Work friends are necessary. They’re always there if you need a lunch buddy, they understand exactly what you have to deal with at work and research has shown that they even make us more productive.
But what do you do when a work friendship goes south? Maybe the friendship has run its course or maybe you’ve just got tired of their incessant moaning. Whatever the cause, here are a few simple ways that you can end the friendship gracefully. No cat fights needed.
Weigh up your options
Friendships are supposed to build you up and make you feel better. Unfortunately, toxic friendships have the opposite effect. If you’re dealing with a negative friendship at work you really have two options. Your first option is to begin to distance yourself from your toxic friend. The second option is to openly discuss the problems with them. Decide on your plan of action and take it from there.
Keep your emotions in check
No one wants to see an office showdown. As the friendship comes to an end do not let the situation affect your work or the staff morale.
One easy way to do this is to isolate the problematic friendship in your mind. Keep the issue separate from your work life and your home life. Only think about the problem when you are planning to do something to deal with the situation.
If you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all
Resist the urge to badmouth your former friend. You do not want to get a reputation as the office gossip advises Jan Yager, Ph.D., author of “When Friendship Hurts: How to Deal With Friends Who Betray, Abandon or Wound You.”
Your colleagues may notice that you are spending more time apart. If anyone asks just say that you are giving each other space. If you really want to talk to someone about the situation confide in a family member or personal friend. Save the drama for someone neutral.
Reach out to other colleagues
Forming new bonds with other work pals will help you to move on. Make a conscious effort to connect with other coworkers over the next few weeks. This will help you to deal with awkward lunchtimes in the canteen or after work drinks.
Don’t feel guilty
Just like a romantic breakup, breaking up with your work best friend can make you feel horribly guilty. Yes, it’s hard but you need to remember that you have to put yourself first. If the friendship was affecting your work and your overall mood then you have every right to walk away. It doesn’t negate the history that you have together it simply means that you’re ready to move on. Good luck!