How to be friendly at work (but not too friendly)
Maintaining a friendly demeanour with co-workers can keep the workplace a pleasant atmosphere. Being around them for eight or more hours, five days a week, forces you to at least break that first barrier in getting to know your workmates. Making friends in the office, however, has its perks and downfalls. Here are four truths to consider when befriending co-workers:
1. Your personality will clash with at least one person in the office.
Sorry, but it’s true. While you may have the “go along, get along” attitude, someone else’s aggressive behaviour may rub you the wrong way. As long you can acknowledge that you view things differently and move on, it won’t be a problem in the long run.
2. But one of them might actually become a great friend.
When Meredith met Christina on their first day as interns at Seattle Grace Hospital, who would’ve thought that their friendship on Grey’s Anatomy would inspire a work friendship movement? Known for calling each other their “person,” their bond endured conflict throughout the seasons up until Sandra Oh’s character departed on Grey’s recent season finale. I can honestly say I have bonded with at least one person at each job that I’ve been at. Now that I work at an awesome law firm, I feel like I have a great “family” of friends that I work with. We eat lunch together, laugh together and cover for each other when needed.
3. There will be competition.
Competition is inevitable in any workplace. After all, everyone wants to get ahead at some point in their career. Whether its volunteering to take on extra responsibilities or doing extra research, competition is just part of the job. Andy quickly became Emily’s arch nemesis in “The Devil Wears Prada” when she began excelling at her job—to the point where their boss Miranda ditched Emily and chose Andy to accompany her to fashion week in Paris, a business trip most coveted among the assistants.
4. Beware of backstabbing and office politics.
There will usually be someone in your company who will throw you under the bus when they get the opportunity, to either get ahead, or cover their butt. It’s just inevitable. When it happens, though it’s easy to retaliate, don’t. If your work and character warrant it, you’ll be noticed, and your boss will remember that you didn’t retaliate when you had the chance to.