Do People Like You at Work?
Unfortunately, cliques don’t end after high school—and neither does the desire to be liked. So it’s not surprising that even though you go to work to make money (not friends) you probably still care what your colleagues think of you. The problem is, some people may believe they’re more popular than they are, and vice versa. How do you really know if the people at work like you? Here are some telltale signs that will help you figure it out.
The invitation barometer
It’s definitely a good sign if your coworkers get together for lunch or fun activities outside of work, and you’re generally asked to join them. If you find you’re not getting a lot of invitations, there are ways to fix this. Try being more open with your colleagues. If you’re all work and no play, they might just assume you’re not interested in the social aspects of the working relationship. Show them that although your serious side tends to dominate, you have a fun side too.
The temperature gauge
It’s no secret that when people like each other, they’re warm and friendly. When they don’t, they tend to be more cold and distant. So ask yourself: When you walk into a room, do those around you smile and greet you with enthusiasm? Or do they avoid eye contact and mumble a weak “hey” under their breath? The warmer the reception, the greater the likelihood your coworkers have genuine fondness toward you. If you find yourself on the colder end of the spectrum, it may be because you give off an icy vibe yourself. Try practicing the golden rule, and greet your coworkers the way you would like to be greeted.
The joke meter
One of the best ways to know if you’re enjoyed at work is to determine if you’re more likely to be in on the joke or the butt of the joke. Every workplace has its resident clown or prankster. As long as that person doesn’t fall into the “mean girl” category, they’re probably pretty popular around the office. Even if that’s not you, you can still gauge your popularity by whether people are generally laughing with you, or laughing at you. The same can be said about gossip.
The water cooler indicator
If people are whispering behind your back, you are not part of the inner circle. But that’s not always a bad thing, especially in the case of office gossip. You should never go against your principles just to fit in. But where you stand in the water cooler hierarchy can be an indication of where you register on the like/don’t like scale.
The body language benchmark
Do your coworkers roll their eyes, give each other knowing looks, or elbow each other when you speak? If so, your words or actions are probably rubbing them the wrong way. Even if they don’t tell you to your face, their expressions and mannerisms will speak volumes about how they really feel about you. So if you notice this type of body language on a regular basis, it may be time to work on improving your communication skills. Soften your tone, be humble, and lighten up once in a while. On the other hand, if your colleagues smile, nod their heads, and give you great eye contact when you’re speaking, you’re good to go.
In the end, no one is liked by everyone. Chances are, you don’t like everyone you work with either. However if you’re wondering whether, on the whole, your coworkers like you, the guidelines discussed here should help clear things up. And if you determine you’re not so well-liked, it’s never too late to do something about it.