Can Co-workers Be Besties? Where do you draw the line and what Boundaries are set?

Updated: Apr 18

Let's be honest; we all have that one particular person at work we call our work bestie. That person who can make a monotonous day go by quickly. Ready to turn a PD or training into Saturday night live. Given the amount of time we spend at work, relationships will form. These relationships make work more productive and satisfying. However, we also have to deal with cranky, miserable people who are simply unhappy. The behavior they exhibit suggests that they resent their job and their colleagues. Despite the negativity they send your way, they secretly watch every move you make. All for the sake of using you as a topic of conversation. Where is the sincerity? It is merely a facade? I call it the classic case of the backstabbers. Some people will smile in your face, but ultimately want to take your place.

My first full-time job was at a daycare. I just obtained my BA degree, exuberated to be done with school. Late night studying and writing papers were a thing of the past. As the youngest worker, I was also the lead teacher. At this time, Facebook had just opened up to everyone. Initially, you had to be in college to create an account because a college email was required. My older colleagues sent me a friend request. After months of not responding, two colleagues pressed me to why I had not approved their request. I was trying my best to be polite and professional. Rather than explaining how I felt, I merely said, "Oh, I don't follow my coworkers." In my head, I was pondering whether we had anything in common. Our viewpoints are different significantly. Let's be honest; you are trying to get a glimpse into my personal life. Ignoring the problem didn't help; because my coworkers didn't get the hint. Eventually, I gave in and accepted my coworkers into my personal life. When you allow people to follow you, they have access to what goes on in your life. A year later, we got into a heated argument. What was mentioned were the things I post on social media. My social media consists of me hanging out with my family and friends. I was 24 years old at the time. I don't have any children or any obligations. Due to my hard work, I attend parties and social events during my free time. The jabs they took, they thought their comments would hurt or cut me. It didn't faze me because I live for myself and do me. I learned an important lesson. When it comes to work: you don't let anybody know your business or how you move. I should have set some boundaries and not back down.

It is rare to make coworkers friends. Too many reasons support this claim, including the difficulty of figuring out someone's intentions. Questions you may have; are they being genuine, or do they have something malicious in mind? Some people have low standards and expectations. Part of the reason; they don't know their worth. As a result, they settle for anything. Some people want comfort and do not want to risk anything. When people are intimidated by others or feel threatened, they will do shady things. Your emotions will dictate what you do. When people believe they have to compete with you, they will disguise themselves as your friend. The purpose is to know their opponent's next move in the organization. Do you have any plans of moving up or leaving? The last thing a veteran on the job wants to see is the newbie they possibly trained moving up and supervising over them. Let us not forget the gossip crew, which is nosy and wants to report everything under the sun to the supervisor.

I must have worked at least seven jobs in my life. Honesty, I only befriended three coworkers. I call them my fabulous three. They deserved the title because they have had my back; when it comes to excelling in my career. Genuinely: we want to see each other win. These ladies are a rare breed. We continue to hang out once a month and discuss issues in our career, that we can't talk about to others on the job. We can relate to each other because we understand what we are going through. Englightenment is offered and accepted.

From my personal experience nine out of ten times, you can not make coworkers your friends. There are too many hungry people at the table with too many hidden agendas. It is not worth opening up and letting your guard down to only be disappointed. Being cordial, setting boundaries, and sticking to them is the key to excelling and having less drama.

Rules to Stick by in the workplace

  1. 1. It is always a good idea to be friendly and social at work, as it increases job satisfaction.

  2. It is also essential to set boundaries at work with your coworkers. Stay firm and stick to them.

  3. It is ok to get coffee or snacks for colleagues, but do not invite them to your house, BBQ, and special events.

  4. Sharing personal information about yourself is not good. No matter how trivial it might seem to you. It means a great deal to someone else.

  5. Keep professional goals to yourself.

  6. Finally, there is the crowded career ladder where you and your friend are competing for the same position, and when one moves up, there is some resentment.

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