I always find that being forward is the way forward.
People are very good at a thing called 'judging'. (bad, I know).
If you shy away and aren't confident, than often you'll be seen as vulnerable, people will feel as if they can boss you about, you may not feel part of the group. This is a natural reaction!
I always make sure I'm the one introducing myself first, making convos, laughing etc as this has the visa versa effect of the above. People will feel happy and comfortable speaking to you, you'll feel part of the team and so on!
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