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Old 13-06-2019, 11:25 PM   #1
Being friends with coworkers

I've always wondered if it is really possible to be friends with coworkers. The reason is because I never hear of people hanging out with coworkers, with the exception of work related events, outside of work despite people saying they are friends with their coworkers. Even where I work at, a lot of them call each other friends but they don't hang out outside of work except on special occasions and I've noticed at least with some of them, they will agree with somethings when in a group, but when they are one-on-one, they have different viewpoints. I think it is more of an attempt to be on good terms with each other or to be liked at work.

I have one coworker who I went to a event with really quickly at work to grab take out food. It was a weekend so there was no work that day. We weren't staying for the event, just getting food. Well as me, her, and her husband were leaving, she mentioned how she was trying so hard to make sure she didn't run into any other coworkers there that worked at the high school. She didn't mind seeing coworkers she used to work with at a middle school but made it clear she didn't want to see anyone from the high school where we work at. I could totally understand that, it just means that she probably doesn't feel close to them even though she is friendly with them.

Also when she is with other coworkers she claims to be friends with, she will have one set of views, but in cases where I saw her out of work, usually at a church or something or even when it is just me and her in the car in the rare cases where she drives me home, her views are entirely different. In fact, she's actually more genuine when she's not with other coworkers. Makes me think she is just being polite to others and doesn't actually see anyone as actual friends. Which I totally understand and even agree with. I also have other friends from school who are social with their coworkers and may even go to work related functions with them, but admit to me they would never actually hang out with them despite them saying they are friends with them. That's why I actually wonder if people may say they are friends with their coworkers but in reality, it just doesn't happen. It is more out of politeness. If anything, coworkers are just like acquaintances. They can be nice and friendly, but would never actually become genuine friends unless one or both of them no longer worked with each other anymore.

The main reasons probably due to some underlying competition, depending on the work environment, and just a general feeling of not wanting to associate with anyone from work when they are not actually at work. Basically people want to keep their work lives and personal lives separated. Do you think it's possible to be genuine friends with coworkers? Have you ever considered a coworker a friend? I will admit I could never see myself being friends with coworkers. I have a family member that owns a buisness and the people that work there are not friends despite saying they are. In fact, they gossip a lot. My coworkers gossip a lot too. Lots of being nice to someone's face but then saying bad stuff when someone is not around. They are all in their 40's and 50's too, way older than me so it doesn't just happen with younger people. Do you keep your work and personal life different? Have you ever attempted to be friends with coworkers only to have it turn sour? I think it is hard since people at work will agree with each other's beliefs and ideas but then change when they are not with them or if they express a change of viewpoints, they may be isolated more. Just wondered what you thought.

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Old 22-06-2019, 05:40 PM   #2
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I'm sure there are lots of people who aren't friends with their coworkers, and it sounds like the coworker you mention in particular falls into that category if she actively tries to avoid seeing coworkers outside of work.

It is definitely possible to be genuine friends with coworkers though! Even though I moved away three years ago, I'm still friends with someone I used to work with, and am in fact going to her wedding this summer.

In terms of not hanging out with them outside of work, sometimes that might be because you already see an awful lot of them at work. I see and talk to one of my friends every weekday at work and also text when we're not at work. That's significantly more than I see and talk to my non-coworker friends, even if we almost never socialise outside of work.

I hope that answers your questions?

We may not see eye to eye, but we can respect each other's opinions and find the truth in them.
Perhaps in those honest conversations, instead of demonising each other,
we might see each other as imperfect humans, doing our best. ~ Jodi Picoult

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Old 08-07-2019, 01:30 AM   #3
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I've met a few friends through work, i still keep in contact with a lady that i worked with, even though i moved 500 miles away to another state. Im not too social, but I've gone bicycling with a few people from my current workplace.

A lot of people act differently with people that they work with. Gossip at work is common, and there are parts of my life (like this site) that i wouldn't want people that i work with to know about.


'in the quiet heart is hidden, sorrow that the eye can't see'

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