{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I think my social skills have essentially been erased by the pandemic. My company went back to the office a couple of weeks ago and I feel like it’s my first day at a new school or something. How am I supposed to get anything done? Anyone else somehow come out of this thing even more awkward than they already were?", "post_id": "621e921ede57e4002a721142", "reply_count": 63, "vote_count": 70, "bowl_id": "55375ce690f5eebe1d2a0f88", "bowl_name": "Tech", "feed_type": "crowd" }
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I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I think my social skills have essentially been erased by the pandemic. My company went back to the office a couple of weeks ago and I feel like it’s my first day at a new school or something. How am I supposed to get anything done? Anyone else somehow come out of this thing even more awkward than they already were?

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You’re not alone!! I started a job at a new company and got anxious the first time with meeting with my colleagues over video chat (no one used cameras the first few months I joined) and then meeting up with teammates in the office. But it was easy to break the ice and quickly felt natural since a lot of colleagues were in the same boat.

The hybrid model has helped a lot with connecting and building a network with teammates.

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Glad to hear things got better for you. Did people start using cameras eventually or did you have no idea what anyone looked like until the first time you went in the office?

When I was in office after the pandemic, I would just go to my office and work, and go home. People thought I was isolating myself on purpose… which was true, because if they would start talking to me they wouldn’t stop lol, but also I am awkward now, when in the past I was usually pretty laid back and good with people.

Now I’m back at home 100% remote thank goodness!

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I'll be honest, reading this made me feel WAY less alone. I really feel like I have developed some sort of social anxiety and it causes me to be SO awkward. I almost feel like I am becoming a recluse.

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You definitely aren't alone beyond me either. I mean, look at all the responses on here! Plus I've talked to a few friends about it and they are feeling relatively similar to us.

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I think there's going to be an adjustment period for most people when they return to an office setting. Don't beat yourself up and give yourself time to re-integrate. Try to get lunch and/or coffee with your coworkers to catch up before you jump into work mode.

likesmarthelpful

I should probably try something like this. It just feels like some kind of a culture shock seeing so many people every day after being alone for so long.

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Definitely feel this. My friend actually told me today he is absolutely exhausted after socializing with a group now haha.

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Right there with you guys, balance is key for me. Regardless of what I do I need to come home and have some time to myself in my own space.

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Yup. I have lost my filter and inability to tolerate incompetence. I mean... I'm still respectful and mindful of others. I just cannot stand office bullies anymore.

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Totally get that. It's not like this time has made the toxic aspects of office culture any more appealing.

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Same w kids. Our school system said they are seeing many 6th graders with the social skills of 4th graders.

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That is crazy. I mean masks and social distancing are basically all some of them know when you really think about it. Wish they could have a more normal childhood.

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SAME! But I am taking action as we move to hybrid culture. I’ve hired a self image coach, and also signed up for toastmasters

likesmarthelpful

That’s awesome! Maybe I’ll finally take the leap and sign up.

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Same! I just embrace the awkwardness, it's who I am now LOL

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LOL, actually love this perspective though! Some things about ourselves we just can't change..

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Tbh I feel as if I’ve become a lot more direct with my social skills and idgaf if people think I lack social skills, soft skills, or whatever you wanna call it. My boundaries to stay sane are more important to me than peoples perceptions at this point.

I have a core small group and I’m okay with it being small. It fluctuates, grows, shrinks, but I’m okay with it.

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100%

Do not feel embarrassed. Many people feel this way.

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This thread is definitely making me realize that!

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I don’t think anyone is paying as much attention as they normally would have since we all went through the pandemic. Look at it as a bit of an equalizer and you get to recreate your work persona 😊

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Very true. Kind of like a fresh start minus a group of new people.

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I SO relate to this. It’s a scary feeling. I think we just have to socialize more and push through the uncomfortable time. Maybe go back to picturing your co-workers naked? 🤷🏼‍♀️

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If only it was that simple, lol. But I agree. I think the only way to get over it is by going through it. Good luck to you! Hope we both make it to the other side.

You’re not alone in this. It’s going to take a lot of adjustment for all of us. It’s been two years and so much has changed.

I’m heading back next week and in the two years we’ve been away. We’ve had two acquisitions, 2-3 VPs of Sales and CROs. We just finished with a new re-org New building etc. it’s basically like starting at a new job all over again.

My friends at work, some no longer work here. Some moved away, people got promoted, etc. I have to give it time to get into a groove of going from start up culture to corporate culture seeing that we went public a few months before the pandemic.

Thank you for bringing this topic up a lot of us are going to go through this.

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I'm glad I could help. It makes me feel better that I'm not the only one who struggled with an adjustment like this. I've been feeling like there's something wrong with me this whole time.

Same

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i’ve been working from home for 6 years bucko, welcome to the club

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Thank you for the warm welcome! 😂

This is exactly how I feel but I'm still remote and we barely have meetings so when we do, it is awkward.

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I feel like companies just need to go one way or the other with this type of thing. It must be hard to actually be comfortable and productive in a meeting with people that you have maybe seen once or twice before in person.

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It’s an adjustment. Give yourself and everyone else a little time to get back into the rhythm.

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Yeah, I'm hoping things start to feel more natural.

Don't be too hard on yourself!! You're not alone. It's an adjustment to re-learn in-person social skills.

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It’s just crazy because I never even considered as something I’d have to re-learn I just kind of thought I’d go right back to where I was! Definitely not the case though.

Yes! We had a company outing back in January. I honestly try not to think about all of the awkwardness I pushed through.

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Get drunk with your colleagues ?

funny

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