On Making Work Friends

9 Aug

Confession- My coworkers aren't this unnaturally prettyEvaluation: He seems cool. I think he went to [BIG UNIVERSITY]. I knew some people who went to [BIG UNIVERSITY]! Perhaps we have some common acquaintances. His e-mail replies are well-written. That says a lot. And he always shows up to meetings on time. Good signs, good signs…

No, I don’t want to get in his pants or anything. I just want to make Work Friends.

But why is the transition from Friendly Work Acquaintance to Person I Text Funny Things To so awkward? I mean, sure, the moment one of these schmos gets promoted and I don’t shit’s going down, but until then, how do you take that step?

Gone are the days of college orientation groups and extracurricular activities. Now making friends is 20% proximity and 80% actual initiative. Is it weird that when I go to bars, I’m more anxious about approaching that group of trendy-looking twenty-something ladies than an attractive guy? (No, not at all. – Love, Pen)

I’ve come to terms with the fact that making Grown Up Friends is going to require leaving my comfort zone. So I’ve begun a little quest that will start at work. I call it “Never Turn Down an Invitation if You Know You Are Free That Night and No, Watching that Say Yes to the Dress Marathon Doesn’t Count as a Social Engagement.” Which is why I’m going to a bar party for my direct superior’s birthday on Friday.

BIG DEAL YOU’RE GOING TO A BAR you say. To which I respond – But reader! Did you know that I have a terrible fear of attending social gatherings at which I don’t absolutely love at least 85% of the people in attendance? This is why all my Myers Briggs results can’t decide if I’m an intro- or extrovert.

“At a party, you are most likely to…”

Except, “Play Andre-Pong with people who’ve known you since forever and saw you through some of the most difficult times of your life thus far” is never one of the answers. And “Approach strangers and insert yourself into their conversation” sounds painfully awkward. So I pick “Keep to yourself and wait for people to talk to you but that will NEVER happen because you look so damn uncomfortable” even though I’m fun, I promise! (Andre-Pong is the best. Just take care not to mix the Dolce and the Brut. – Love, Molly)

So despite my anxieties about missing the drinking balance between Party Pooper and Giant Heaping Mess, I will attend this birthday party for the woman who’s job I would like to have in the near future and hope for the best. Updates to come.

But first- some fun with comments! How have you handled the sticky situation of Work Friends?

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3 Responses to “On Making Work Friends”

  1. stonegirl42 August 9, 2012 at 11:44 am #

    Eassssse into it Polly. Ease into it. Find a common interest! Ask her to show you around your new area, or tell you some great hidden treasures of your new city!

    • Hippolyta (Polly) August 9, 2012 at 12:08 pm #

      Good advice! You’d think I was trying to catch Mr. Right, when really all I want is Ms. Lunch Buddy!

  2. Molpadia (Molly) August 9, 2012 at 1:30 pm #

    Man! Look how friendly and attractive those coworkers are!

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