General Question

lonelydragon's avatar

Is it bad that I don't socialize much at work?

Asked by lonelydragon (7750points) December 15th, 2009
23 responses
“Great Question” (9points)

I will speak to people that I meet in the hallway, but otherwise, I don’t go out of my way to talk to my colleagues. I tend to just keep to myself (because I am shy) and focus on the things that need to get done. Is that bad or wrong?

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Poser's avatar

Does it make you feel bad? If not, then don’t worry about it. If so, perhaps it is something that you could work on. The socialization (or lack thereof) itself isn’t a problem one way or the other. The underlying motivation for not socializing is the issue.

If you don’t socialize because you just don’t have anything in common with the people at work, or because you wish to keep your social life separate from your professional life, then I wouldn’t worry about it. But if it’s because of some emotional or psychological issue you’re having, then perhaps it’s something you should address.

azlotto's avatar

In some ways you are better off not to socialize.

YCLYHO's avatar

nope! you are in those work colleagues company because you have to be – it doesnt mean you have to socialise with them :)

stratman37's avatar

When you think about it, you spend more waking hours with co-workers than you do your family, or anyone else you see outside of work.

Getting along well with these people is make or break (for me) because they/you contribute so much to your overall identity/sense of well-being.

I may have over stated that last sentence, please don’t flame me about how you shouldn’t find your self-worth in what you do, but like it or not, it DOES affect us to some degree..

@Poser – you’re right to say:
“Does it make you feel bad? If not, then don’t worry about it” Don’t change who you are to please the crowd, but if you know you can contribute to THEIR life by interacting, why not?

SABOTEUR's avatar

That’s your choice.

Why should your choice of how to relate to people at work be considered “bad”?

I rarely socialize at work myself. A former supervisor once chastised me for being at my desk too much. Have you ever heard such crap?

I forget…you can’t make sense out of nonsense.

You see…I have a low b.s tolerance. I have little patience for “he said/she said”, “how’s the weather” and all that crap.

I plug my headphones into my Sirius Satellite radio and listen to Howard Stern’s channel for 8.5 hours, Monday-Friday. Anyone who needs to talk to me about something will find me at my desk. Once we’re done communicating, it’s back to baba-booey…fla-fla flunky, ra-ra retard.

I could give a good damn who likes it or who doesn’t.

NUNYA's avatar

Many people try to keep the work setting and the social setting seperate. Though sometimes people have friends at work that they will go places with, email or talk on the phone with. But when at work it is not time to socialize. Depends on how you feel about it. But I’d say it is just fine.

Millenium_TheMysteriousM's avatar

I NEVER “socialized” at work! I “got along” with EVERYONE, but established “friendships” with NO ONE! For surely when you “get close” to ONE person, then someone ELSE hates you for it! So. . . . . .I’d just go to work. . . . .do my job. . . . .was pleasant with everyone and got “close” with NO ONE! Worked out just fine!

Cotton101's avatar

Very good question. Personally, always thought the work place was for work, not socializing. My job was not a 9 to 5 job and had a lot of freedom and always wanted to get my work done asap. Always was friendly to my co-workers, but never got into who said this or that. And, out of respect for my boss and company, was there to work, not play! Not to say, occasionally, all of us like to have some fun and that would be usually on Friday afternoon. And, at my work place, the boss usually liked to join in on Friday afternoon. Then, it would be okay!!!!!!!

scotsbloke's avatar

I think it also depends on your position. In my work I always tended not to socialise as I was a manager, I know that’s old hat but it was easier in the running on my department if I wasnt best pals with people, but if you are shy it can be a different thing. Socialising outside of work can be a good and bad thing, I mean, would you want to spend more time with the people you work with?

lonelydragon's avatar

@stratman37 No need to get defensive. I will not flame you, because you are correct: what we do contributes to our self-worth. But I do want to respond to something else. I never said that I had problems getting along with co-workers. I just don’t go out of my way to talk to people, that’s all. But if someone comes to me with a problem, I am nice and helpful to them.

Cotton101's avatar

@lonelydragon, very good response! like that!

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I don’t socialize in the workplace either, for similar reasons as yours, I don’t feel comfortable in any social situation. Depending on the nature of your job socializing may or may not be important to promotion or retention. If you are in a union or civil service job, no, since the contract or work rules govern almost all aspects of your job. In a small non-union company socializing could be crucial. In some industrial jobs, socializing on paid time is actually forbidden. I take the attitude that I’m being paid to perform my professional duties, not socialize. As I am a highly productive employee, my superiors are satisfied and that is all that is required as far as I am concerned. I have no desire to be promoted into management so there is nothing to be gained by being any more than polite to my superiors.

Silhouette's avatar

I don’t socialize at work much either. I have brought work friends into my personal life before and I have lived to regret it. Now, I keep them separate. I still have lunch or an occasional after work drink with my work friends but that’s about it.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

As a side issue, I have seen workplace romances/breakups totally destroy the morale of the workplace. Not pleasant to be around.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Do you want to advance at this company? When you leave it, do you want to be able to have great references from this group of people? If so, then, yes, you must socialize a bit more than you do. Any task on a job can be learnt, but what many employers want to see is the ability to get along with many different kinds of people and be an effective team player, if not leader. The only way to show that you can do that is by talking with and sometimes socializing with your colleagues.

They don’t have to be your best friends! But the occasional lunch with one or two of them, or speaking to them, asking for advice or help, making small talk at the water cooler for a few minutes in the morning; these things help.

I wasn’t very good at that at my last “permanent” job, and it’s hindering me now in my current search for work. Hardly anyone there knew me well enough that I feel comfortable asking them for help, reccos or references now. And I spent 8 years there. Don’t be like me. Don’t tell yourself that you won’t fit in or “Gee, it’s like high school in here!” That doesn’t help. Learn how to be social with your work mates. Unless you have the most top-notch skills in the world and headhunters are beating a path to your door in your field, you really need effective social skills. And even if they are, you still need effective social skills.

Try Toastmasters to learn how to be less afraid in speaking to others. Or a meetup group. Figure out where your shyness is coming from and work on lessening those issues. Your career depends upon you working on these things, it really does. Good luck.

Cotton101's avatar

@aprilsimnel, very good answer. Having worked for a large company for 25 years and now retired, you make very good points!

CorwinofAmber's avatar

People can misinterpret your shyness for “not liking them (on a personal level)”. It couldn’t hurt for you to step outside your comfort zone and strike up a conversation; you might meet some nice friends.

YCLYHO's avatar

in my experience of going out with work colleagues, it seems to me that the ‘pecking order remains the same, which is something i cannot stand! just because i have to go along with all their drivel, and opinions at work, doesnt necessarily mean i agree with them – i just require a quiet life, as i work with so many biatches i have to…..........

mattbrowne's avatar

Networking is one of several key success factors in professional life.

john65pennington's avatar

All of us have our own personalities, i am not a shy person at all. i have always been a leader in most everything i do. never a dull moment around me. when you were born has a lot to do with your personality. people under the Cancer sign are this way, at least the people i know. do you consider yourself to be a leader or a follower? you sound like the type person that will let Prince Charming just sweep you off your feet and you will be in love with him forever. ld, do not worry about your shyness. some people may think you are recluse, but you know better. find you a bubbly man that will bring you out of your shell. look for Mr. Right. john

lonelydragon's avatar

@john65pennington My star sign is Leo, but I was born a few weeks early, so I feel that my personality is more closely aligned with Virgo. Maybe that’s why I feel like I have two personalities: I’m an introvert who wants to be an extrovert. I can be talkative and friendly with people I know well, or with people who make me comfortable. I also have strong opinions, even though I don’t express them often. I used to be more sociable, at least until some bad experiences in my recent past turned me off to socializing.

suzie271's avatar

People at work are not your friends… particularly in the world of Finance… I can’t speak for other fields of work….

People who try to say you must “socialize” to advance in your career are talking rubbish….. What they are basically saying is that you must “kiss ass”.... pretend to be friends with people you could otherwise care less about ??? Whatever…

I am not kissing anybody’s ass to get where I want to go in life?

I want to be judged on my performance only

People at work are you friends only if you are at the same level as them or beneath them… As soon as your social status surpasses them you will see the change in their attitude toward you… Some people are just disillusioned… Whatever

Work is Work… Get involved in Social activities outside work and for your own sake KEEP WORK AND SOCIAL LIFE SEPERATE… The only people who take it personal that you don’t socialize much with them are people who HAVE NO LIFE OUTSIDE WORK… and people who are just plain miserable and NOSY


Work by it’s very nature is a competitive environment .. Don’t be fooled…

Companies always try to make you feel like work is like a family… that is because they want you to dedicate your whole life to the company… It’s all about maximising profits and maintaining a low turnover.. not that they really care about you… or that they really want to be your friends..

flo's avatar

Absolutley not, you are not a “slacker”. I especially don’t think recognizing the brthdays of employees is not good. It makes employees feel obligated to act grateful etc. It is too complicated.

flo (13313points)“Great Answer” (1points)

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