You hear people talk about how much fun they have with their work companions and how much they enjoyed work because of so and so. You hear things like “Jessica told the funniest story today!” or “Brad is the craziest person I have ever met! Listen to what he did last night.” Your annoyance with their over excitement makes you want to puke. They make it seem as if all they do is chit chat at work. These people are the extroverts of the workplace but you don’t know what the fuss is about. You have never understood the benefit of making friends at the office. The process of making friends and keeping friends has always been a foreign concept to you. The concept is even more mind-boggling when in a work setting. You are there to work, not to socialize. You are a firm believer that a person’s personal life should be separate from their professional life, and you’ve always thought friends were a burden anyway. You were a loner in high school, college, and now you are a loner at work, and you are completely okay with that.
You’ve attempted to make friends in the past but it didn’t really work out. The connection was just not there. Friendship is about having common interests and no one has ever seemed to like the same things as you. You gave up wondering why and just continued your life as an introvert. You decided that you can make yourself laugh and that it is way more fun diving into a different world with a good book than engaging in meaningless conversation with people you don’t (and never will) care about. The idea of having friends seems fun to others, but you actually enjoy being alone. And not just in your personal life, you enjoy being a team of one in your professional life as well. If you have ever felt the need for solitude at work you have probably had very good reasons too. Here are seven reasons why you should ride solo at work.
1. You’re Just Passing Through
Some jobs are just temporary. You don’t plan on dedicating your life to this one job for a long time, so you keep to yourself. You are there for three months, six months, or maybe even two weeks. You usually take temporary jobs because you just need the money or you just want the experience. Both are valid reasons to tackle a job you know you are not going to stay at. As a safeguard, you keep your distance from your temporary coworkers. You don’t want to get too attached to them because it might hurt a little when you decide to quit. Making friends with your coworkers may also make it harder to quit when the time comes. You decide to ride solo because that is the only logical way you see yourself making it through this new job.
2. You Have Enough Friends
You are not trying to sound like an uptight crazy person but you have enough friends. You don’t need that many. You would have to worry about calling them to catch up and inviting them to events. God forbid, you forget to invite them to one of your shenanigans, all hell would break loose. You don’t need the extra drama in your life that comes with having more friends. If you are lucky enough, your colleagues may not want to socialize with you either. Or maybe you decide that they are just a little too odd to become a part of your life. If you feel the urge to not socialize at work, just go with it.
3. You’re at Work, Not a Mixer
You may have a job that is very demanding. There is constant movement, non-stop production, and really no time to talk, unless you’re on lunch break. You have a lot of work to get done and you are content with that. Work is what you are here to do. Making friends was not listed in the job description, therefore it is not something you make a priority. You go in, complete your assignments, and then leave. Simple and easy. Adding friends into the process turns work into a zoo. Your work days will be unpredictable and different. You schedule will be shaken and you might not be able to handle that. There is no need to mingle at work; that is not what you are here to do.
4. You Don't Want Your Colleagues to Know too Much About you
I’m not saying that you might be a serial killer or anything crazy like that (at least I hope you’re not), but you don’t want everyone to know your business. You don’t want people to know about the divorce you are going through or how you are battling with alcoholism. You don’t want people to know that you used to be a stripper and your old boss is trying to get you to come back and work for him. If you become friends with your coworkers, your secrets and hardships will slowly creep out. You and your new best friend from work will be sharing a glass of wine together and your lips will start to flap about your tainted past or your most recent embarrassing moment. You might as well stop it before it starts. You don’t want anyone at work to know too much about you.
5. You Have Social Anxiety
You’ve had social anxiety for as long as you can remember. You start to stutter and sweat when talking to new people. Public speaking has always been your worst enemy. You push all of the embarrassing moments you’ve had when talking to others out of your mind. You and your family thought it was just a phase, maybe you are just shy, but nothing ever changed. Your mind and body just doesn’t allow you to interact with others easily. You choose not to make friends at work because you mentally can’t handle it. Having friends is literally not healthy for you.
6. Friendships Go Beyond Work
Having friends is kind of a full-time job. If you make friends at work, they reel you into their personal life. They expect you to show up to their birthday party, their wedding, their book club, some random party they are throwing, to eat lunch with them, and anything else they don’t want to do alone. You have other things to do besides wait on them hand and foot. The expectations are too high for you to have friends.
7. You Don’t Want to be Let Down at Work
You also don’t want to be let down again and again. If you have friends you expect them to be there for you as well, and when they are not, you are crushed. When you are at work and need your friend for support, they might not always be around. You’d rather just depend on yourself for support.
The work environment and having friends is sometimes not a great idea. Honestly, after writing this article, I might not want to make new friends at the next job I get. Friends are a burden. I would rather just read a book or watch Netflix. Netflix will never let you down. What are some other good reasons why it might be a good idea to ride solo at work?