1 - Be nice

People in small communities are just nicer to each other than people in cities. The reason? They just can't afford to be rude. That checker that can't figure out the computer at the local store will probably sitting in the pew in front of you at church on Sunday. And be extra nice to that janitor, your children might be in school together for the next 12 years. Even if you don't know each other now, chances are you'll be seeing a lot of each other at some point in the coming years. So merely being civil doesn't cut it in a small town. It's absolutely necessary to be polite and it's even better to be friendly. You'll find that you begin to treat all the people you interact with courteously, even when it's obvious that you'll never see them again. You'll probably even find that you enjoy it. 

2 - Attend community events

No big-name concerts or Broadway plays will ever come to your new town, but you can take advantage of what's offered to get out and meet people. When that blue grass band or those cowboy storytellers come, go see the performance. Libraries often organize good family events that are great ways to get to know other people in the same stage of life as you. High schools are also centers of activity. Attend the school plays and the football games. The town's art council probably offers more classes than you ever would have guessed. Ask what medium the population uses to get the word out about such events and classes and become familiar with it, whether it's the area's tiny newspaper, a local radio station, or via social media, like facebook.

3 - Bring what you have to offer to the table

The most important way to become integrated into a small town or rural community is to participate. Examine what skills you have and what you can offer the community. Do you have a hobby you could share? Perhaps you could offer a cake decorating class or teach introductory Spanish classes. Maybe you would enjoy writing for the local newspaper or coaching your child's soccer team. Whatever you choose to do, sharing your talents to offer some kind of service is the fastest way to become an integral part of a small town. One of the best things about living in a small town is that you don't have to be a world-class expert to be needed and appreciated. Just as the senior at the small town high school can be on the football team, the wrestling team, the debate team, and student council, there is lots of room in a small town for you to contribute. You can do all those things you'd always kind of wanted to do, and you'll make friends. Just go for it!

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Credit: Sarej