Left out at work

Left out at work

Annie Lane

Dear Annie: At my job, I’m the newbie on the team. The others I work with seem to know one another well, and they chat and make jokes in the office all the time. Meanwhile, some of my teammates are rather passive-aggressive with me. I don’t understand why, though. I’m good at my job, and I always put in 110 percent effort. It seems to me that teammates who make more careless errors but are part of the “inside club” get far kinder treatment than I do. I’m a laid-back person and very open and honest, and I just want to be able to talk casually with these co-workers I feel have excluded me. I want to be a part of their fun conversations, but friendship can’t be built instantaneously. How do I become more connected to these people and stop feeling so lonely in the office? It hurts to see them laugh with one another while I’m singled out. I’ve seen a co-worker curse in the office while laughing with another co-worker and then turn to me and speak coldly; it’s like a 180-degree switch. Ugh. — The Odd One Out

Dear Odd One Out: If they’re intentionally excluding you, you’re the better for it. Those aren’t the sort of people you should worry about impressing. But I doubt they’re acting out of deliberate malice. More likely, you’re just the newbie, and it takes time to build rapport at the office. Familiarity with co-workers is earned through years of working together.

Continue being yourself and doing good work, and stop putting so much pressure on the idea of being friends with everyone. You may never end up being super warm and fuzzy with your colleagues, and that would be totally fine. Look at it this way: You’d be able to get more work done while others socialize and to go home and have a healthy social life that’s not tangled up in work.

Editor’s note: “Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie” is out now! Annie Lane’s debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@creators.com.