Why I’ve Stopped Making Friends At Work

There’s an unspoken rule in most workplaces:

make friends with your colleagues. But lately, I’ve found myself politely declining after-work drinks and opting for solo lunches. This shift isn’t about a personality change; it’s about a reevaluation of priorities. Here’s why the allure of workplace friendships has waned for me:

  1. Focus on Productivity:

The modern work environment demands laser focus. While casual chats with co-workers can be a welcome break, I find extended socializing can eat into valuable time. Maintaining a clear boundary between friendly and friend allows me to prioritize my workload and stay productive.

  1. Avoiding Unnecessary Drama:

Let’s face it, workplaces can be breeding grounds for office politics and gossip. While maintaining a friendly demeanor is essential, deeper friendships can sometimes pull you into unnecessary drama. This can be especially true when performance reviews, promotions, or team dynamics come into play.

  1. The Blurring of Lines:

Friendships often involve a level of personal disclosure that might not be ideal in a professional setting. Maintaining a professional distance allows for open communication and collaboration without the potential awkwardness that can arise when personal matters collide with work.

  1. Finding My Tribe Elsewhere:

Freelancing and remote work are becoming increasingly popular, and the digital nomad lifestyle is on the rise. This shift in the work landscape allows for a more intentional approach to building connections. Instead of relying solely on workplace friendships, I can now cultivate relationships with like-minded individuals who share my passions and career aspirations, often found online or through professional communities.

This doesn’t mean I avoid all social interaction at work. A friendly conversation by the water cooler or a quick lunch with a colleague can still be enjoyable. But for me, work is primarily about achieving my professional goals. By maintaining a professional distance, I can focus on delivering high-quality work and avoid potential pitfalls.

Remember, being friendly with colleagues is essential, but friendship is a whole other ball game. There’s a time and place for both, and for me, striking that balance has led to a more focused and fulfilling work experience.

Dennis Errikson
Dennis Errikson

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