No Friends at Work? 10 Things to Avoid In Order to Make Friends

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No Friends at Work? 10 Things to Avoid Doing in the Office

No friends at work.
No friends at work? Time to stop doing these things. Kyle Monk/Getty Images

One of the first rules about making friends at work is to be a part of the company culture. This means participating in group activities and caring for your coworkers. It also means being on your best behavior. You can't get away with being annoying because your coworkers aren't as forgiving of all those little habits you have as your family probably is.

Making friends at the office can help you enjoy your job and look forward to coming in every day. If you're struggling to connect with people, however, you could be guilty of one of these ten office no-no's. Here are some things not to do if you want to make friends at work.

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No One Will Like You If You Refuse to Help Others

Help out at work.
A "not my job" attitude can hurt you at work. David Sacks/Digital Vision/Getty Images

If "it's not my job" is your mantra, you could be hurting yourself in the friend department. While it's true you don't have to go out of your way to help a coworker, he or she is sure to be grateful you did. Having someone do something nice is often the first thing you notice about a potential friend.

Related: Activities That Help Employees Bond | How to Be More Likeable at Work

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Instantly Reject Someone's Ideas

Ignoring someone's idea at work can hurt a potential friendship.
Ignoring someone's idea at work can hurt a potential friendship. Westend61/Getty Images

Be cautious about the way you tell someone you don't like their idea. Give it consideration first before automatically rejecting it. That way, if you decide against it, your coworker will feel that you respected them enough to think it through before going with something else.

Never underestimate how important it is to treat others with respect. The Golden Rule works wonders even in the workplace. If you feel you need some work in this area, here are some tips on being more self aware.

Related: Nurturing a Work Friendship | Ways for Coworkers to Bond

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Be Noisy in a Cubicle Environment

Be respectful when you are working in a cubicle. Allison Michael Orenstein/Getty Images

Working in a cubicle is tough because it gives you the impression that you're in your own office, but in reality you're very close to your coworkers. So close, in fact, that when you're being loud on the phone, checking voicemail using a speakerphone, or talking at a loud volume with someone, it can bother the other people in the office.

Being respectful of the others around you is the first step toward making friends.

Related: Social Etiquette Mistakes 

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Don't Skip Out On Office Parties and Birthday Cards

Office Party
Join in with your other coworkers on things like birthdays and parties if you want to make friends. John Giustina/Getty Images

If your office is one that distributes birthday cards for people to sign, or asks for donations for parties, don't shrug it off. Participating is the first step in connecting with those around you. Even if you think this is a stupid office tradition, join in anyway. You might be surprised at how far it goes toward creating a connection with others in the office.

Related: Pros and Cons of Becoming Friends With Coworkers 

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Don't Miss an Opportunity to Make Small Talk

Office small talk.
Take part in office small talk. BJI/Blue Jean Images/Collection Mix: Subjects/Getty Images

It might seem counterintuitive, but failing to make small talk with your coworkers doesn't necessarily make you a "better" worker. Many managers say that getting along with the other employees in the office is just as important in your overall work performance.

The best way to get along with everyone is engage in small talk once in a while. Ask people how they are doing, what they did over the weekend, how their kids are doing, and the like. Just a few short bursts of conversation here and there can go a long way.

Related: Small Talk Ice Breakers 

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Keep the Complains to a Minimum

Complaining at work is never a good idea.
Complaining at work is never a good idea. Noel Hendrickson/Digital Vision/Getty Images

In general, people want to get to know positive people. If someone is constantly complaining, it is a turn off, even if others agree with you. You may be perceived as someone who simply will never be happy, which is the exact opposite impression you want to give.

If you're someone that has a hard time keeping quiet, try to pick your battles rather than make your voice heard over new changes in procedure or things you feel are unjust. Then, when you really need to stick up for yourself or a coworker, it will make more of an impact.

Related: Benefits of Positive Friends | Positive Attitude Quotes

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Never Bring Smelly Food Into the Office

Bringing smelly food into work will irritate your coworkers.
Bringing smelly food into work will irritate your coworkers. Tim Platt/Iconica/Getty Images

It's simply not very nice to bring smelly food in to the office, where it will marinate throughout the work day and make your coworkers sick to their stomach. They'll want to avoid you if you do this, and how can you make friends when no one wants to talk with you?

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Watch Your Tongue! Swearing Turns People Off

Annoying Coworker
Keep swearing and outbursts down to a minimum when you are in the office. AAGAMIA/Getty Images

Keep the cursing and raunchy talk to a minimum if you want to be liked and make friends. Again, even if someone else curses from time-to-time, it can be a turn off to hear your coworker do it. What's more, you'll jeopardize your authority at work by having people focus more on your cursing than on your experience.

In the friendship department, people who are loud and boisterous sometimes struggle for acceptance at work. They can be easily misunderstood simply because people begin to tune them out. Learn how to be professional in all your dealings and get your temper in check.

Related: How Not to Offend a Friend

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Never Sabotage a Coworker

Coworker Friends
Making friends with people you work with can make you enjoy your job all the more. Andersen Ross/Getty Images

It should be obvious that if you try to ruin a coworker's chances at advancement, or mess with their projects, you will not be someone that other people willingly friend. Behaviors that make you a good coworker are often the same as those of a good friend. If you show people that you are respectful and trustworthy in business dealings, they will be more willing to include you in their social circle.

Related: Working With a Former Friend | Friends as Business Partners

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Don't Exclude People From Invites

Group of Friends at Bar
Group of Friends at Bar. Digital Vision/Getty Images

You might think that inviting just a few office friends out for a drink is okay, but in reality exclusion can prevent you from making genuine friends. If someone sees that you only invite certain people, or plan get-togethers behind someone's back, you'll be looked at as sneaky or condescending.

Even if you're inviting only the people you want to get to know personally, they might be turned off that everyone wasn't at least given an invitation. The only exception to this is when you're inviting one coworker to lunch. Otherwise, extend the invite to the group. Even if others choose not to come, you'll keep things harmonious in the office, which is the first step to making friends.

Related: How to Make Friends at a New Job | Help Your Employees to Become Friends