Each town and each job has it's own Micro climate, it's own set of rules usually influenced by the larger towns or cities around them. If you are in a large city the same applies to your place of work being influenced by the competition and the employees who were there before you. Don't get discouraged Rad, forge on and make your place, 'finding' your place is not the answer, being the new person is just as bad as your current situation and 'always' being the new person is a harder life still.
a) I study personalities and psychology.
It sounds like Rad is naturally Introverted. So am I but I have learned to overcome it, because American culture demands it. You might look at www.humanmetrics.com/
There is nothing wrong with being introverted. But American society as a whole is Enneagram type 3 (Extroverted, sales people, less than honest, self-centered).
b) www.9types.com/ shows a persons motivation. It is based on the age-old Enneagram. It's very important in learning why people are the way they are. I am a type 4/5.
My younger son is a type 7 (like Dejon Sanders). He's extremely charismatic and extroverted. People follow him like the Pied Piper, but he will take you to the cleaners.
My older son is type 5 (Thinker/Observer). He is very intelligent and dependable. But he is also introverted and has trouble making friends.
c) Some parts of the US are more friendly and open than others. I could comment all day on this. Minneapolis is extremely unfriendly and cold. You won't be accepted there unless you grew up there.
The South is more friendly.
Some ethnic communities are more friendly.
Boston is Irish, and therefore more friendly.
The US is less friendly now than it was 30 years ago.
Many Americans are cliquey and protect their turf.
Many of them live in fear and isolation.
Many urban areas are pretentious and unfriendly.
d) I love the Idaho area for the mountains, flyfishing, camping. But it is a conservative area. It has recently been Californicated. Many Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington people hate Californians.
e) I am very interested in Thailand. I have talked to an intelligent, successful women there for 4 years. We are becoming business partners. I haven't been there yet, but am looking forward to visiting soon. I have heard that Thai people are genuine, friendly, gratious, and quite wonderful.
I hope to someday marry a Thai woman.
I grew up in Bkk and have been in America for 3 and a half years. First for a language training, then I decided to go to college. Then, I finished my degree and got a job with a pretty respectable salary. The road here is not so easy like at home. But, you know, any goal as a price to pay...
I am also an introvert person, but I have no problem getting along with Americans. I have a couple of American friends who listen to me and always open and share things with me. Not only Americans, there are Malaysian, German girls that I hang out with. We can giggle in many topics of conversations. First was not easy, but later on, our friendships have been good so far.
Americans might have their own way of thinking or speaking out their opinions, but I don't think it's so important to give a definition of what they "are." No one can really point it out. I think you have to assimulate into the culture, and free yourself a little more. Just let it go and don't think too much about the differences. Go to a museum or join whatever clubs you like. You might find people who you are interested to meet with, and feel the same way with you. Feel proud of who you are; I don't think there should be any problem getting to know Americans this way.
I think the most important thing is to be sincere of who you are and what you think. If you are not sure that your act is appropriate, you could have asked them. I don't think anybody would mind to explain.... Here at work, I make mistakes all the time. But I always ask. And people tell me what they think and feel. I use that as a judgement in doing things.
May be there's one thing that helped me understand the culture here quite well... I have taken the American history, art, and liturature classes to feel and know how westeners think. These basic knowledge gave me a good understanding of the western values.
All in all, I think the key here is to find the thing that you like to do. Then, people that you like, and perhaps like you, will come along. I believe friendship grows from that.
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