Making Friends at Work

You have finally made it to your own home, are earning some money but are feeling lonely. This is a very common thing for many people as making new friends at work is legitimately hard!

Friendships at work take time but it is possible if you

Are Positive

Do not always be the one that is negative about things that are planned at your office for recreation. The one that says,

“I do not do that.”

Instead show interest. Even if you’re not going out to do something you have done before, really like to do or are shy about doing. Just try. This will make the others feel comfortable about asking you to join them.

Ask the right questions about what will happen and encourage them to open up by saying things like, “Tell me more.” Smile. Smiling while listening will create a positive effect on the other person. They’ll feel more comfortable and encouraged.

Accept Invites 

When you’re invited to a gathering or event, accept the invitation. The place and the things that are happening there may not be the usual stuff you do but experience it anyway. Of course, do not do anything that you are absolutely uncomfortable with.

It may not have been your cup of tea but, do not make it a topic of gossip the next day at work. What you should do is return the favor by inviting them somewhere you are comfortable with. Share with them the things you like to do for leisure and get to know each other. Who knows, you might end up finding a middle ground and striking up a good friendship that brings you joy and is based on mutual respect.

Initiate Things

People that work are not only busy trying to keep their jobs and be financially stable but they seriously do not have that much socializing time. So making friends may not be high on their to-do list but, you don’t need to wait for anyone to reach out to you and take the first step. Instead, become the initiator.

Even if you’re an introvert, start the process with a simple conversation. Share something about you and also let them share about themselves. In exchanging something small but more personal about yourself you’re being open with them. This gives them permission to be open with you. Do curate the conversation and do not conduct an unending monologue. People do not need to know your life history, yet.

Sometimes you don’t need to say but do. Do a small favor. Small acts of kindness often lead to a connection. It doesn’t have to be big or obvious but a little gesture like offering to make tea or coffee.

Top Tips

Don’t change, act different to fit in, boast, be aggressive or expect results right away.

Do be yourself, interact and be patient.

Kwachalelo

A Zambian site sharing quick read articles around work, money and adulting life with selective interviews and quotes.
The founder, editor and lead writer who left university with a good grasp of public administration, economics, money, banking and international relations is also qualified in journalism and creative writing. She has been published in Drum and The BBC Focus on Africa Magazine and has been featured in several local and international publications.
An avid bird watcher with an extraordinary fondness for chikanda ( a Zambian delicatessen that vegans and non-vegans world-wide are putting on their bucket list ) she often tweets in poetry and short prose @kwachalelo