It can seem very difficult to make friends with co-workers, especially when you are the new arrival in the workplace. You can feel like an unwanted outsider, and feel clueless on how to get to know people. Making friends at work helps you settle in and enjoy your job more. Try these tips to help you make friends with co-workers …
You're not going to make friends with co-workers if you try too hard. Inviting them out every night for a drink, or trying to get them to include you in their circle of friends, is going to make you seem like a stalker. Instead, be relaxed and casual; don't try to force a friendship.
A good way to make friends anywhere is to find out what they're interested in. Again, don't rush it, but slowly get to know them as people and what they like to do. For example, if you discover that you share an interest in sports, they may invite you to a game.
People want to feel that you are interested in them, so ask questions about them. Use their cues as a starting point. If they mention going to a craft fair, ask them if they practise any crafts. If they say they're into knitting, ask if they can teach you how to knit.
Sometimes it's best not to wait to be invited, but to initiate invitations yourself. Say you're going to see a movie, and ask if anyone wants to come along. Or you'd like to try out a new bar at the weekend, if anyone wants to join you. This sort of casual invitation avoids people feeling pressured.
People love to feel needed. If you're new to the job, it's a good excuse to ask people if they can give you any hints. It shows that you value their opinion. If you're new to the city, you can also ask for advice on the best areas to live in or what to do at weekends.
Use any opportunity to start a conversation; you never know what it might lead to. Conversations have a way of meandering, and you and your co-workers may discover that you have unexpected interests in common. Those water-cooler chats can really come in useful!
Of course, you may not be the one who's new in the office. When you get a new co-worker, make them feel welcome. You never know - they could become a good friend. Ask them about themselves and invite them to join in activities. Plus they may have a hot brother they could introduce you to.
Let's face it - most of us are easily bought with cakes! Take some homemade cakes or cookies in and your co-workers will almost certainly be delighted to sample them. Casually mention that it's a new recipe you found and you'd like to know what people think.
Even if you don't want to be best buddies with your co-workers, being friends with them can make your working life more comfortable. After all, you spend quite a lot of your time with them, so it's worthwhile building up a positive relationship with them. How do you get on with your co-workers - did you meet your best friend at work, or been annoyed by someone who tried too hard to be your friend?
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