In a small town, a newcomer takes a while to understand the culture and can often feel on the outside of the community for a while. Try getting a job in a small town. It’s not easy because all the businesses are small and they are hiring their sisters or cousins or friends. A job may be advertised in the local paper but only because legally it has to be. They have already made up their minds who they are going to hire and they are just going through the motions. It’s hard to break in. Sometimes it takes time but mostly it takes getting involved and making friends. Small town people are not going to come to you, you have to go to them.
The secret to breaking the walls down is to sit down in the coffee shop and talk to people. It’s introducing yourself to a church community and going to a small group or volunteering at the local homeless shelter. It’s getting into a writers group or hitting all the garage sales and asking the families about their treasures. It’s striking up a conversation and listening to the stories that make the community stick together. It’s reading the local paper and attending events such as high school football games, planetarium shows, Kiwanis pancake breakfasts and community forums.
You don’t have to be on the outside for long if you don’t want to be. To make friends, you must show yourself friendly.