A study from the Journal of Vocational Behavior found that those with high emotional intelligence at work often use their finely tuned social skills to become more embedded in the social fabric of their workplace and overall more liked. They’re able to get more people on their team, convince those people to then serve their purposes and later rise above them to take the higher salaries and promotions they want.

Unfortunately, emotional intelligence often does mean that you’ll have to get over your own hurdles, sometimes of your dislike of your coworkers. But the benefits far outweigh the annoyances.

How do you start making friends at work and reaping the rewards that follow?

Realise that if you’re typically a very introverted or unsocial individual, the first few weeks or even months are going to be an uphill battle. Social seeds have to be planted and watered before they’re harvested.

Then, get to work. Start by interacting with people who you don’t currently need anything from. Talk to those people. Engage them. Show them that you’re a nice guy or gal who wants to be their friend. Participate in small talk at the coffee maker or photocopier. Ask them questions about themselves.