Ever hear people talk about how they have a ‘work wife’ or ‘work husband’ and get a bit jealous? The scary fact is we are going to spend about 100,000 hours of our lives at work so we might as well make sure we’re spending that time with people we at least like, right?
We also know that people who say they have great friends at work actually enjoy going to work more so that’s a bonus too!
But making friends as an adult is daunting and scary. It brings up all those insecurities we had from being kids and navigating the complex world of the playground pecking order. That fear is not our friend. And making friends requires us to be both brave and vulnerable.
Vanessa Van Edwards is an expert in human behaviour and has these tips:
Here’s some tips:
1. Think beyond your immediate team. Many workplaces these days have either an intranet or internal social network platform that allows you to connect with other people.
2. Have a passion for something? Join a meetup group or start one of your own.
3. Learn something new. Whether it is going to a lecture or taking a class. These are great opportunities to get to know people you’ll have stuff in common with. IMPORTANT: Make sure you get there early so that you have time to have a conversation.
4. Offer someone a lift if you drive to work from the same suburb. Or if you’re taking the bus save a seat for the person until you reach their stop. Both options are better for the environment too!
5. Look for tech that might help. The Peanut app which connects mums is a great example of this.
6. Think about how you arrive and leave the office. Always be the one who arrives with a smile, say hello and goodbye.
But above all be brave!
And finally, it’s also important to know who not to be friends with, or energy vampires as well call them. Here’s what to watch out for.