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Introverts and Friendships: How To Handle Your Shyness At Work

Introverts are perceived to be hesitant when interacting with people they don’t know a lot. And it’s not because they’re shy and reserved — it’s a natural part of their being. Although they can overcome the shyness, the instinct of needing to be alone or surrounded only by close friends will always remain.

Thus, introverts may struggle when a new company recently hired them. Another round of introducing themselves and getting to know people will occur, which, as you should know by now, isn’t the most exciting for them. Meanwhile, other introverts prefer to be freelancers to maintain their solitude. They would work in airy coworking spaces in Orlando or other places. The setting works for them because it teems with opportunities to interact with others. Yet the pressure to do so is not there.

That said, here’s an introvert employee’s guide on making new friends at work.

1. Ask for Assistance

When you’re new on the job, you’d need time to familiarize yourself with the company’s system and processes. It means you can use a little help here and there. Do not hesitate to ask for assistance. Your coworkers will appreciate and respect you more for asking for their aid. Plus, initiating conversations is a good starting point.

2. Smile and Say Hello

When you pass by a coworker who meets your eye, you should smile and say hello. You don’t need to start small talk. Brief interactions like this can develop into a friendship over time as you exchange greetings daily.

3. Make Your Coworkers Open Up To You

If you’re reluctant to open up too soon, turn the tables and make your coworkers open up to you, instead. People love talking about themselves. Ask them things, such as their tenure in the company and their hobbies. You may find that you have common interests, which can bring you closer.

4. Stay Away From Gossip

Gossiping is a common occurrence in workplaces. Some people become worried about being too close with a coworker, with a manager most especially, because rumors might appear. And if you’re new, involving in gossips could tarnish your reputation immediately.

To avoid gossip, change the subject of a conversation when you feel that it’s harmful to another employee. If you feel like the subject is a serious concern, suggest talking about it outside work.

5. Collaborate On Work Projects

When employees need to do a group project, don’t stick to your friends to be in your most relaxed state. Collaborate with your coworkers, too, so your group can have fresher ideas on the table.

6. Find People You Can Trust

Portrait of beautiful six carefree happy friends clinking glasses of wine with toast in campus.

As you work longer in a company, you’d find yourself accustomed to the presence of a particular group. If you can trust them, make them the network of people that you can rely on when work issues spring up. When you feel troubled at a specific task, their help might be necessary. So, establish a relationship with them where all of you help one another, whether in or outside work.

Friendships built at work can also be profound and meaningful. Don’t hesitate to go out of your shell and make friends with your new colleagues. If you’re a freelancer, a remote employee, or an entrepreneur who uses a coworking space, you must welcome opportunities for socializing, too. The network you can build in there would be more diverse. This means a possible chance to explore other career fields.

If you stumble upon rejection, don’t use it as a reason to give up on making friends. You cannot please everyone, after all. Learn from the experience and find other people to interact with, which you can.

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