For most people, the start of a new job or class, a move into a new neighborhood, or a first visit to the gardening club, PTA, Girl Scout leadership team, or church choir triggers both mental anticipation and social anxiety. You may look forward to the new experience, but never know in advance how you will fit in: Will I find the right room, sit in the right seat, follow the right procedures, or say or do the right things to establish a first impression that grows into the comfort of belonging?

Most people feel some angst about fitting into a new situation, so, it would be kind for those already established in the group or workplace to always be a bit on the lookout for new people to greet and welcome, showing them the ropes or explaining some details that might answer initial questions. Greeting new people and being a friendly face will not only help to make a smooth transition for the new member or teammate, it will also help the overall atmosphere of the group, making it a genuinely welcoming and supportive place. You will also make a new friend and that person will remember your act of kindness as they continue on in the group.

Being a welcoming person doesn’t take much of your time and is not a big commitment; friendliness and being a welcoming person just requires you to pay attention to the other people in the room, not just to yourself—which is what “trying kindness” is all about, anyway.

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