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I have to admit, I have been the worst at this... I am polite to everyone, but don't let anyone get close enough to become a friend. I respectfully decline offers to go to lunch, visit homes, go to baby showers, birthday parties, weddings, etc. It's awful, I know!! And the older I get, the more I think, maybe I should start reaching out, and let others do the same. I didn't use to be so intentionally self-isolated. My mom once told me it happened when I moved up north and lived in the country. Looking back, maybe she's right (and I certainly didn't see it until she said it). I became a stay-at-home mom, lived in the country, and didn't even try to make new friends with anyone for years. And I was content, but it did change me. Where's one place there are a lot of people around daily? Work.
Making friends at a new job (or even a job you've had for awhile but you haven't been open to it) can be tough. You're meeting or socializing with new people, most of whom you are competing against for promotions and raises. It's important to make a good impression early on, but it's also essential to take the time to get to know your co-workers. Here are a few tips on how to make friends at a new job and create a positive work environment.
1) Get involved in company social events
Most companies have some sort of social event, whether it's a holiday party or a summer picnic. Attend these events and take the opportunity to get to know your co-workers outside of the office. You'll be surprised how much more relaxed everyone is when they're not working.
Even if your company doesn't have any official social events, there's nothing stopping you from organizing your own. Get a group of people together for after-work drinks or lunch once in a while. It's a great way to build relationships with people you might not otherwise get to know.
2) Offer help when you can
If you see someone struggling with a project, offer to help. Not only is this a kind thing to do, but
it's also a great way to get to know your co-workers better. People are more likely to be friends with someone who is willing to lend a
3) Join a company sports team
Many companies have sports teams that compete against other businesses in the area. Joining one of these teams is a great way to make friends at work. You'll already have something in common with your teammates, and you'll get to know them better as you spend time together practicing and playing games.
Even if your company doesn't have a sports team, there are other ways to get involved in extracurricular activities with your co-workers. For example, join an employee book club or start a lunchtime walking group. There are endless possibilities for ways to bond with your fellow employees.
4) Make an effort to talk to people
This one seems obvious, but it's often overlooked. If you want to make friends at work, you have to actually talk to people. That means striking up conversations in the break room and getting to know your co-workers on a personal level.
You don't have to be best friends with everyone at the office, but taking the time to get to know the people you work with can make a big difference in your overall happiness at work. And who knows? You might just find a friend for life.
5) Don't be afraid to be yourself
At the end of the day, the best way to make friends at work is to be yourself simply. Don't try to be someone you're not just to impress people. Instead, be friendly and open. I work with someone who always tells deez nuts jokes. It drives me crazy but everyone around her thinks it's hilarious. After thinking about it, I revised my opinon of her, and appreciate that she is 100% being genuine and true to who she is...that's actually very admirable.
If you're having trouble making friends at work, don't get discouraged. It takes time to develop relationships with people. But if you put in a little effort, you'll soon find yourself surrounded by a group of great co-workers who are also your friends. And that's what makes going to work infinitely more enjoyable.