Dear Dr. Mimi:
I am the only man in my office and have been in my current position for almost a year. I love my work, but I feel lonely. Don’t get me wrong. People are polite. They ask me how my weekend went and things like that, but no one asks me to join them for lunch. When I ask others if they want to go to lunch, they already “have plans.” I end up eating at my desk or going by myself. Any suggestions?
I would give it another try. Let someone who does go out to lunch know that you would love to join them on occasion, and ask when might it be a good time. If you continue to get refusals, go to your manager and ask them if there is anything that you can do or stop doing to build stronger relationships in the office. If you still get excluded, and it bothers you, this may not be the best work environment for you.