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My apologies if this question looks weird but I really need help.

My issue is I feel it hard to mix up with others in office; and not only in office in general I will say. I like to be involved with them, but I only talk about things strictly relevant to tasks we are performing. I'm guessing my personality also gives others a message of seriousness and they don't mix-up or joke with me. We only discuss task related things, say 'hi' in the morning, 'bye' on leaving, and smile sometimes.

Please help me. Is this a common experience for others?

Can you please suggest tactics to help me overcome this lack of socialisation?

I highly appreciate your cooperation.

closed as too broad by Jim G., IDrinkandIKnowThings, Jan Doggen, Garrison Neely, Michael Grubey Sep 19 '14 at 22:56

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • One thing you don't mention is their interaction with each other, without you in the picture. Are you isolated, while they are talking, joking, and hanging out together? For some, a job is a job and they aren't there to 'socialize' - even though you may see it as trivial. I know a few people, and even myself on some days, where there is little to no socialization in the office, aside from project/work-related tasks. – Mark C. Sep 11 '14 at 14:04
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When i started working in industry i was very unsocial and had hard time talking with other people freely. That changed after i joined for a few team building activities and started going out with colleagues more often.

I think the main key is to understand when to talk about work related stuff and when to tell a joke. Maybe that is your biggest problem, others don't talk to you that way, because they think you are very serious dude with technical interest only.

I think you should start socialising with others more often. Ask them about there day, what they have been doing lately out of work. Tell them something interesting from your life that is not technical or work related. Tell the a joke yourself. That is the best way to start socialising and come across like a friendly person.

Learn something about your colleagues and after that, educate yourself on related topic. In the next conversation about this topic bring something up about the things you learned.

Don't overthink just socialise and talk to people :)

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I take you want to social not just more sociable. However, you have to work out for yourself how to be sociable in a way that fits your personality, preferences and even weaknesses. For example, I found that after I say "Hello", my mind goes into gridlock because I just don't have any idea what to say next. So I chat up the person without bothering to say "Hello". At the end of the conversation, we exchange names and contact info. Hey, we did it backwards! But it works, and I am happy with it, so if I don't care, who does? :)

  • You start by determining how you want to be seen and perceived at. You might be comfortable with being perceived as all-business, but you might prefer to be perceived as no-nonsense about getting things done and relaxed otherwise. Which comes to the next step:

  • You need to take your own personality/preferences/weaknesses inventory: do you even know how to be relaxed? Are you a closed personality? Introspective? Introverted? Shy? Do you unconsciously put up barbed wire and an electrified fence around you to discourage people from approaching you? You could for example accept that you are not exactly welcoming, but compensate by being kind and helpful when being approached. Changing personality is tough. Working out ways of being sociable without getting into a fight with yourself most likely gives you the better payoff. You need to work out these ways for yourself, as you know yourself best :) Here is a hint: most people who get into a fight with themselves lose. And often enough, lose badly :)

  • You need to get an assessment as to how others see you not your own assessment as to how others see you - I've run into quite a few whose self-assessment on how others see them is delusional, and that's putting it charitably :) You might be quite comfortable with some parts of the assessment, take corrective action to counter some perceptions issues and have to restructure how you interact with others when those perceptions are based on your personality.

You want to be authentically you - a werewolf that's smiling is a horrible, terrifying sight :) If I were a werewolf and you ran into me while the moon is full, my decision to not to have you for dinner would be far more appreciated by you than any smile that I could give you :)

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Socializing with colleagues is a skill and takes practice, like any other skill. Keep practicing, going out, trying to talk to them, and you'll get there eventually.

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Find a small group and see if you can go to lunch with them. I've found that some groups always talk about work and some want to get away from it and talk about other things. Either way, you can find out their interests. If you feel no one is opening up, just ask them, "What do you do when you're not working?"

I may not think that collecting postage stamps is very interesting, but I am interested in people who have a passion for something and enjoy hearing them talk about it.

Now when you greet them in the morning, you can ask if they got any new stamps.

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