|Studies have shown that having a friend at work is an important source of job satisfaction, and your situation appears to be a study in what happens when you have none. Your interesting work can be a source of satisfaction, but it is trumped by the lack of friends. |
In companies where employees are rather aloof or members of exclusionary cliques, it is not uncommon to find that employees who are interested in having a friend either resign themselves to being loners, or they resign, period.
However, there are some steps to consider between these two endpoints. First, although you already reached out to a few people, that is not enough. You should widen your search. There may well be some other staffers who have feelings similar to yours.
In addition, keep an eye out for new hires. Some may come on board with expectations that parallel yours, and they are likely to appreciate your actions as a mentor and friend.
If you take these types of steps and still cannot find any friends, and the sense of isolation is truly upsetting, you should be your own best friend and start looking for amicable solutions elsewhere.