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  1. #1
    Senior Member sculpting's Avatar
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    Default NFs and social exclusion/invitation/rejection

    I am posting this here as I figure other NFs may come closest to recognizing what I am talking about.

    I feel totally bummed out as I notice that very often as work, when it comes time to start a project, I will initiate and or be involved at first, generate some of the new ideas, or point out the need for an idea or even just be involved in formation of a new team. However very quickly other people will recognize how they can piggy back on the idea/project and gain career advancement and attention. One thing they do is intentionally begin to exclude other people from the meetings or interactions with executives or other important people.

    The result is that typically I get excluded from the political silo and end up off in a corner just doing tasks nobody else wants to do. Eventually the entire silo collapses because the political people were incompetent, technically oblivious and I end up cleaning up parts of the mess and resolve the situation-although typically this earns me more of a troublemaker title than hero....

    I guess a politically savy person would figure out ways to re-invite themselves to the meetings and play the system....but to be honest it just seems pointless as 1) I realize the whole project is doomed to useless failure anyways and more importantly 2) it feels like I got rejected.

    So my question...I feel like I have to have others formally invite me into groups before I feel comfortable being there...like I dont belong...In spite of my loud online personality I am very hesitant to just invite myself in real life, and will even ask others to be certain they really want me there-this is parties, any new groups, projects or anything like that. If I am not playing an active role, contributing in some way, pulling more than my fair share...I feel really useless thus not wanted. Typically I will just uninvite myself to things and just wonder off and do my own thing after giving some helpful advice to those who remain behind...

    does this sound totally nuts and am I being overly sensitive? Are all workplaces like this, where i have to continually fight political battles to actually be allowed to contribute on a project?

  2. #2
    meinmeinmein! mmhmm's Avatar
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    in a group setting, i usually wait to be approached.
    i don't like to intrude. because i come on strong.
    very, very strong. and i always have a hard time
    knowing when to stop. and more importantly it
    gives me to time to assess the group dynamics,
    breaking down who's who.

    however, as much as i like to assess, i'm impatient--
    so usually i'll observe until i spot something i like
    --and i always do if i stick around a little bit longer.
    then i'll find my way to get involved. motivating factor.
    i'm always just attracted to a certain aspect.
    never really the into the whole group thing to begin with.

    i'll just zero in on the connections that make me
    want to be there. and the rest are just details.

    younger, i would just blindly jump in, and that
    would be my primary source of "feeling rejected"
    --that some people prefer me in smaller dosages.
    this took a very long time to understand that it
    doesn't mean they like me less when the intensity
    sort of fizzles out because they have to get back
    to real life stuff. i have also come to learn the difference
    between poor time management and lack of
    interest--if that makes sense. it was very hard to
    distinguish, because i always knew how to make time.

    workwise, i do what i gotta do. i'm fairly well-versed
    in making things happen the way i want them to happen.
    i'm extremely efficient at knowing who's support i need
    to win via what means and then utilising them.
    all my interactions are strategic, i'm never interested
    in socialising with any of my co-workers. and the people
    i do interact with, are purely decision makers and
    support staff that make my life easier.
    every normal man must be tempted, at times,
    to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag,
    and begin slitting throats.
    h.l. mencken

  3. #3
    Senor Membrane
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    I've noticed something similar in myself. When I am working with a group that values my opinion, I have a lot more subtle and effective way of contributing. It's like when I don't have to fight to get my voice heard, it is heard almost without me having to say anything. Like this one project we made with friends. There was such a synergy when we were brainstrorming that I think it is impossible to tell who's idea is what. The ideas kinda came out of the group, and not the individuals. Not surprisingly the project seems to turn out success.

    On the other hand, there's often situations where my input is not appreciated. In those meetings I go into a different mode. I just try to point out the biggest flaws in the ideas, and just keep myself in the discussion as little as possible. Then, when they've decided what to do, I kinda hang around and keep in mind the possible flaws only I can see. I try to prevent them if I can.

    Then there are cases where I don't go in because I know the people in charge are talented and will probably keep it together.

  4. #4
    RETIRED CzeCze's Avatar
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    I would say that work and social situations are very different. I understand the desire not to intrude or be rejected in social situations, but in work situations, it has nothing to do with "popularity" per sae, it has to do with rank and function and expertise and authority. If you are already aware of a meeting taking place and someone is trying to push you out, just casually mention to them that you will be attending. Or ask, "So the meeting is still at 2pm?" I'm not sure what kind of coworkers you have. If they are sharks they may tell you point blank that you don't need to come or it's only for 'such and such' people. If like you say it was your idea or you have expertise or project management or any kind of responsibility for it, you should attend. Declare yourself one of those people and come. Or just say "this was my idea and it's my responsibility to make sure it's executed well" or in a less openly competitive way "We both know I'm one of the best people to tap for this project and I want to be a resource for you" or something like that.

    I once went to a meeting before that was reserved for more senior people than myself. The thing is, nobody else at the meeting seemed surprised or gave me a second look, I introduced myself to everyone, made small talk. Then 5 minutes into the meeting my manager and her manager, our division director walked in late and my manager told me they had it 'covered' so I could return to whatever it was I was doing. Within my function, my managers knew I was not supposed to be there - this was an honest mistake on my part, they were bad managers, nobody explained to me what meetings I had to attend and were not important, etc. - but someone from my section needed to attend the strategy meeting and I was the manager of my team. That's why nobody else at the meeting (including their bosses) gave me a second look when I arrived.

    I've also worked at a company that was spread out into several buildings in one neighborhood, there were a lot of teleconferences and walking around for meetings. I learned a lot of meetings were more or less voluntarily (a lot weren't, lol) and if you weren't directly involved in that particular part of the project, your presence was more or a less a crapshoot. Many meetings had an open invitation or 'ghost seat' in case you attended. People would not ask you twice to attend a meeting because there were just so many damn meeting and it was a busy place segmented into many working teams. You were expected to prioritize and self-manage and if later it turned out you neglected to attend (or even learn of) some meetings (which translates into working on the project) that you should have, you were SOL. I'm sure that is the way at many if not most offices?

    Often, as long as *someone* from a particular section or function attended, it didn't matter as much who it was. I think you should act on that premise and just attend the meetings. Better yet, take the lead from the get go and declare at the brainstorming stage that you will be taking an active role or you call the next immediate planning meeting and name a few people to attend. Or tell the senior people who are being invited to the meetings without you that you will be seeing them at the meeting and then show up. If it is your idea and you are there at the beginning, other peope cannot take the project away from you unless you relinquish control and let them.

    I know sometimes people have a defeatist attitude about these things, or think that it's is petty or beneath them (and I don't mean that in an insulting way, I understand this sentiment) but if you care about your idea and the project you HAVE to get involved. You already are involved in the office politics but in a way that least serves your interests or the project's objectives. You are kinda getting played. And much of that reason isn't because people are putting you in that position but because you are default falling by the wayside.

    Also, you've mentioned you've gotten promoted pretty rapidly, there must be coworkers and superiors who like you. You should go to them for support, start inviting them to meetings. It seems the easist and pettiest way to get involved, but it's also just smart, start making teams yourself of people who do have a reason to be on the team (for expertise or authority) but make sure they are on your personal team and you can trust them more or less. The more people on your team, the harder it is for other individuals to push you out.

    Just some thoughts!
    “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.” ― Oscar Wilde

    "I'm outtie 5000" ― Romulux

    Johari/Nohari

  5. #5
    violaine
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orobas View Post
    I am posting this here as I figure other NFs may come closest to recognizing what I am talking about.

    I feel totally bummed out as I notice that very often as work, when it comes time to start a project, I will initiate and or be involved at first, generate some of the new ideas, or point out the need for an idea or even just be involved in formation of a new team. However very quickly other people will recognize how they can piggy back on the idea/project and gain career advancement and attention. One thing they do is intentionally begin to exclude other people from the meetings or interactions with executives or other important people.

    The result is that typically I get excluded from the political silo and end up off in a corner just doing tasks nobody else wants to do. Eventually the entire silo collapses because the political people were incompetent, technically oblivious and I end up cleaning up parts of the mess and resolve the situation-although typically this earns me more of a troublemaker title than hero....

    I guess a politically savy person would figure out ways to re-invite themselves to the meetings and play the system....but to be honest it just seems pointless as 1) I realize the whole project is doomed to useless failure anyways and more importantly 2) it feels like I got rejected.

    So my question...I feel like I have to have others formally invite me into groups before I feel comfortable being there...like I dont belong...In spite of my loud online personality I am very hesitant to just invite myself in real life, and will even ask others to be certain they really want me there-this is parties, any new groups, projects or anything like that. If I am not playing an active role, contributing in some way, pulling more than my fair share...I feel really useless thus not wanted. Typically I will just uninvite myself to things and just wonder off and do my own thing after giving some helpful advice to those who remain behind...

    does this sound totally nuts and am I being overly sensitive? Are all workplaces like this, where i have to continually fight political battles to actually be allowed to contribute on a project?
    Yes, workplaces are like that. It gets distressing. And some people have hard elbows and aren't afraid to use them. And sometimes, it's just a powerplay, a way for people to shine individually and not expressly meant to hurt anyone personally. Regardless of if people are formally invited or not, if it's better for your career or you personally it sounds like you should be a part of it. Have you considered that you withdrawing might look as though you don't want to take part? Or that you withdraw and they just keep going about their work because it was pretty easy to get you to fade away (if they meant for that)?

    If you did take part, even if it meant "pushing" your way in there, you would acclimate and not feel so uncomfortable after a few meetings but if you don't I think it will eat at you. If ever I'm in a similar situation (where I almost anticipate rejection) I just switch off that voice track in my head and think about the bigger picture goal and it calms my nerves. Then things flow from that.

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