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socialising with colleagues

(23 Posts)
Saurus72 Thu 18-Feb-16 01:10:58

So, most of the people I work with are perfectly pleasant, we work well together and I like them. But they are very keen to socialise outside of work which I just am not that interested in - I work around 50 hours a week, plus in the evenings at home often too. Honestly, I just need a break from seeing the same old faces. I would say I go to around 1 in 4 social events that are organised. AIBU?

AreBags Thu 18-Feb-16 01:14:56

No. Just dont go. Stop worrying about it

GapAreUs Thu 18-Feb-16 01:23:08

Not at all - I found this when doing my degree. They all lived nearer and had more in common although I got on with them all really well I found I didn't have enough time for friends and family let alone people ID been thrown together with.
Just be honest with them and state the facts.

BreakfastAtStephanies Thu 18-Feb-16 01:27:05

YANBU. I go on our work Christmas do, and will go on a birthday dinner type do ( usually these are significant birthdays ending in 0 ). I go on 2 or 3 work social things per year. It's enough for me.

Some of them sometimes meet for breakfast before work on a Saturday. I have been invited but don't go. I'll have mine at home, thanks.

I declined a retirement party last summer. It was a barbecue in someone's garden about 40 miles away, and I didn't work with the person very often. Didn't fancy it, also thought I might end up being the driver of a car-full. I am such a grinch.

Go to what you fancy. It won't affect how you get on with them at work.

Quietwhenreading Thu 18-Feb-16 01:27:54

I go to work social functions if they can't be avoided (like Christmas) but generally at the end of my work day I'm just desperate to get home to my family.

I have a series of real sounding excuses that used carefully have served me well. smile

MrsNippyCat Thu 18-Feb-16 07:31:01

I only go to lunches if one of my team is leaving or retiring. Don't do dinners or drinks afterwards. Definitely don't do the Christmas stuff.

I used to make excuses but now I'm open about the fact that I'm pretty anti-social and just don't want to go. Nobody minds and we all still get on well!

CooPie10 Thu 18-Feb-16 07:32:37

Yanbu I always preferred to keep work and friendships apart. Also I really have better things to do than spend with my colleagues. It doesn't mean you are antisocial. I think if you dip in and out of events here and there it should be ok.

Collaborate Thu 18-Feb-16 08:06:09

All work social events can be avoided if you try hard enough

Lottapianos Thu 18-Feb-16 08:11:21

Totally fine OP, I feel the same. Socialising with colleagues is not compulsory and not everybody's cup of tea. If you don't fancy it, don't go

StillDrSethHazlittMD Thu 18-Feb-16 08:27:14

I spent many years in corporate financial institutions. I was told that my career would be harmed because I wasn't attending social functions (the firm put on a few themselves including a huge annual dinner and party with overnight accommodation). Aside from a team lunch at Xmas and a few leaving parties, I never went to any.

Friends are people you choose, colleagues are people you have forced upon you. If you're lucky, you like then. But as you spend at least 35 hours per week, often more, with them you are totally entitled not to spend any more time with them.

Oh, and as for the career harming thing, despite my not going to any of these things, I became the youngest assistant manager in the 200-year history of the firm at the age of 23 after being there five years, having progressed five grades in seniority in the interim.

I'd cut back from even the 1 in 4 you're doing. Work "buy" your time for a certain number of hours. They don't buy you or your life outside those hours.

DoreenLethal Thu 18-Feb-16 08:38:58

I personally find it helped move up the ladder as you are seen as more professional.

If asked I would say I have studying, hobbies, and I work hard so that I can have a nice home which I love spending time in.

QueenLaBeefah Thu 18-Feb-16 08:44:09


My work colleagues are perfectly lovely but the minute I step outside my office I want to think about anything other than work.

Trills Thu 18-Feb-16 08:55:37

I would say I go to around 1 in 4 social events that are organised.

People don't organise social events in order to make you go to them, or to make you feel bad for not going to them.

They organise social events because they want to go, and so do others.

People have different things going on in their lives.

It's not unreasonable to rarely socialise with colleagues, nor is it unreasonable to often socialise with colleagues.

LadyPenelope68 Thu 18-Feb-16 08:57:59

Totally fine to not like the social side, I can't stand it. I have a couple of colleagues who I consider to be good friends with, but still wouldn't want to socialise with them at work. I tend to go to Christmas/leaving/retirement stuff but avoid anything else.

zeetea Thu 18-Feb-16 09:10:56

Nah, its personal preference. You go to a few I think that's more than acceptable.
I enjoy the bigger events of the year (there's a summer and Christmas do) and the occasional leaving drinks if I know them well, but otherwise I don't bother.

tkndnv Thu 18-Feb-16 09:47:28

I am the same. By the time the end of the day rolls around I just want to go home. It's nothing against my colleagues.

However, I live very near my office so will sometimes make the effort to go for couple after work as it doesn't really put me out too much and means I am seen to be joining in from time to time.

Twowrongsdontmakearight Thu 18-Feb-16 10:07:01

I also have only over gone when essential. Colleagues are fine but I'd rather spend time with friends and family.

MagicalHamSandwich Thu 18-Feb-16 10:14:15

I go to the big, important dos and sometimes to the ones which are good for networking (i.e. where one can rub shoulders with the very big bosses). I consider this work, though, not spare time.

I also socialize with co-workers whom I like but a) only with the ones I actually consider friends and b) it's then a private affair as in it doesn't matter how we relate in the hierarchy and jokes about sex and politics are on. This would then be considered part of my private life - I just happen to have friends who are in the same job.

stumblymonkey Thu 18-Feb-16 10:14:47


I used to organise a lot of social drinks evenings when I was single. Sometimes those of us that went would have a little very light-hearted moan about people not coming but it was just in jest and I never thought of them in a negative way.

Fast forward a couple of years and I now have a lovely DP and would rather be curled up on the sofa with him eating dinner than shouting over music at colleagues.

I also agree that the downside of not socialising is more often outweighed by the upside of not risking making a drunken fool of yourself!

I can't see me going to more than the Christmas do from now on and even then I leave quite early

YouSaffBridge Thu 18-Feb-16 10:29:08

YANBU at all to not want to go.

However, I do genuinely find "Colleagues are fine but I'd rather spend time with friends and family" a really interesting sentiment.

Of course you're not going to be great friends with everyone you work with. Most of your colleagues over the years will just be people you share an office with, not someone you share interests with, for example.

But why do people assume that just because you meet someone as a colleague they couldn't ever become friends? confused We meet our friends in all ways and all walks of life. And sometimes a colleague will be someone you really click with and becomes friends with.

I'm not saying that has to happen for everyone, but I'm surprised how many people on MN seem to think that simply because someone is a colleague in the first instance, they could never become a friend.

Whycantweallgetalong Thu 18-Feb-16 10:45:07

Yousaff thank you so much for your post! I've been waiting for someone who thinks like you for years. It seems in the U.K its assumed that colleagues are just NOT friends, no matter how well you get on.

I totally agree, that you don't where you are going to meet a 'friend' and people should be more open minded.

AnchorDownDeepBreath Thu 18-Feb-16 10:45:11

I really enjoy work socials. I go to the vast majority. They're good fun!

It's horses for courses, though. Let the people who love them go, if you don't enjoy them, don't go. It doesn't really matter, in the end.

Twowrongsdontmakearight Fri 19-Feb-16 07:42:38

The problem with 'friends' at work is that it can affect the professional dynamic in so many ways.

For example in my first job as a manager I had to deal with someone who'd been doing very little for years. The rest of the team knew about it but said nothing to my predecessor because she had been good friends socially with this woman outside of work.

In a different situation a colleague was promoted and was upset when treated differently and was no longer accepted as 'one of the lads'.

In marketing and working on a project it's damned hard to tell a friend that they're not pulling their weight (or just not capable) and nigh on impossible to escalate the problem to senior management. Do you treat them differently because they're a friend?

So I keep work and friends separate.

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