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The problems that I face:

  1. I am an introvert.

  2. I don't have ANY stuff to tell.

  3. My life is boring. I don't do anything fun because I'm relatively poorer and more focused in achieving in life.

  4. Even though I am focused in achieving in life, I've not achieved anything significant till date, and my hard work has generally gone in vain.

  5. I've social anxiety and I fail to make eye contact with people most of the time. I have low self esteem as well.

I went to 3 doctors over the range of 5 years to cure the last thing, but doctors have failed to do it. Now, they say "you can't change everything in life, be content with what you've" and me too have started to not take it as a huge problem although it pains me sometimes badly.

Effects of my situation:

  1. Not many people talk to me. Those who do; disrespect me.

  2. Nobody invites me to lunch even when I explicitly asked them to do so. ( We've a culture of going together to lunch break).

  3. Nobody seems to be interested in me, interested in talking with me.

  4. I used to sit alone in last bench in my college days because nobody wanted to sit with me and I didn't want to sit with those who didn't want to sit with me. I wasn't like that few years ago before college. I hit my all time low in college.

Currently, I am in a new job. I am a fresh graduate. I am new to industry. I wanted to start with a clean slate and afresh but failed to do so here again.

Without being able to change my natural abilities like social anxiety, how do I make friends in workplace? Or anywhere for that matter.

It's not that I have 0 friends, I've few friends but they're not that close to me.

For further reference, When I post something on linkedin, very few people press the like between). I'm really frustrated with myself at this point. What is a way out of this?

I know they don't like me not because I'm an introvert. Being an introvert is not really a problem. Being underconfident is my problem.

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  • "I don't do anything fun because I'm [..] more focused in achieving in life." Maybe you should stop doing that, or at least stop thinking that you're more focused on that compared to others, especially considering that you subsequently mention that you're not actually achieving much of anything. Jul 29, 2023 at 10:12
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    Making friends in the workplace is no different from making friends anywhere else. Maybe try interpersonal.stackexchange.com
    – Hilmar
    Jul 29, 2023 at 12:50
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    At work, once a week, bring some snacks, cakes, pizza, donuts, etc... and put them in the break room, and send an email to your team to enjoy your treats. Soon, they will invite you to their activities. Jul 29, 2023 at 18:50
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    Can I recommend a book written in the 1950s that still has within it a core of very sound advice no matter where you come from or where you want to go, "How to win friends and influence people" by Dale Carnegie. Perhaps the most important thing he gets across is that you should "Show a genuine interest in other people" asking about them & not trying to force your will onto others. This means being altruistic & doing favours for people for no other reason that you want to. The warmest conversations I have had were with folk I asked questions of them and no word about my own past or experience.
    – Nikki
    Jul 30, 2023 at 21:05
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    @Nikki It's actually from 1936, though it has been revised multiple times over the last 80 years. Jul 31, 2023 at 11:55

3 Answers 3

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Do you know why people love dogs?

Dogs are happy to meet anyone, always ready to play, and generally, just positive creatures to be around.

You are asking for advice, so I don't want you to take this harshly, but your whole vibe comes across as very negative.

You may feel like you don't have self-confidence, but if you act more like that happy doggy, and focus on projecting happiness towards others, you will see some of that happiness reflected back on you. This will create a positive feedback cycle that will start to make you feel better about yourself.

A concrete example, the next time you walk in to work, try to compliment 1 thing about each person you run into on the way to your desk. It doesn't have to be complicated, just focus on one compliment about something they chose. "Jim, I love that tie!", "Sarah, your coffee smells so good!", "Nancy, you picked the cutest frame for that family photograph!".

It may feel unnatural at first, but greeting people with compliments will make their day a little better and start to move their perception of you toward one of genuine positivity.

People LOVE to be around happy people (which is why people love dogs).

I'm a person who makes friends very easily, so I have some thoughts about your specific situation, based on what you shared.

#1 Stop using LinkedIn or any other social network to validate your feelings.

Social media is a proxy at best of in-person social influence, but generally, it's a terrible representation of reality. It is outright toxic. Highly connected social people don't need social media to succeed.

#2 If you want to improve your life, you have to improve your self-perception first.

You said you were poorer, so you need to look for some free hobbies that will improve your self-esteem.

  • Social sports in the public park (basketball, tennis, frisbee golf), are really low cost and great ways to meet people and gain self-confidence.
  • Toastmaster's clubs will improve your public speaking (self-confidence) and introduce you to a wide variety of people, some of them may even be friends!
  • Stand-up comedy. It may seem like you need a lot of confidence to try this, but many comics started with little more than a few pre-written jokes. (Mitch Hedburg).
  • Organize a group of people at work dedicated to office improvement. Set small but reasonable goals, like planting pots of flowers, painting a mural, etc.
  • Office reading club. Start with industry or job-specific web articles (the only cost is time). Ask people to join you once every two weeks, or so, to discuss the articles over morning coffee or tea.

These are all great ways to create some more of those positive vibes that are critical to gaining friends.

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    Excellent suggestions. I would add one more. Keep a personal diary to reflect on your personal interactions and plan future interactions. Personally, I found that to be extremely helpful in my younger years. And of course, that personal diary is for your eyes only. Don't write one to show it to others. That would fundamentally alter its contents. Jul 30, 2023 at 18:12
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This is probably going to get closed, as the answer really isn't very specific to the workplace: Being a good listener, being helpful, and being reliable will go very far.

Making friends is much less about attracting attention and being entertaining than about behaving like a friend yourself.

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    Be interested in what other people do, even if you think you don't do anything interesting yourself. Ask them what they're doing at the weekend. When you next see them,ask them how the thing they did went. Ask people how their day has been ... Jul 29, 2023 at 9:55
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The workplace is a high-pressure environment for meeting people, since you see each other every day; if you come across as being un-confident and maybe somewhat desperate to make friends, people may worry that if they talk to you once, you'll then latch on to them every day, to the exclusion of other friends they may wish to socialise with. Essentially you are unknowingly saying to them "my life is really boring, do you want to share it with me?" and unsurprisingly the answer is "no".

You need to gently ease into friendships outside the workplace through shared activity in a group; tennis, chess, yoga, singing, hiking, whatever; choose a hobby where there is a physical activity that takes attention away from personal interaction, and gradually the shared interest will lead to friendships and an improvement in self-esteem.

However, the most important thing is to choose an activity with people of the same skill-level as yourself; if you are a beginner, go to a beginner's group, so that you're all making the same mistakes, and can laugh at the mistakes you are making, and celebrate each other's achievements as you become more skilled.

Eventually this can make you appear more interesting to your work-colleagues, and work friendships may result, but that is a long way down the line; concentrate on your out-of-work activities first.

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    I honestly don't think you have to work this hard to make friends at work. if you happen to share an interest with them, or are interested in getting involved in one of their activities, great. If not, it really isn't necessary. And I'm speaking as another introvert.
    – keshlam
    Jul 29, 2023 at 13:56

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