I have started my first job ever about 13 months ago in a web-dev company. I am an extremely shy person, at least when it comes to make the first approach, and I often over-think too much social things (e.g. often don't speak because I fear to have nothing interesting to say); on top of that I am not native speaker (French speaking in his first experience in an English-speaking country if it matters) and often do mistake and that holds me quite a lot in being spontaneous.

I speak often with one guy, but that's all and I work in a pretty medium-big (about 55 employee) company. This is also because I am sure I don't look friendly, I am pretty certain I look the opposite, very introverted. For this reason I don't get approached generally. This image I gave of myself is holding myself even more than my original shyness+speaking skills. Now I try to be polite and smiley when approached for work related stuff, but I definitively feel held back in approaching for the reasons above to the point of making excuses when there are company-wide social events. In those occasions I really feel like a fish out of water.

Is there any thing in your experience that can help this situation? As you may have gathered, I am not the kind of person that can start being friendly and jovial all in one go.

Thank you,


Regarding the "possible duplicate of": Is not the same, I know for a fact that is not impacting my actual work. I perform well and I know I am an asset in terms of productivity. Is just a personal question that is affecting me in terms of comfort in the workplace.

  • Not really as I know for a fact that is not affecting my work at all. I know I am a good asset in that sense, is really just a social/personal thing. (Referring to first comment) – B.bip Nov 3 '15 at 19:24
  • @B.bip not an exact duplicate, but that question does address some of what you are asking. Thought it might be a help. – mcknz Nov 3 '15 at 20:05
  • 2
    @B.bip Unfortunately, that really is a question that we can't answer. If your shyness/self-image is affecting your performance, that's one thing, but "changing your shyness" for only benefiting workplace relationships and making you feel more comfortable in the workplace falls into the "Real Questions Have Answers" off-topic category, which you can see here. – panoptical Nov 3 '15 at 20:06
  • 1
    I'm afraid I agree with @panoptical that this question isn't on-topic here. It's commendable that you want to make an effort to be more sociable and less shy but that is not a goal that this site can help you reach. That is more in the domain of personal guidance, behavioural therapy, self-help books or websites like this. – Lilienthal Nov 3 '15 at 20:41

The only way I know to fix this is to get to know more people, and the only way I know to do that quickly is to force yourself out of your comfort zone and find excuses to talk with them thode first few times which get ou past the initial shyness.

The excuses can be budiness related, they can be requests for assistance/guidance, they can be "hey, I'm new, is there anyplace around here where I can get decent coffee snd pastry", they can be as simple as "that's a great cartoon you've posted om your door." Anything that gets you past those first few words without sounding creepy. You're not asking for a date, you're just saying hi and giving them aan oportunity to get to know you if they've got a moment.

One of these a week means you'll be on nodding acquaintance with 50 people in a year (allowing for holidays). Plus the people in your own department, anyone you've worked directly with, and maybe more.

Note that even without a deliberate effort, the latter factors mean the problem generally solves itself pretty quickly unless you're actively hiding.

| improve this answer | |

You need to make efforts to try to socialize, or at least create openings to socialize. There's a lot of ways you can create opportunities, even if you're shy that shouldn't put you too far out of your comfort zone. For example:

  1. When you go over to someone's desk with a request, make sure to greet them, and try to give them a bit of an opening for a little conversation. An easy one is, "Have a good weekend?" or "Any plans this weekend?"

  2. Bring in some treats. If you bake, bring in some baked goods. Then send out a mass email to your team, "I have cookies at my desk, if anyone wants one." When people come by, there's your opportunity to do a little socializing.

  3. Email your team and ask if they'd like to come to lunch with you.

While none of these tactics will make you a social butterfly, it will give an impression that you do want to socialize, and people may be more likely to approach you.

| improve this answer | |

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .