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Let’s face it - we spend just as much time (or more) with our coworkers as we do with our families. And because of this, it is highly likely that we will bond with our officemates, and probably even build a few long-lasting friendships that will keep going even after we leave the company. But, what happens when you look around the office and just don’t feel like you fit in? You know the feeling. You’re standing by the water cooler and it seems like everybody (and their mother) saw that movie over the weekend but you. So, there you are - smiling, nodding your head, sipping your water, trying to come up with something, anything you could contribute to the conversation. And then you slowly dismiss yourself from the group and awkwardly start walking back to your cubical. “Oh well,” you tell yourself. “I’ll try again tomorrow.”
Well, friends, today is the day to try again! Here are a few ideas on how to build office friendships so that you may never have that awkward walk back to your cubical again:
1. Say “hello” every morning and “have a good night” every afternoon. Just by starting this one-on-one correspondence, you are opening up a line of communication that can eventually lead to more conversation.
2. Don’t rush the process. Self-disclosure is not something you want to dive into. Start by sharing positive experiences, like family weekend trips or that great restaurant you enjoyed last week. Then, as trust builds you can start divulging more and more about yourself.
3. Keep it positive. While many coworkers can bond through the sharing of hard, stressful work-related issues, try to stay positive about your surroundings. Rather than going on and on about your boss and that impossible deadline, consider talking about your plans for the weekend. After all, Proverbs 17:22 CSB teaches us that “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.”
4. Ask about them. How are they doing? How long have they worked there? And, as they are talking, search for similarities. Once you get on common ground - whether it be your love for music or a specific sports team - you’ll always have that to talk about.
5. Don’t fear rejection. For whatever reason, not everyone is going to want to be your friend (hard to believe, I know). People get rejected every day all over the place, but if you don’t get out there and try again you’re just hurting yourself. Joshua 1:9 CSB says, “Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
By building relationships with those placed in our lives - whether it be a neighbor, co-worker or recent church member- we are opening doors to share God’s truth. Matthew 28:19 CSB says, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” With this in mind, let’s ask God to lead us as we reach out to those around us. Ask Him to give us the words to say, and the strength to share our hearts even when it might be easier to keep your head down and get your work done.
Need some inspiration at work? Check out our inspirational office décor and fill your work space with messages of God’s love, peace and hope. Who knows? A new perpetual calendar or magnet set may be just the right touch to start up those conversations you’ve been longing to have.
Looking for more on the subject? Check out these related articles:
5 Ways to Shine Your Light in the Workplace
A Week of Mondays - Finding Hope and Renewal
7 Ways to Create a Faith-filled Workspace
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