Can Your Work Friends be Your Real Friends?

I’ve had quite a few jobs in my day. From camp counselor, to retail sales, and now into the corporate world. Through my journey, I’ve encountered a great number of people who shared those jobs with me. I would eat lunch with some of them, slack off, get yelled at by our boss, or maybe even grab them lunch while they went to get pot (uh, not for me though). We did the things friends would do but happened to be at work. I’ve still maintained relationships with those people. Then there were others who I was friendly with, but just never clicked. Maybe we would work the same shift, be on the same clients, or tag team a customer, but most of the time it was awkward AF.

There is a fine line when it comes to work friends and real friends. Don’t get it twisted, work friends will still call you out for fucking up that TPS report. But real friends will blame it on Kyle, or someone in accounting. Just because you go to a company sponsored happy hour with some co-workers doesn’t mean they are your real friends. So, how do you tell?

1. Stop-and-chats

A work friend is someone you hold the door for but can’t ever talk to comfortably. Instead of actual conversations with this person, you are forced to say something in the elevator like, “Oh man, we must be on the local! *forced laugh*”. When you walk by their desk you give him the ole’ gun and wink. But when you’re dropping off invoices to Gina, and you stop off to talk about how glad you are not to be a pathetic Jets fan … you’ve found a real friend.

2. Individual Lunches

Did you get the invite to go out to lunch with a group from the office this Friday? It’s Olivia’s birthday, and she wants Sushi (“Cheat day!”).
Those are not your friends.
Try clearing your calendar to go grab a burger and a beer 1-on-1 at lunch. When you look at each other and say “Yeah, I’ll do one more,” you know you got something special.

3. Texting/Facebook

It’s almost part of the job description to exchange cell phone numbers with your boss and usually the people you work closely with. On the Facebook front you could set up a fake profile just for people at work, but that seems like a lot of work. Set some boundaries via restrictions on your privacy settings and you’re good to go.
However, once you start texting outside of work or dare I say like a FB post, you’re playing for keeps.

4. Talk about your S/O

This is trickier than it sounds. Talking about your Significant Other shows trust and would mean you’re actually friends. WRONG! Natasha telling you about how funny her husband was and showing you pictures of him dressed up as Buzz Lightyear and the dog as Woody just means that they are sick fucks who spend too much time at Party City. DO NOT be friends with that person. If you are stressed out over a relationship and confide in someone at work and they give you actual advice (and even better, it is good advice), you straight up marry that MOFO. Guy/girl, doesn’t matter, put a ring on it.

5. Wedding Invite!

You actually got invited to this person’s wedding. I don’t believe it either. It’s time to officially remove that “co-worker” title from the notes section of your phone. This relationship will last long after you give your two weeks’ notice, so make sure you pony up and get a good gift (hopefully they are registered at The Knot)!