I feel really lonely at work. At times I really just feel like my coworkers are only interacting with me because they have to.

Here's the situation: I don't have any friends. So I think that might sometimes distort my view of work. Sometimes I expect that my coworkers are supposed to be my friends. I naturally go to all of the social events our company puts on and try to socialize every chance I get. Maybe that is off putting to some people?

Here are some examples: I worked on a project with two other people. When the project was done, my boss only asked my other two coworkers about the project. One of my coworkers was gone for 3 weeks! I literally did most of the project. I coded at least 70-80% of it. NOT AN EXAGGERATION. Like what the heck? Why was I not getting included in talks about it??? It's really aggravating to me.

I also had a person who is younger than me and newer to the company than me get put in a position to lead over me. That felt really demoralizing as well. I get it, that is just a part of life and sometimes that is how it goes. There will always be someone better. But it still feels horrible.

I see other people in the office hanging out and what not after work. But nobody ever asks me to hang out. How am I supposed to feel?

There are other small examples that I could use but it would be a little hard to explain.

I am the first one in the office every day and I put forth a lot of effort. I NEVER show up late or make excuses. Maybe it's a personality problem? I did have a boss tell me that I need to work on my presentation skills. And I agree with him. I can be a horrible presenter at times. Even though that's not my thing, I could probably work on it. I'm so tired of this.

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    Are you upset about being excluded socially or being excluded from work related things... because your question seems to be implying both. – joeqwerty Aug 11 '19 at 3:40
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    @joeqwerty You are correct. It is both. – SlowMation Aug 11 '19 at 17:08
  • Do you have any interests outside of work, to where you could satisfy your need for friends by joining a club or volunteering? – user107558 Aug 13 '19 at 13:29

I frequently am surprised by who considers me a friend from work - for some reason I'm just not great at knowing when I've hit it off with someone. Everyone is respectful and friendly, but sometimes it isn't who I expect that shows up to brewery trips or dinner parties.

I bet you have more friends at work than you perceive, and you can draw them out by initiating opportunities to be together. You could do things like:

  • Ask folks if they'd like to join you for lunch out one day during the week, make it a big group
  • Organize a trip for drinks after work, invite a big group, see who comes
  • Be outspoken about what you like to do outside of work (board games, video games, sports, etc.) and always take up offers of playing or being active with a colleague

Force yourself to be a little more outgoing than you find comfortable, and be honest about who you are and what you like to do, and I bet you'll find yourself with far more work friends than you would expect.

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Seems like when you are putting in lots of effort it may intimidate others. Maybe they are not as invested in the work as you are and can not achieve what you are doing. Maybe they view it as just a job and wonder why you get in early and go above and beyond. Maybe they feel like they are not good enough to hang out with you, so they choose other less invested friends. I would suggest 1) giving others credit for their contributions, no matter how small (20-30%) 2) asking someone who does well with presentations to help you on your next one 3) telling your new, younger boss that you will support them until they gain experience. Just be the friend to them that you want them to be for you. If you wouldn't want them to say negative things behind their backs, don't do it yourself, etc.

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