I do not usually self-confess and share my real thoughts but these thoughts are being put on here because someone out there might be helped by this one day.
One of the reasons I don't really like coming back to the States is that people don't really talk to me. I mean, I get the "Nice-to-have-you-back-how-long-are-you-home?" stuff but thats about it. Being the one "newbie" in a group is kinda difficult in that I really don't know what to say. I mean: my life is on the other side of the world. Not only that, but I keep general tabs on this side so it's not like I have lots to ask about. I'd love to share my life but I don't want to force it on people who are not interested. I mean, I don't care if people don't ask/are not interested but I hate standing there with no one to talk to when everyone else is talking in a group. I'm the new person, I feel rude when I just walk up to a person and start talking to them. Believe it or not but I'm actually shy. I hate initiating conversation with people I don't know well. It's not that I can't think of things to ask but I really am concerned that they like me and that I make a good impression. I'm not trying to be aloof and snobby. I'm just overly worried about talking to someone and that person liking me. That, and knowing that once I start talking I don't shut up usually and I feel like it comes out with too many personal pronouns and like I am full of myself. No brag, just fact: I lead a slightly more interesting life than the average person in North America. I live in Korea and do not have the same experiences that most Americans have. So if you are ever around a new person and notice they are not involved they most likely want to be but don't know how or want to get involved unless asked. If you have no idea what to ask them try something like this:
So are you going to miss anything about [place]?
What do you miss about here when you are in [place]?
What exactly do you do there?
What kind of things do you do when you are no working?
If I go visit sometime what should I do?
Just stuff like that and usually the conversation will go elsewhere. But if you see someone new-ish standing around talk to them!