It has been awhile since I wrote about the shared office space situation. In the past two weeks, I have been sick and not been at work and since then situation has changed a lot.
As I reported in my previous post, I made an arrangement to speak to my 4 colleagues over lunch. This lunch arrangement has been postponed because of my sickness. Though after my self-forgiveness, I had committed myself to stay open to the office situation and stop my participation in backchat. Then a situation emerged where one of the office mates, being from another country, ran into problems with having to leave the country to go a conference but not being allowed to do so by the immigration laws.
Since I have also had dealings with the local administration and since I have been in her situation in many other countries, I offered my advice to her. I told her what I would do in her situation. And she did. She eventually went to her conference and had no problem re-entering the country.
This incidence "broke" the ice between the newcomers and myself. The past few days since I have been back at work have been different in that I don't experience the heavy feeling that I had before, the sense of dread of facing the noisy office. Because I maintain my work ethic when I am there but I do now interact on some level, the noise level has become more manageable and I see that the office mates are equally interested in keeping a healthy work environment between us all.
In hindsight, the self-forgiveness I had done gave me the opportunity to share my experience/advice from a place of support, and not from a place of inferiority or superiority. This established an opening to relate to each other which I previously could not create because I feared the invasion, the noise and disturbance to my work environment.