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AIBU colleagues NOT friends?

43 replies

theleavesaregreener · 27/07/2017 18:32

Is it possible to have friends at work? I have made friends with a few girls in my new job (corporate world) but a few months in I am starting to wonder if it has been a mistake. There is a lot of bitching and I wonder if I should have kept my distance and not let them "in". Do you think it is possible to have friends at work? Or should you try to keep it "colleagues not friends" and not let them into your personal life?

OP posts:

SpartacusSaiman · 27/07/2017 18:36

I have made 2 actual friends at work and i have been working 20 years.

One works for the same company but now differenr office and department (i met her when i worked there) and one is on my current team.

Both friendships evolved over time. I knee them fairly well before i consideres them a friend, not just a work friend.

Neither bitchbor gossip and i was pretty sure we would be friends if we met in a differenr environment.

I have never tries to get 2 friendly with people at work or gone out of my way to become real friends with colleagues. But sometimes it happens.


April241 · 27/07/2017 18:36

I have friends from my last job and my current job that I'm very close to and see/text regularly outside of work.

I've also made friends with people in work and realised they're not who I thought they were but you live and learn.

Don't get involved in the bitching, don't divulge too much at the beginning and if you don't end up with a close friendship that's fine but don't close yourself off to anyone who might be a genuine friend.


grafittiartist · 27/07/2017 18:36

I have many dear friends that I have gathered through work. I have to say that most of them are colleagues that I kept in touch with after leaving/ they left. This might make it an easier relationship?


swingofthings · 27/07/2017 18:37

I've made about half of my friends through work. I'm not friend with everyone, but when you spend so much time with people, go together through the tough times, you build a bond. It's never caused me problems.


StillDrivingMeBonkers · 27/07/2017 18:38

You make friends after about five years. Until then they are people you may be friendly with.

If you have to go on nights out and Christmas parties, you stay sober and guard your tongue.

You never let any work colleague onto your private FB or other social media, ever.


Enidblyton1 · 27/07/2017 18:38

Yes, I have some great friends I initially met at work - we've all moved on to other jobs now, but stay in touch. Though I guess friendships have developed more since not sharing the same office. It could all be a bit full on if you spend 9 hours a day with someone and then also see them in the evenings/weekends. Take a step back if it's all getting too much.


Aquamarine1029 · 27/07/2017 18:39

My very firm belief is that co-workers are not friends and they shouldn't be. I have never socialized with co-workers outside of the workplace because I have yet to see anything good from it. In fact, I could talk for hours about the insanely crazy problems friends of mine have had because of getting chummy with co-workers. Keep your private life and work life separate.


Timefortea99 · 27/07/2017 18:40

It is tempting to grab onto any friendly bod when you are new. But the sensible approach is to sit back, take your time before you get friendly with a colleague. I have made this mistake - then realised they were not my cup of tea, and then it becomes awkward trying to extricate yourself without arousing animosity.


Crumbs1 · 27/07/2017 18:40

I have close friends from work - people I meet outside of work. Some from previous jobs I've known and been friends with over 30 years.

Others are colleagues who I might have the odd meal with for work purposes- Christmas, someone leaving etc but i don't classify them as friends as I wouldn't socialise outside a work event or maintain anything but professional contact with in the future. Colleagues are in the majority compared to friends.


acapellagirl · 27/07/2017 18:40

After some bad experiences with colleagues masquerading as 'friends' - I'd apply the three month rule -don't socialise with them until you've known them at least 3 months and genuinely WANT the friendship - otherwise KEEP AT ARM's length


acapellagirl · 27/07/2017 18:42

Spartacus - think you have EXACTLY the right idea in this area


ZivaDiva · 27/07/2017 18:42

Blimey, I wouldn't have any friends if I didn't make friends at work. Where do people make all these friends if not through work?


acapellagirl · 27/07/2017 18:43

APRIL - what you're saying makes sense too


TeenAndTween · 27/07/2017 18:43

I got very friendly with someone at work. Married now for 20 years. Smile
Otherwise I am friends with a few people I used to work with, not close tell-everything-to friends, but come-to-a-BBQ or big-birthday type. 1 lot we go to dinner with.


Glumglowworm · 27/07/2017 18:43

I have one true friend that I met at work. We don't work together anymore but still see each other regularly, met each other's families, been on holiday together.

I have several work friends that I'm friendly with and care about but don't see outside of work or work social events.

I spent several months on long term sick last year, not one of my work friends so much as sent a fb message asking how I was. So while I'm still friendly (I'm back at work now), I do remember that they're not my real friends.


JaceLancs · 27/07/2017 18:45

I am very friendly with most of my colleagues but we only socialise occasionally and nearly always as a group
I also have existing friends who have ended up working with me - we still socialise outside work though
I think the lines are quite hard to draw and as senior management I try to treat everyone the same
Luckily it's worked so far but I think some of that is it's a job that attracts similar people with common values


daisychain01 · 27/07/2017 18:45

Id like to think I'm helpful, friendly and supportive with anyone at work, which to my mind is the best way to prove true friendship.

I don't need people to know my life history or what I do in my personal life, but I can be counted on to keep a confidence if I'm confided in.

Other than that, a couple of my friends from work only became so after they left the company and we are motivated to keep in touch. One person in particular I would trust my life with, they are that dear to me.

Day to day, I don't mix business with pleasure, for fear of it going sour.


FreyaJade · 27/07/2017 18:47

One of my best friends is a colleague - she's so lovely & hasn't got a bitchy bone in her body.

We've seen each other at least weekly during her year long maternity leave from work & she's supported me through psychosis & other health issues so hopefully we'll stay best friends.


KC225 · 27/07/2017 18:50

I think the real test of friends made at work is if one of you leaves, gets promoted and you meet up, do you still 'talk shop' and about everyone? If that's all you have in common it will fizzle out naturally bit if there is something more, you gradually stop talking about work (maybe just a casual mention) and it will develop further. Can never tell though. Well, I can't


GreekGod · 27/07/2017 19:03

I've lived and learned having been in the employment market for over 25 years. Never never never have friends at work. I'm now working somewhere for over nine years and have always kept my distance and it is brilliant. I also never talk about my kids, my husband, my family - it works for me. No-one wants to hear about my family - its boring. I listen to everyone talking about theirs and just smile and never ask questions. Work is for work. I have also been promoted four times and I believe its because I don't have friends there. Whenever I made "friends" it all went pear shaped.


BobbinThreadbare123 · 27/07/2017 19:06

I have a couple of friends that I met through work. Ordinarily, I would say don't, though. I have been treated very poorly by people I thought were friends in work. In my current job, it's friendly but we are definitely not friends. Safer that way.


ThatsNotAHat · 27/07/2017 19:09

If I didn't make friends at work I wouldn't have many! Friends are friends to me, regardless of where you meet them. It doesn't mean you can't be professional.

That said, the women OP refers to do not sound like good news if they are bitching and the OP has doubts already.


Gingerandgivingzerofucks · 27/07/2017 19:10

In my current job, colleagues are just that, I'm not sure I want to stay. I am friends with the girl I replaced, tho, as we got on so well on handing over days. In my previous place, I have good friends, including the girl who replaced me, who was new to the place. Again, we got on well on handing over days.

I'm not really bothered about having friends at work, although can't get rid of my previous colleagues who are fab mates!


Ragwort · 27/07/2017 19:11

I've got lots of friends that I've met through work but have become friends after one of us has left IYSWIM - I recently bumped into someone I had made redundant many years ago Blush - she was incredibly friendly towards me and we have since met up a few times and are becoming 'good friends' now. Grin.

But like others, I wouldn't want to become too familiar with people I was currently working with.


coddiwomple · 27/07/2017 19:12

I have made a couple of really good friends at work, but either we do not work in the same department or we got closer when one of us left. The problem with friends at work is when the dynamic change and one of you get promoted above the other.

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