I am an international student and I have got my first job as an intern at a company in Canada. I sometimes think that I am not good at communication and making friends. I have very little friends at school and zero friends in the workplace. All the stuff that I am talking to my colleagues is work-related and we communicate through a particular email that the company has provided. If I or someone changes his/her job then there is no chance that I can get in touch and friendship ends. I am an introvert but like to socialize and sometimes at lunchtime, I feel awkward to bring my lunch and eat it with my colleagues and have a chat. When I have a chat the talking ends quickly. My company has a kitchen where most of the people eat (there are huge tables, micros, fridge, etc).

I have social media but not active there. Do people usually do not make friends at work? or I am not a fun person that lacks having friends? I think that might be something about the culture of the country.

Edited: I am trying to be friendly with my colleagues and participate in social activities. They know me, but not really any friendship.

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    The OP is talking about “participating in social activities” not going all Band of Brothers. Maybe try to help them instead of derailing with unhelpful tangents. – mxyzplk - SE stop being evil Dec 22 '19 at 15:50
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    You're an intern, so it might be helpful to put your permanent contact information at the bottom of your emails. If there are people you don't want to lose contact with, send them messages asking for their permanent contact info, and give yours. It's called networking and it's very common. – O. Jones Dec 24 '19 at 4:58

What do you consider to be friends with someone?

I've been friendly towards most of the people I've worked with over my career, and polite to almost the rest of them ( unfortunately, there have been some people that really strain my reserves of bring polite), but I would say I've only been friends with a very small number of people I've worked with.

So, is making friends normal? Yes. Is not making friends abnormal? No.

As long as you are friendly, or at least polite, then that is enough. Conversely, trying hard to make friends can backfire - it can come across as trying too hard to please, or desperation.


This is entirely subjective and personal.

I personally don't make friends at work. For no other reason than I'm a bit of an introvert and am a person who prefers solitary activities (other than being in the company of my family). I'm friendly and get along well with my colleagues, but I am not friends with them. I don't seek to create friendships or to engage in activities outside of work with my colleagues.

Whether you build real friendships with your colleagues or not is neither normal or abnormal. Either is OK. Don't feel pressured to modify your social habits and inclinations based on what you see others do. You're you. You're unique. You do you.

  • This: "You're you. You're unique. You do you." – Nimesh Neema Dec 22 '19 at 12:38

It is normal. There are workplaces where you will get a bunch of friends, and workplaces where you don't.

Among other factors, it depends on:

  • Life stage
  • Time spent at work
  • Commitments outside work
  • Prior experience or places, for example coworkers coming up from the same school, or co-nationals in an otherwise foreign crowd

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