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1 of 15 group of entrepreneurs are brainstorming, going over paperwork at a meeting at a business cafe. Overhead shot.

The workplace is such an odd and unnatural place. In a perfect world, the only person you should care about impressing is your boss, and the powers at be. You’re there to do a job; not to make friends. But the reality is that the powers at be aren’t the only ones in power and we all know it. You need to make friends with your coworkers, too. There is no knowing how many secret alliances exist—how many employees who are technically on your level are also best friends with and in the ear of your boss. For strategic reasons, you do need to make nice with your coworkers and care what they think about you (even if you don’t like them!). Also for just plain social reasons, don’t you want to get along with the people you spend so much time with? It’s quite possible that they understand your life more than your significant other or best friend does. On that note, are you the most hated person in your workplace?

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They avoid eye contact and keep chitchat brief

If you wind up in the break room or elevator with your coworkers, they don’t look at you. They don’t stop texting or put down their book. They are clearly closed off to conversations. If you ask them a question, they keep their answers short and don’t ask anything in return.

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