Blending in; in a New Environment

We all have been in this shoe at one point or the other. Where we feel like a total stranger in an environment.

Well, as you must have learnt by now, it is something we must learn to adjust to as we would have to meet with new people in a new environment and would have to be able to quickly blend in. Well, the question then is – HOW?

Truth be told, it may seem strange at first as you are wondering who to talk to, where to turn to or even what to say!

How to Ease Yourself of the Pressure

1. Accept that you are new

This cannot be overemphasized. When we get to a new environment, our ego tells us not to ask too many questions and just try to blend in.

Well, that is not the right thing to do. Know that you have nothing to lose by asking questions.

In fact, by not asking questions, you tend to miss out on quite a lot. Reason being that: you probably would be seeing a number of people for the first time or things done in a way you had never seen.

Yes, you may get the hang of things on your own but that might take more time than necessary.

2. Don’t ‘over-think’

When in a new environment (especially for the first time), you tend to feel like everyone hates you and that no one has your time.

But I tell you – most times, it is only your mind lying to you. Always keep in mind that as the environment is new to you, so is your face new to the people there. So, it’s not only you who is trying to blend in. The ones you meet there are also trying to ‘know you’.

Don’t fill your mind with unnecessary thoughts. Be optimistic instead.

3. Embrace the warmth and reciprocate

When you are ‘fortunate enough’ to be received warmly the first time you get to the new environment – one of the mistakes that you must avoid is not reciprocating the love shown.

It doesn’t have to be a ‘welcome party’ or a ‘welcome visit’ by a group of people. It could be that someone in that new class (for example) summoned the courage to approach you: trying to know your name, where you came from, why you came around and so on.

I used the term ‘summoned courage’ because that fellow might have doubted if you would respond nicely to his gesture or maybe you would just ignore. Also, that person might be new to the environment just as you are and is trying to find someone to at least speak/chat with.

In essence, if you fail to embrace and reciprocate the warmth – no matter what the reason might be – you might be viewed as proud. And because there’s a popular saying that ‘the first impression lasts longer’, it might take longer than necessary for you to find your place in that environment.

So, it would be of great benefit if you open yourself up just as the ones around are trying to know and help you feel at ease. Don’t give nosy responses because most people do not want their integrity/pride destroyed by another. Even if you’re shy, make it obvious by at least responding with a smile. Do not let it get the best of you that you shun the ones trying to make you feel comfortable.

4. Make friends

Make friends quickly and carefully. I mean, try to get the name and phone number of – at least – one person you can call to keep you in touch with what has happened, what is really happening and what would happen in coming times in that environment. Someone you could ask random questions to clarify your doubts so that you can then be effective in such an environment.

{Read: Choosing Your Friends}

It would seem strange at first but if you open yourself up, you would surely blend in. Meeting new people in new environments is a normal thing which we cannot really run away from. So, don’t fret and don’t get it twisted. It is okay to feel uneasy, but make sure you don’t let that turn you into a loner.

Have you ever found yourself in an environment where you tried to blend in? How did you go about it?


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