Being best friends with your coworkers is often romanticized — think The Office or Parks & Recreation, or any other workplace based sitcom where friendship reigns supreme. Reality is a little different. Sure, sometimes people are BFFs with their coworkers, and that's fine. But more often than not, people are just fine friends with their coworkers, or acquaintances, or simply just coworkers. In other scenarios, they're mildly annoyed by one another, and in the worst case, become arch nemesis with one another. The workplace isn't usually our primary source for BFF accumulation.
So while it might seem like you have to be besties with your coworkers, don't worry if you're not. In my experience, and the experience of just about everyone I know, it's more than likely that you're either casual friends or fairly apathetic to the people you work with. They're probably not the people you pour out your deepest, darkest secrets to, and that's OK. It's actually probably for the best. Don't beat yourself up if you're not in some wild friendship romance with your coworkers. Most people go home after a long day at work to different friends, partners and families. If you're not Leslie and Ann, or Ben and Chris, that's OK. Here's why:
1. It's Nice To Leave Work At Work
When you're BFFs with your coworkers, work goes with you everywhere. Social Saturday drinks will always involve work conversations, even if you don't want them to. That's part of your common ground! It's nice to leave work at work, see your work friends only occasionally for happy hour, and have your social life be totally independent of your work life.
2. Likewise, Sometimes It's Nice To Leave Your Private Life At Home
When you're annoyed at your BFF because she's being a bridezilla, or you just spent Friday night, Saturday, Sunday joined at the hip with your bestie, it can be nice to change the pace at work. When you're best friends with your work-mates, they're literally there ALL THE TIME — and while that can be nice, in times of high stress, or when they're the cause of your stress, it's not the greatest.
3. Sometimes Work Has To Be, Well, Work
Work isn't meant to be all giggles and fun all the time. Sometimes you have to knuckle down and focus, and that can be hard with your BFF at the desk next to you.
4. You Might Have To Be Argumentative At Work Sometimes
Making progress at work sometimes involves disagreeing with people, and ruffling feathers in the process. Invested friendships can often lead to people taking things personally whereas workmates should be divorced from that emotion. Having to worry about your BFF's feelings plus getting the best possible outcome at work can be counter-productive.
5. Your Non-Work BFFs Are Valuable Too
Don't feel bad because you're not best friends with your coworkers and feel like you should be. Your non-work besties are just as valuable, and just because you don't work with them all day it doesn't mean you're not super close.
6. It Makes It Easier To Move On
I imagine being BFFs with your coworkers would make it hard to move on. Advancing your career then, might be difficult, or something you don't really think about, because of the intense community you have at work. Being emotionally removed from your coworkers makes it that much easier for you to put your best career interests first.