7

After work, my co-workers usually go to grab a coffee or some drinks. They all go together, and I was invited only a couple of times. I have been employed there for a couple of months now. I would like to have a good relationship with them, so what can I do to be included more often?

A couple of times I went with them and it was really awkward. I didn’t really know what to talk about with them or how to join in on the conversation, so it would be less awkward. Personally, I am reserved, self-conscious, and socially awkward, so sometimes I don’t know what to say.

What can I do, and how must I behave to make them accept me more in their social circle?

  • 1
    For context is this the whole office, everyone else on your team or just a small group from your office? – Dustybin80 Mar 21 at 15:10
  • 11
    @DevMoutarde Gelling with your team is a workplace issue. The workplace isn't just about how many widgets we churn out or what some policy or manager has done. It's also about finding our place in a team to facilitate those other things. – ShinEmperor Mar 21 at 15:15
  • 1
    Its not getting with your team here but rather getting with people. Whatever. – DevMoutarde Mar 21 at 15:17
  • 1
    @Dedwards I have been on a team where 4 of 5 people where real life friends and would talk about their evening plans openly. Does not mean that #5 would have fit in. And no amount of "interpersonal skills" or "workplace behavior" would have fixed that. That's why I'm asking. – nvoigt Mar 21 at 15:36
  • 1
    @nvoigt If two people in a team of five make plans together, fair enough. If four people make plans then it becomes an unofficial team gathering and you're excluding the fifth person if they are not welcome. – thelem Mar 21 at 17:27
24

Have you tried asking?

Next time you hear them talking about going for coffee or drinks, just try asking "Do you mind if I join you?"

In most cases, once you've been invited a couple of times, people just assume you know that you're welcome and stop actively inviting you. If you're quiet and introverted you may be feeling awkwardness that the group itself doesn't notice.

Unless you specifically aggravated someone in your last trips, they probably have just grown accustomed to you being around and aren't making a concerted effort any longer.

They may be just as worried as you are about not imposing, and they don't want to put you in an awkward place between seeming rude for turning down an invitation and forcing you to go on an outing after work. If you express interest in going, they'll know you really do want to go and aren't just being nice because they asked.

Show an interest in being included and they will likely show an interest in including you.

  • 8
    To add a bit, as the new person you were specifically invited to join in the the custom. After that, it's usually the case that no one is actually 'invited' someone just announces the time/place and leaves it at that. Whoever goes goes. – Johns-305 Mar 21 at 19:25
  • 1
    To celebrate being new, or a birthday, or because it's spring, ask if you can come too because you want to treat them all to coffee and snacks. It breaks the ice nicely. – RedSonja Mar 22 at 7:58
2

Perhaps read "How to win Friends and Influence People". Its a pretty solid book on how to be a bit more out going, and how to get around the "i dont know what to talk about" mindset.

  • 1
    Not really an answer on it's own. Perhaps you can discuss a bit more about the chapters you are referring to? – 520 Mar 22 at 15:06
  • 1
    @jesse This is exactly what I was thinking, OP got invited, it was awkward, they stop inviting him. A part of the book explain how to increase social skills to make social event less awkward. Trying to get invited without social skills will probably make the event more awkward, I would recommend OP to let it go, stopping any plan to get invited for the moment. When his social skills we be better, he will probably receive a new invitation. – Sebastien DErrico Mar 22 at 15:23
0

You can deliberately practice improving talking with anyone.

  1. As has been said, just ask.
  2. Think of things to say in advance. Mostly avoid work topics so you can branch out. Avoid politics. Consider sports, movies, weather.
  3. Practice active listening. You can read about that think of it as a social skill. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Active_listening
  4. Practice smiling in the mirror. Don't be shy about it.
  5. Relax. Don't be anxious. Don't fill up your head with too many things. Keep your conversational gambits simple and think later about what goes well and where to improve.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.