The Politics of Working With Your Best Friend
The Debrief: It's not all gossiping at your desk and coffee breaks
Growing up watching shows like The Simple Life and The Hills makes working with your BFF seem like a dream come true. You are fooled into thinking that it will all be trips to Paris, chatting about your love life and generally just enjoying all the office gossip. Lauren Conrad and Whitney Port seemed to save all their news until they got to the office so that we were regularly treated to hours of footage of them sitting at their desk and having a bitch about Heidi or discussing Brody’s abs.
So when my best friend announced that she would be sitting right next to me in the office I immediately assumed that was what it would be like. And then I remembered that in real life offices don’t actually work like that and you still have to be professional and take your work more seriously than Paris or Nicole ever did.
Even so, after a few bumps in the road, you will realise that just how great it can be as long as long as you stick to a few guidelines. Starting with these:
Leave your problems at the door
This can be tricky, especially after a boozy weekend if she skipped her rounds, stole your man and spilled her drink over your new dress, but any bickering or arguments definitely don’t belong in the office so put any petty issues aside and don’t let it affect your work.
Glaring, bitchy side-eyes and generally throwing shade just makes things unnecessarily awkward for everyone else in the office and creates a negative vibe. Don’t get a reputation for being those overly sensitive frenemies and patch things up before you enter the office. Sometimes it just comes down to spending too much time together and realising that you’re getting a bit sick of them and having a lunch break apart or not hanging out with them ever single evening because you might just need a bit of a breather.
Things that you and your best friend find hilarious will likely be a ‘you had to be there’ situation that no one else will get. If you keep banging on about a mishap from a night out or if you’ve given each other a witty nickname that has a long story behind it you risk seriously irritating the people around you. You don’t need to hide the fact that you’re close friends from your colleagues but don’t shove that friendship down their throats either.
Also, to avoid pissing off the rest of your friednship group, don’t harp on about all the great things that happened at work or gush about how much fun it is working together. Keep that to yourselves too.
Be happy for them
You should genuinely care about each other and want them to do well so if they get a promotion or are just generally being awesome then don’t let your jealousy get out of control and be gracious about it. Only tell completely impartial people if you are seriously envious and think it should have been you because those kind of things spread through friendship groups and you’ll look like a dick. It might just be a case of realising what they were doing well, waiting for your turn and congratulating your friend in the meantime.
Ask for their help
Again, if you really are best friends then you should genuinely care about each other and want each other to succeed. If one of you is drowning in work or are stuck on a problem then work it out together, even if it means fobbing off a boring task on them to lighten your load. It might be irritating or time consuming but they will want to help you be less stressed so just ask for their help. Definitely don’t do this too often or think you can play the stress card as a way to get them to do the tedious stuff that you can’t be bothered to do. That just makes you a rubbish friend.
Make the most of it
You probably won’t get to work with them forever or have the opportunity again so enjoy it while it lasts. Little novelties like unwinding together at the end of the day, helping each other out and gossiping during your lunch break are awesome so take a moment to appreciate them. Don’t go overboard and be cringe or soppy about it either but be grateful that someone will always have your back.
So, just remember that, in the (very) wise words of Maroon 5, ‘it’s not always rainbows and butterflies it’s comprise that moves us along.’ So deep and so true, thank you Adam Levine.
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