
Before venturing out into your neighborhood, you should take some time to recharge by enjoying quality time alone. This is a great way to help you feel more comfortable and less stressed about having to get to know unfamiliar faces. It’s equally important to treat yourself to solitude after interacting with your neighbors so you can unwind and recharge your batteries once again.