How To Make Friends At Work (When You're Not The Newbie)
So I have always been a little introverted and after distancing myself from people in the past due to depression and anxiety I have now gotten to the stage where I do want to surround myself with more cool people that I can vibe with. So when new people around my age start working in the same company as me I will always look at them as someone that could potentially be a friend to me. Here is how I have been making friends with people at work when I am not the newbie.
1. Make an Effort
Actually speak to them and ask them about themselves, this is the perfect environment to ask them what they think of the company or what they used to do before. Ask them how they are getting along. I think it is easy to start a conversation with someone new in the workplace because there are so many work related questions you can ask to break the ice.
Just put in the effort to make conversation with them. Once you get started you will learn more about them and start building more of a rapport. Don't forget to tell them about yourself as well but make sure you listen and ask questions just as much.
Just putting yourself out there and in a situation to actually build a relationship is the first step.
2. Invite them to Lunch
This is even better if you already have a couple of lunch buddies in work that you can invite them along with but even so just ask. Try and ask in their first or second week because they don't have their lunchtime routine down yet and I'm sure they would think it would be nice to take a break and get to know someone.
If you have somewhere in mind just let them know that you haven't been there in a while and did they want to try it out? Haven't got the guts to ask them to their face? Just email them.
Don't overthink this either. I know it can be sometimes just as nerve-racking as asking someone on a date but don't think, just ask as a kind gesture and I am sure they will be more than happy to spend their lunch break letting off some steam.
3. Offer Help
You want to make sure they know that you are there for them if they need any help. When you show them that you care about their workload as well as your own then that is such a good icebreaker and can lead to more conversations in the future.
It also shows that you are a decent human being. People want to be surrounded by other kind people. So be that person.
Now don't start taking on a lot of their workload because this can then become very one-sided, which isn't a great feeling. Just be honest with what you can and will help with and there will be nothing but respect for each other.
4. Remember What They Have Planned for the Weekend
This probably sounds like such a random one but bear with me. I am terrible at this. When it gets to the Friday I will ask what they have planned for the weekend but I will completely forget by Monday. So I will let people know what I had done on the weekend but will completely forget to ask "How did the christening go?", "Was that movie you went to see any good?"
So just take interest and listen to them, it's so nice to be able to come in on a Monday and continue your conversation with them just by remembering that they had some cool plans that they might want to tell you about.
Showing them that you were listening and that you actually care about how it went will do wonders for your friendship. Plus you never know you might find out that you have loads in common and enjoy doing the same things in your spare time.
5. Do Not Gossip
Now I know a lot of great friendships are formed by having a good gossip but friends formed at work shouldn't have that foundation. They are coming to someplace new, not knowing anyone and then you want to start telling them that their supervisor is a nasty piece of work or the woman they sit next to is having an affair with Joe from IT? Not cool.
When people first start a new job, what you tell them about your colleagues must be filtered in some way. You don't want them to know you as the gossip in the office (even if you are). Just get to know them on a personal level and play it cool if they start noticing little things that you so badly want to tell them are true.
Once you get to know them and they have settled in a bit more then by all means, but just let them make their own minds up about their colleagues first.