I previously emphasized the importance of having friends at work in my blog post “Why You Need to Have Friends at Work”. However, for introverts or for people who are not sure how to befriend a coworker, below are some tips.
- Be Positive: People like positive energy. Say “Hello” or “Good Morning” when you walk into the office with a big smile on your face. Try to pass your good vibes to others. If they feel your good energy, then, they want to spend more time with you. People become friends with people whom they enjoy their company.
- Find Things in Common: You can start a conversation about what you have done on the weekend and try to find similarities or common interests according to the conversation. Especially, it is easier to find similarities with people who are close to your age. If you are married with kids, you can start a conversation about your kids or if you have just graduated from college, you can talk about the school you have graduated from. Try to stay on general, everyday topics; don’t talk about politics or religion.
- Be Social: Attend the social events at work. Usually every office has hobby clubs such as a reading club or a sports club. Join those so you can socialize. Also, since these are generally interest groups, it means you already have something that you enjoy together. Social events and social clubs are great for making friends at work.
- Don’t Just Talk About Work: Don’t just complain about work. Rather than whining about your manager or a tight deadline, talk about your hobbies or weekend plans or the new movie that hit the theaters. By talking about topics outside of work, you will bring more positivity to the conversation.
- Do Something Outside of Work: Try to be inclusive and invite others to eat lunch or to have a coffee break at the nearest coffee shop. If you are using public transportation, you can suggest taking the train together when getting out of work so you can chit chat and build a rapport.
- Don’t Rush the Process: Be patient and don’t try to rush the process. Start small because you don’t want to overload anyone. Don’t share too much personal information at first especially your problems. Nobody wants to stay around someone who constantly talks about problems and absorbs others’ good energies. Keep in mind that friendships don’t just happen in minutes, they take time.