Tips to choose your friends out of colleagues

Choosing right friends is very important and especially so when you have to select them from a group of office colleagues with whom you interact every day. In fact the line between friends and colleagues is quite blurred and it often means making a personal choice whether to give an important position in your life, as a friend to them or just maintain a professional relation.

Many a times we clash with our colleagues owing to differences in opinion, competition, jealousy or something similar. However, being rivals puts us in a difficult situation since we have to interact at least professionally with these colleagues on regular basis. On the contrary sometimes we find best of our friends with colleagues. Office environment, stress, similar bosses, same kind of work profiles facilitates this kind of friendship. But while doing so you have to remember to chose your friends carefully, because you reveal your character not only by the company you keep but also by the company you avoid. So you must know whom to maintain as just colleague and with whom you have allow your friendship to blossom.

There are few basic things we need to consider while we choose our friends in colleagues. First of all, know the person well and for a longer span of time. Some characters come up only as time passes and your first impression might just be a short-lived one. So before you start sharing your personal stuff with colleagues know them in and out by casually spending time with them, understanding how they talk about their existing friends and how good are they at keeping other’s secret a secret. Do not go by the reputation of the person; do consider it but give more importance to your personal experience and instincts. As they say, “When you choose your friends, don’t be short-changed by choosing personality over character.” The next important thing is know what to reveal and what not do. Talking about your previous jobs, current salaries, hikes or discussing too personal things related to your married or sex life can sometimes take a bad turn. So, it is better to restrict discussing few intimate topics.

Well, after you have made a choice, selected your friends and started sharing a good time with time; you have to now make sure that your professional and personal lives are apart. You may sometimes feel as colleagues your opinions do not match, the way of work differs and at times you even clash over few office related things. However, these kinds of issues should be confined to your 9-5 job and in the four walls of office. Avoid discussing these topics once you are out of office and are spending time together as friends. It helps to keep your relationship healthy.

Few pros of having friends in office:

  • Being friends with colleague helps you spent quality time in office.
  • Work becomes more enjoyable place to go because you feel appreciated and cared about.
  • It reduces chances of misunderstanding because your colleague would know you better as a result of your friendship with him/her.
  • And of course, it gives you a chance to vent out your frustration.
  • They also seem to understand your stress which might be a reflection of your personal issues.

Cons:

  • Too much of chit-chat and out of office related talks can take tolls on your work.
  • Two co-workers when they are friends and favor each other continuously can cause biased opinions and discontent amongst others.
  • Getting too close to colleagues and revealing them your secrets can mean spilling all your beans together, with less scope to keep anything under cover.
  • If you have trusted wrong people as friends and shared some critical office issues with them it can damage your reputation at work, if the information leaks.

As a word of caution, apart from selecting your friends in colleagues carefully, also make sure to work at priority irrespective of the situation. Your friendship should not be deleterious to your work. It is always good to have a support system but remember some battles are to be fought alone. Also, let your love for your friend be shown in something else rather than favoritism during office discussions. If you take care of these small things, you can definitely have a fruitful relationship with your colleagues.

You cannot change the people around you, but you can change the people that you choose to be around.

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