I don't have any friends at work

Jim Berlucchi

I’ve been at my job for a few months now, and I haven’t made any friends yet. I feel like no one cares about me as a person. How can I make connections with people and turn my co-workers into friends?I

It’s good that you want to feel connected to people at work. But, at the same time, be realistic about the nature of work and the nature of friendship.

Work is a place where we get things done, where we join our talents and efforts with other people to accomplish things — to produce goods or services. And we get paid to do so.

The friendship to expect at work is one of utility. The basis of relationship is our common projects, common workspaces and common hours. Aristotle calls it the friendship of utility.

His second kind of friendship is one of pleasure — when people experience mutual enjoyment and, perhaps, passion, like that of lovers. The exclusiveness of pleasure-based friendship can actually be counterproductive in the workplace.

Aristotle cites virtue as the magnet for the most elevated friendship — when good people help each grow in goodness. This is the essence of Christian friendship, for instance.

So what’s the right friendship fit in the workplace? Utility. Do your work really well. Be courteous, productive, punctual, diligent and cooperative. People will naturally connect with you and vice versa.