Has there ever been a time when you felt like the odd one out? Be it in your family, your friend group, or your coworkers? What about when you first got a job? You’re the “new kid” learning the ropes. Well, learning the ropes is fine because you’ll eventually get them down, but what about the integration of you with your new coworkers?
If you’re an introvert, like me, it can be a little daunting. Especially if there’s already well established social bonds between your coworkers already. The cues aren’t hard to pick up. You see how they joke with each other and laugh. You’ll catch them talking about texting each other or hanging out. Strong bonds between coworkers, in my opinion, is great for a workplace. It makes you enjoy being there. So, if you’re the “new kid,” how do you join in? In essence, how do you make friends?
Some people would say “just jump in!” Jump in a conversation, ask to hang out, etc. etc. etc. Unfortunately, I’ve noticed in today’s society that it’s really hard to jump into a conversation. To do that, you have to be able to cut someone off and insert yourself–sometimes loudly. I don’t like doing that. To me, cutting someone off is rude. When it’s done to me, I feel like that person wasn’t listening to me in the first place and I don’t want to make others feel that way. When I write dialogue between my characters, there’s flow. There’s a back and forth of both people contributing to the conversation. A pause after each line so the other gets the chance to respond. I don’t notice that in everyday life. There’s always someone trying to dominate the conversation that someone like me can’t get their two cents in. Maybe I’m just being selfish and not a good a listener.
Veering back to topic. Does anyone have any good “integration” stories? Any tales about how you joined a group of friends/coworkers/teammates/etc. and you’re still enjoying that comradery today? If so, let us know! I’m sure there’s plenty of introverts out there that could use the help.