I feel awkward around work colleagues

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    • #101790
      Honey18
      Blocked

      I like my job and work in a small team of 4 women. I am happy in my work but I find the sicial side difficult. One of the women is lovely and I feel completely at ease with her. The other two are quite moody and very self assured and outspoken. I actually feel a bit intimidated by them so my defence is just to be quiet and say very little. It is actually very hard to get a word in! The other day I was telling one them something she needed to know for work and she just didn’t listen to what I was saying.

      Some times I have heard one of them say very unkind things about other colleagues and it makes me think she probably says things about me when I’m not there. I feel like the office weirdo because I am not like them.

      Two of them are very self centred, always with some drama going on in their life that we all have to hear about. I am having some real problems with my family at the moment and although I know they are aware of it they never ask me how I am doing with it all. My boss i lovely and talks to me alot about how I am but I can’t tell her how these others make me feel as she seems to really rate them!
      Now they are trying to arrange a night out and I can’t bear the thought of it.

      I have not been diagnosed with anything but the more I read about ADHD the more I see it in me and my feelings and behaviours. I do like socialising but only with people I feel comfortable with.

      Anyone have any suggestions? I’m starting to feel really awkward about it all.

    • #101807
      liasamturn
      Participant

      Honestly, I think the best thing to do is to confine them to being work colleagues – stick your fingers in your ears and ignore it all, because it’s so easy to get caught up in the bitchy politics…. I’ve done it myself, and they’re not your friends when things like redundancy happen! I think I’m overly cautious in my advice, but I really believe in separating work-you from not-work you..it’s tricky at first, but I feel so much calmer now

      • This reply was modified 2 years, 1 month ago by liasamturn.
    • #101810
      Honey18
      Blocked

      Thank you, I do agree with you but it’s so hard as we are a very friendly company and quite small. If you don’t socialise you stand out like a sore thumb. But the thing is, bar one, they’ just not my kind of people.
      My manager is keen to strengthen the team I think which is why she keeps suggesting these nights out, I think she knows I find it hard to communicate with them. The only reason I find it hard is because they are so rude and uninterested in anyone’s situations but their own and I can’t be bothered with people like that.

      If I don’t join in I will alienate myself and I fear become even more withdrawn.

    • #101893
      Penny Williams
      Keymaster

      Sometimes you simply have to play the game. There are social politics in the workplace. If you feel like not engaging in any social work activities isn’t possible, then you likely have to grin and bear it. It’s not ideal, but we all get into situations in life where we’re not comfortable but we have to make the best of it.

      Penny
      ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #101915
      strwbry
      Participant

      I agree with Penny and liasamturn. There’s a nice little social spot that I like to live in with most coworkers. (I’m pretty introverted too.) You can be polite, amiable, and relaxed, but you don’t have to be best friends with the other ladies or participate in the gossip.

      “Live your life in such a way that if anyone should speak badly of you, no one would believe it.” Just do your job well, smile, and don’t worry about fitting in with them. You bring something different to the table, and what you offer is valuable BECAUSE it’s different. A lot of people don’t like change and can feel threatened by “outsiders”. They want you to be like them so they know their world is safe.

      You can find other ways to show them that you’re not there to threaten their stability, like: occasionally listening to their complaints and being generally encouraging and supportive of their wellbeing, asking if they need help with any tasks (even if they never accept your help, offering it shows your support), offering to grab them a cup of coffee when you go to get yourself one. Little kindnesses can help them feel softer toward you even if they’re hard people. Show them you want to be part of the team, even if you’re not part of the clique.

      That doesn’t mean they should walk all over you. You can find respectful and kind ways to stand up for yourself and do so often so that your emotions don’t bubble up and overflow. Like, if they try to take advantage of your kindness, you can be firm and nice: “I wish I could help you with that, but I’ve got to focus on getting my own project/tasks done right now.” You don’t have to justify it if they try to convince you. Just say, “I wish I could, but I can’t.”

      Remember, you don’t have to pretend, you don’t have to be best friends, you don’t even have to like them all that much. You do have to try to find a way to work harmoniously together. You can try seeing how their annoying traits are also strengths that help them be successful.

      My grandmother used to say that everyone comes into your life for a reason. You learn something from them, and if they’re awful, you just learn the lesson and move on. For better or for worse, these are the people in your life right now. They probably won’t change. Try shifting your perspective and finding something positive in them. You may develop a mutual appreciation for each other. Enjoy your relationship with your boss. Find little ways to relax and enjoy working there. You can accept who they are without sacrificing who you are.

      That’s how I’ve learned to work with difficult people over the years. I generally get along pretty smoothly with them now, though it’s always a little stressful. Lots of self-control. I feel like I’m writing this to myself 4 years ago. 🙂 Best wishes Honey18!

    • #101918
      strwbry
      Participant

      But you probably have to go to the social things. At least occasionally. Like Penny said, you have to just smile and try to get through it. I usually just keep my mouth shut and let the others talk if they’re happy hearing their own voices. Eventually, they notice I’m not talking and ask me a question. Or I ask someone sitting next to me a little side question about something we have in common and have little side conversations here and there. Ugh. I hate socializing in groups. 😛

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