Starting a new job can be daunting. Not only are you walking into a situation where you probably don’t know anyone, you’re going to feel on the peripherals until you make your way into the inner or outer circles of your new 9-5 club. But contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to re-learn how to make friends. By keeping the following points in mind, you’ll be lunching with your new co-workers before the week comes to a close.
1. Be yourself
It sounds like how to make friends 101, but by just acting the way you normally do, you’ll immediately draw people in who are like-minded and genuinely want to hang out with you. More often than not, we’ll put up a front, but by pretending to be someone we’re not, we’re only attracting people who like the contrived versions of ourselves we’ve created. True, being yourself can be terrifying “ especially since if you don’t click with someone it tends to be taken personally, but at the end of the day, you don’t want them as friends to begin with.
2. Don’t try too hard
Yes, some effort is required when it comes to how to make friends, but if you’re put in a situation where you don’t know anyone, the last thing you want is to try too hard. What does this mean? Well, it’s relatively simple: yes, you’ll inject yourself into conversations, but don’t infringe on people’s space or go overboard with trying to make plans. It takes a while to warm up to people, so give the same courtesy you would like when it comes to sizing up who you’d like to be friends with.
3. Get involved
It worked in elementary school (and maybe in high school if you avoided the social awkwardness this writer perfected), so instead of waiting for an invitation to a committee or to a work event, sign up or ask how you can help. When it comes to how to make friends, you’ll be surprised at how informal social settings can be the perfect backdrop to getting to know one another on certain levels, just avoid making the mistake most of us have already made.
4. Don’t drink too much
A-ha! Yes, we’ve all been there, but most of us can agree that how to make friends is not dependent on how much you drink at a work event. For your first few, until you know what your co-workers are like and what your boss will tolerate, keep the drinking to the minimum. Gossip tends to spread like wildfire after a work gathering, so avoid being the person who goes through various phases of drink-induced remorse “ at least until you already know everybody. Unlike what we thought in school, how to make friends is not determined by how many glasses of house red you’re able to drink.