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Friendship IRL

Alex Alexander



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Why Simple Neighborhood Gatherings Are Important (and How to Pull One Off) with Erin Woodruff

• 58 min

Last March, Erin Woodruff was walking through her neighborhood with her two-year-old daughter. It had been a long winter and it felt like spring would never come. During the walk, Erin began wondering about her neighbors. Many were also moms of young children. Were they also depressed and tired of the cold weather? She wished she knew them better. So, she created a means to do so. The next week, she hosted a “Favorite Things” party, a low-barrier gathering that had big effects. So much of the language regarding new friendships is about “joining” or “finding,” but here, Erin created her opportunity to get to know her neighbors better. I was an event-planner for more than a decade, and I love helping people figure out how to pull off impactful, meaningful gatherings. In this episode, Erin and I talk in-depth about not only how to pull off an intentional neighborhood gathering, but why they’re so important. In this episode you’ll hear about: Erin’s work as a communications coach and her resolution to make more friends that live close to her after a mid-pandemic moveThe Favorite Things party – the inspiration, the details, how she prepared for it, the intentions behind it, and why the format works well with new acquaintancesHow and why you sometimes want to keep things simple at gatherings – plus, how throwing a gathering like this creates more connection opportunities for the futureDecision fatigue and the mantra Erin learned from her mother about focusing not on who didn’t come, but instead, at who didCreating intentional gatherings – thinking about what your goal is in a gathering and creating an environment in which you can reach that goalResources & Links Want to throw a Favorite Things party? Here are Erin’s tips. Learn more about Erin’s coaching business and check out her podcast, the Time For You Podcast. Want to learn more about intentional gatherings? Check out The Art of Gathering by Priya Parker. Like what you hear? Visit my website, leave me a voicemail, and follow me on Instagram!  Want to take this conversation a step further? Send this episode to a friend. Tell them you found it interesting and use what we just talked about as a conversation starter the next time you and your friend hang out!

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