Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Comfort zones - stranger in the room

Is there anything more uncomfortable than walking into a room when everyone knows everyone else, except you?
Well, yes, I'm sure there is. But that is one situation that I think most of us find uncomfortable. Last night at band practice, I remember when I was that one person walking in, and I only knew one person there, not tremendously well, but it was clear from the camraderie that everyone there knew everyone else really well.
Of course, my place that I had to take was not near the one person in the room whom I knew.
If you've looked at my web page then you've no doubt seen that not only did I go back the next week, I kept going back. I soon became one with the crowd, and developed a new circle of friends within that crowd. In fact, the band stuff has become a big part of my life, and I would have really missed a lot if I hadn't overcome that fear of being the stranger in the crowd.
Here's my question/thought of the day. The next time a newcomer comes into your established group, what do you do? Do you take a few extra steps beyond the basic welcome to make that person feel like they could be a part of the group one day? Do you remember what it's like to be the new face in the crowd?
I'm sure glad someone went the extra step for me.

1 comment:

  1. Partly because I have a hearing loss, I am not a "crowd" person whether I know the folks or not. It's certainly worse when I don't know anyone. I often talk to strangers one on one. I will have a conversation with the person next to me in line at the supermarket on occasion, and if I see someone who seems to be having trouble finding something, I'll stop and ask what they're looking for and help them look. So I'm not shy about talking to strangers, if there is something to talk about. I once sat and talked to a senior citizen about his wife's birthday while waiting for the pharmacy to open. Very enjoyable time actually. I will likely think about this post if I'm in this situation and try to make the newcomer feel at home. Even being strangers together can be nice. :-)