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If I say I'm inserting myself into a project or a situation, does that have a negative connotation attached? If so, how can I reword it to avoid that?

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I think it depends heavily on the context.

If someone is inserting into a conversation that might be viewed as private or touchy, the use of injecting could come across as implying that their addition is unwanted.

However, if someone is taking over where there is chaos or where they can do necessary good, inserting could indicate a level of control or power that could be viewed positively.

For example, someone inserting themselves into an argument to diffuse it could be viewed as a forceful but ultimately positive action. On the other hand, someone inserting themselves into a conversation between two very emotional people might be viewed as inconsiderate or oblivious.

So I would say you need to consider whether the connotation of forcefulness adds a positive or negative effect. If not, consider what you're trying to get across with the verb and look for a word with a relevant connotation. Something more neutral like "joining" might also work though depending on the context that kind of active verb might still be considered forceful, so rephrasing what you're saying completely might be more appropriate.

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It's a valid expression and not particularly problematic of itself, but issues are likely to come from a certain kind of audience who could jump immediately on a clinical interpretation.

Even without that, it carries ideas of intrusion. Along with other suggestions here, you might want to join a project or a conversation, to add something to a discussion, or to contribute to a participatory activity.

Insertion always carries the idea of something else, something from outside, and something that is likely to be going away at some point. If your intention is to become part of the project or situation, there are other expressions that convey that better.

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Yes, insert sounds weird

You would insert objects into something. Not humans.

You could for example say one of the following:

  • I am being part of a project team.
  • I am taking part in a project.
  • I am participating in a project.
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"Inserting yourself into a situation" is kind of synonymous with interrupting or butting in. It depends on context if its proper to use the term really. If you are inserting yourself into an inappropriate argument between subordinate co-workers its pretty acceptable since you are breaking up a dispute between underlings, if you are inserting yourself into a polite conversation between a husband and wife you are rudely interrupting their conversation.

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