Social exclusion

Two months since I started work and I still feel like a newbie haha. Don’t really feel like I fit into the work culture here actually. Maybe because I’m the youngest in the division and there really isn’t anyone about my age. The closest one would be 26 years old, and she only joined 1-2 months before me. Theoretically, I should be able to talk to her, but I think we’re pretty different although she’s quiet too. And though she joined earlier, it still feels as though she’s pretty new because she doesn’t really talk much with other colleagues too. Also when I get the opportunity to talk to her, I prolly talk and initiate more than she does :/ It’s like she’s already comfortable with how things are now and doesn’t really need friends at work… or a social life (far-fetched but yeah)??

Lunch times at work are still slightly “stress”-inducing to me. Stress in inverted commas because it’s not really the typical kind of stress/anxious thing.. more of like an unknown; not knowing what lunch time is gonna be like. I have not managed to establish a “lunch routine” with my colleagues. Don’t have a fixed group for lunch per se; so I’ll just get lunch with whoever calls me out (note: we usually takeaway lunch and bring it back to eat together around a table in the office).If no one calls me to get lunch with them, then it’s just no lunch for me. Hahaha. Ok, not exactly no lunch.. I’ll just go get my own alone later on when I have already realised that they have gotten their lunch and are preparing to eat -.- Then I would eat on my own at my desk. In such cases, I don’t buy proper lunch meals. Just a sandwich/bread/mr bean pancakes hahaha. Small snack-ish stuff. I don’t join because I feel like if you don’t even wanna call me out to get lunch with you, then it’s like sending a subtle message that I’m not invited; so why should I be so thick-skinned and self-invite to the table?

Every time I’m faced with such scenarios where I feel excluded, I would tell myself that it’s ok. Alone is good because I can eat whatever I want without being judged. I mean, if I decide to just eat a mr bean pancake for lunch that day, everyone else would be saying why I’m eating so little, am I on diet etc. The typical remarks anyone gets when they eat “snacks” for meals. It’s seriously pretty lame -.- And I hate that. So without other people around, I can be happy eating my “snacks”.

Then sometimes I wonder if I psycho-ed myself too much that I don’t know if I really do enjoy being alone, or am I just used to it? If I enjoy it, it’s fine. But I think the latter is probably true :( In all new social situations, if I say I enjoy being alone, it’s probably not true. I mean, who doesn’t wanna make new friends? And even more so when you are stuck in that same “social situation” almost every single day (i.e., work)?

I don’t know if the problem lies with me or others. Honestly, I think both parties are at fault. But is it more “me” or more “them”? When I’m socially excluded, I would start to think of reasons why I am socially excluded.Then I just start thinking negative thoughts about myself. It can get pretty bad on a bad day (probably during PMS-y periods when mood swings are terrible), then I wallow in self-pity and just hate everyone and everything around me haha.

I do have pretty low self-esteem. It’s hard to change. And I’m someone who’s in constant need of approval from others. Even this “approval” is not just any kind from anyone; I have to “approve” of the approval/praise (e.g., has to be from the “right” person, has to be about something/some event I care about). I don’t know why I’m making life so hard myself too. Sometimes I feel like I’m living my life for others and it’s really really hard to break out of it when I don’t even have faith and confidence in myself; and I’m relying on external reinforcements to build them up.

So back to the issue of me being socially excluded – When that happens, I would also often try to put myself in the other people’s shoes. Then I think, actually if I were them, I wouldn’t interact with a newbie like that. I mean, if I’m the experienced one who is part of the “in-group”, I would definitely try to include him/her in things that my group and I was doing, and talk to him/her occasionally (or perhaps a little too much; maybe I’d seem weird). But for sure, I would not ignore and treat a newbie like how I’m being treated now. It’s pretty frustrating and sad at the same time :/

But through it all, I find it amazing how I can still find it in me to actually say that majority of the people I’m working with are nice, even though I don’t find them all that nice to me. Probably cos I think the problem lies more with me.

Ok, on the bright side, I do have some social life outside of work haha :) But if the work situation continues, I really don’t know how long I can last psycho-ing myself to be happy/feel ok every single day. (Oh and everyday I hear the name of the person in my position before me – who left at least 6 months ago; and inevitably I feel like I’m being compared, with me being the lousier one. great.)

Work sucks as of now. And currently the only incentive is the $$ and sense of independence I feel. It also provides a convenient answer/excuse for people who ask my about furthering my studies and what I’ve been doing/planning to do after graduating.

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