We all need our “me time”. There is no need to be around people and socialize every minute of every day. I know I enjoy reading a book or watching my favorite television shows alone. I even like riding solo to the gym. I don’t really care to have a gym buddy. But there is a point where enjoying personal time crosses a line and turns into being lonely. It is the moment when being alone is no longer a choice. No one invites you to go out, you are not included in conversations, and you don’t have anyone to talk to about your struggles.
This loneliness is really evident in your work life. If you are new to the area, work is where you meet new people and start your life in a new city. Making friends at work also makes work more enjoyable. Having a best friend at work could be really beneficial in the long run. But somehow not everyone manages to make friends with the people they work with.
You scowl at your co-workers every time they laugh because you don’t know what is going on. You use your excellent eavesdropping abilities to try and feel included in the office gossip. There is a void in your work life and you don’t know what it is. You are most likely the office outcast. Your longing for comradery in the office is something you are missing. Here are 10 signs you’re undoubtedly the office outcast.
1. You're never invited to work events
While everyone is talking about how much fun they had bowling last night, you can’t join in the discussion because you were not even invited. You hope that maybe you just slipped through the cracks. But there is no way that your colleagues have forgotten to include you in all of the events of the past month. You tell yourself it’s okay and expect them to invite you the next time. You are not aggressive enough to invite yourself, no matter how much you want to go. Reading a book might be your only option every weekend.
2. Conversations are short
When you try to talk to your peers, the conversations last for five seconds. You are given yes or no answers and when you ask questions that involve an explanation, they are one sentence replies. You usually just assume that your colleagues are busy and don’t have time to talk, but after a while you pick up on their “get away from me” vibe. You make yourself feel better by thinking that they don’t have anything important or entertaining to say anyway.
3. Inside jokes are foreign to you
You get a bad case of FOMO (fear of missing out) when you don’t understand what your co-workers are laughing about. Did you miss something? What happened last night? Who are they talking about? Is it really that funny? You will never know the answers to those questions because you are an outcast. In order to deal with your FOMO, you make yourself laugh. You are freaking funny, at least in your world.
4. Headphones are your best friend
You spend more time with your headphones on than socializing with your peers. I mean, I love listening to Nicki Minaj and getting in the zone as much as the next person, but having a good laugh with other people is nice as well. Plus, I’m not sure if having music blaring in your ear for eight hours a day is safe.
5. Your feelings are irrelevant
Go ahead, cry if you want to. No one will bother to ask you what’s wrong. If anything, your tears are a distraction and an unnecessary problem. Are you mad about something? Get over it. Your feelings are irrelevant because you have been rejected from everyone in the company. If you want someone to talk to about your feelings, call your mom. I’m sure she would love to hear from you.
6. Nobody remembers your name
You tend to hear “What is your name again?” on a daily basis. It’s not like your name is difficult to pronounce or long. You can’t understand how people can forget it. The truth is, they probably don’t care. Your name is probably the last thing on their minds. Your name could be Princess Periwinkle and no one would remember it. Unless you have something useful to offer, then your entire existence is irrelevant.
7. Nobody greets you
Silence. That is what you hear when you walk into the office. No one ever says hello, hi, or good morning to you, ever. If your office didn’t have walls, crickets would chirp for dramatic effect. Maybe you should be a little more obvious when you are entering the building. Make a lot of noise and stomp around. That might get their attention.
And forget about them saying good-bye or wishing you a nice evening. They really want to tell you to never come back. They would never say it to your face though, so whatever. Keep your head up high and keep doing your job.
8. Lack of room in the fridge
You better bring food that doesn’t need to be kept cold or bring your own refrigerator because your co-workers don’t leave space for your lunch in the company fridge. They don’t care if your food spoils or if it tastes disgusting because it’s warm. If I were you, I would toss all of their stuff in the garbage for being so rude. But be prepared to feel their wrath if you do. If you can handle their anger, go for it. If not, just let it go.
9. Your desk is in an odd place
You can’t decide if the office was innately arranged the way it is or if your co-workers purposely put your desk in an awkward position. You are secluded from anyone and you are facing a wall. Your desk position is the definition of being an outcast. You don’t think anyone could be this cruel, so you just assume that this is the way the desk was placed from the beginning. You could change it if you really wanted to but why bother. The hassle isn’t worth it.
10. Your opinion is irrelevant
Hate to be the one to break it to you, but no one values your opinion. You can try to put your two cents into the conversation but it will be dismissed. You could have the best and most innovative idea ever but no one will be there to agree with it. I suggest you take your idea to a company where it will be implemented and appreciated.
Don’t let these signs discourage you from becoming a friend to your colleagues. This is not high school and things are not as bad as they seem. Just because you are the outcast now doesn’t mean that you will be the outcast forever. Maybe a new person will be hired and everyone will start shunning them. If not, speak up and ask people why they don’t like you. There is nothing wrong with a little honesty. Move your desk to a place where everyone else congregates. Make yourself part of the group. Tell a joke and make others laugh. Everyone loves a joker. Above all, be yourself. If they don’t like you for being you, they don’t deserve to know you.