- 7 months ago
Somewhat of a confessional: I’ve always had a hard time making friends at work (and in general). I realize that this may be partly because I’ve moved a lot in the past few years, and partly because the nature of the jobs I’ve had (one office was tiny with only 3 people; other jobs were government and there weren’t a lot of young people my age). Lately, though, I’ve been wondering if it’s just me because I’ve struggled with this my whole life. Does something about my mannerism or the way I talk turn people off? I’m honestly not sure.
The problem isn’t meeting people – I’ve met plenty of people since I’ve moved to my new city and started my new job 9 months ago. The harder part has been getting past the “acquaintance” to the “friend”, or the “friend” to the “close friend” stage. It almost seems like everyone already has their own plans and their own friends and don’t want to make new committments.
Ex: I started my new job the same day as this other young woman my age (late 20s); we were both from out of state and both new to town. We both have immigrant parents. We both are within a few years age difference (I’m a couple years older and married, but still close enough). We both sit next to each other’s cubes at work (or at least, we did before WFH started earlier this month). We’re both on the same team. I thought we would hit it off but she’s just not that into me I guess. I tried to make more small talk and engage her more, but she is routinely distant (not mean, she’s pleasant enough, but just doesn’t go out of her way to talk to me more than she needs to for work related questions). For instance: I don’t think it’s too much to expect to walk together to a work happy hour across the street, so I wait around thinking she’s in the bathroom or something and find out she’s already at the happy hour. So I chalked it up to her just being more introverted and/or not interested in making friends. Time passes. Now I learn she’s becoming budding friends with this other girl who’s also fairly new like us and I just feel left out when they make plans. What did I do that they wouldn’t invite me as well? I try to be pleasant to everyone I meet and consider myself a generally friendly, polite, and nice person.
Another example: my grad school program was fairly close-knit and most of us are in a shared chat group. This might be small but I’ve noticed that whenever I post anything or comment on anything, no one ever responds to my comment but they always react/like/comment on other people’s comments. I thought I was just being paranoid at first but I noticed this consistently happening. Like I certainly wasn’t popular in grad school (or ever) but I don’t think anyone actively disliked me or anything? I certainly never had grudges against or disliked anyone. Even as an adult I feel like the last one picked on the playground.
And now with everyone hunkering down at home it seems like “virtual happy hours” and video-family-brunches and virtual-college-friend reunions are all the rage and I feel like I missed the boat on this trend somehow. I’ve tried to do virtual movie nights or organize reunion getaways before with college friends and no one was really interested. And now suddenly everyone has all these virtual hangouts happening? I just feel so behind and left out :(.
I realize this is probably a petty post and there’s not much I can do about the situation. It was more just a vent/confessional and a way to see if anyone could relate.
Are y’all still close with your college friends? If so, what is the secret to keeping those friendships alive (especially in a group setting) and making committments with each other? Were you able to successfully make close friends at work, and if so, how long did it take? What’s the secret incredient to move from coworker to friend to close friend? Has being married affected either of those?
Thanks bees. I just feel like I have massive FOMO.
Hope you have a great weekend and are able to stay safe!