Beware The Toxic Office Friendship

Female friends An article in Forbes Woman about the pleasures and perils of office friendships caught my eye as this can be a tricky path to steer. As women we feel the need to be liked and want to enjoy friendships at work, and often for women in a male dominated environment we need an ally. But how far should we take it and when are you too close to the people you work with? As Susan Sahpiro Brash, a professor of gender studies at Marymount Manhattan College and author of Toxic friends: The Antidote for Women Stuck in Complicated Friendships says, having an authentic friend provides a support system when times are tough. Some of these friendships will last throughout your career, and indeed, can help you to win promotion or find a new role. The problem starts when you become too close to someone who is disloyal or when the balance of the relationship changes, for example when you are promoted over your friend and are now responsible for their appraisal. The article also discusses certain 'types' of friend we should avoid. If the Office Gossip befriends you, you have to consider that she won't keep any personal information you divulge private. If the 'User' starts befriending you and asking for little favours here and there whilst giving you gifts, you may not realise her real motive is stealing your promotion, and the 'insta-friend' is the one who will end up invading your private life outside of work. It makes sense to enjoy camraderie in the workplace but we should keep our true 'best' friend for outside of the workplace it would seem.

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