Dear Jido – August 2022

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Dear Jido,  

Recently I moved into a new neighborhood, not at all close to the last place I was living. There are lots of girls my age here and they all seem so nice. Even though I was excited to move here, now I’m feeling shy and it’s hard for me to make friends with the people on the block. What can I do to meet them and get comfortable?  

Signed,  

New Kid on the Block 

Dear New Kid,

Yes, there are several easy things that you can do, even if you’re shy. 

Number One – SMILE!  It’s something we all should do all the time. It creates an instant bond with people. When you pass one of your “neighbors” on the street or in school, look them in the eye and smile. Maybe even nod hello and give a little wave. The natural tendency is to look down at the cement as you pass. Don’t. Smile! 

Number Two – Make a BBQ. It might be too late in the summer for one by the time you read this or maybe everyone is away. In that case, make a Succah Party. Everyone loves to eat. Make sure you invite some of your cousins and current friends so that you don’t feel excluded. And while you’re at it, practice -  

Number Three – Always have an amusing story to tell. (Make sure you don’t tell it to the same person twice.) People crave attention. When you engage them in something they enjoy, it keeps them coming back for more. And while you’re doing that, practice -  

Number Four – Ask open ended questions. For example – How did you like class today? or What did you do for the summer/the holidays? Many people have crawled into their shells due to Covid and isolation. Be that sunny spot that opens them up. 

Number Five – Most of all – be yourself. If you enjoy sports or crafts or baking or doing hesed, join a group of girls your age who share your interests. 

If all else fails, I’ve got plenty of granddaughters who would love to have a new friend.  

Welcome to the neighborhood! 

Jido