‘There are no strangers here; only friends you have not met yet.’
There is no need to go out searching for friends when you are surrounded by a special community like Heritage Harbor’s. If you want good neighbors, you first need to become one yourself! Master these techniques, and you will be well on your way to creating the community you crave.
We live in the digital age—the most connected era in all of history—yet statistics show we’re lonelier than ever. We live in a chatty world, but we have lost the power to communicate. We’re starving for connection that can’t be found in a tweet or text, but only face-to-face in community.’
Kristin Schell -The Turquoise Table
1. Find ways to be intentionally thoughtful and generous
Whether you are new to your community or just need to catch up with neighbors you haven’t seen in a while, small acts of kindness can go a long way. Invite your neighbors for a walk along the Harbor Wall or for a visit at the North Beach. Have a play date at the jungle gym or pool. Stop for dessert or a sundowner cocktail at Red Dog Grill. Invite neighbors along for a pickup game of frisbee or sand volleyball. Heritage Harbor and downtown Ottawa have endless opportunities for fun for people of all ages and stages. Heritage Harbor resident, Margie, brightens the days of her neighbors by sharing fresh cut zinnias from her garden in thoughtfully worded message jars. Letting neighbors know you are thinking of them in any way opens the doors for meaningful relationships and connection.
2. Find ways to be helpful
People gravitate toward those who are genuine and generous. Watch for ways to help your neighbors—help carrying groceries, shoveling snow, watching pets—and you will find that you endear yourself to those around you!
3. Get Involved in Neighborhood Activities and Events
You can always find something happening at Heritage Harbor during the summer season. From weekend live music events to weekly parkrunparticipation. From float in or beach movie nights to cocktails at the Tiki Bar. From watersports to community block parties or bonfires. You are sure to find something to become involved in to really take part in the Harbor Life. Attending events is a great way to step out and meet the people you share an address with. You will have a shared memory to speak about the next time you see your neighbor stepping out of their house. On the other hand, don’t wait for an event to happen if you can make it happen! Resident, Linda, is an inspired homeowner who is passionate about creating community and has planned or assisted with many resort events including Bike-a-rita, cooking classes, and parkrun milestones.
4. Keep Your Home Tidy and Inviting
A welcome front porch and tidy front yard invites guests to enter your home haven. Clear the clutter and create an inviting space that makes guests feel at home. Developing hospitable habits will help make your house the ‘place to hang!’ Like Jen Schmidt’s book challenges, “Just open the door!”
Speak. Out loud. Forget your phones…texts, tweets, Facebook likes have their place, but to create authentic community, face-to-face communication is essential. Start by finding out the basics, and then set up a time and place to delve further
‘Communication leads to community, that is, to understanding, intimacy and mutual valuing.
Rollo MayEven more important than speaking in conversation is the art of listening. Henri Nouwen said, “Listening is a form of spiritual hospitality by which you invite strangers to become friends, to get to know their inner selves more fully, and even to dare to be silent with you.” Show your neighbors they matter by entering into conversation with them. Be sure to keep your communication positive! Nobody likes a Nosy Nellie who knows gossip about everyone.