Advice

Dear Julie: “I’m Jealous of a Coworker” + “My Friends Are Fighting”


DAME’s Friendkeeper helps a woman deal with losing a promotion to a pal and explains how to navigate a social split.



Dear Julie,

I’ve been working at the same company for a handful of years now. I work in software so it’s a pretty dude-oriented environment, but since I joined I’ve gotten to be really good friends with one of the other gals on our development team. In fact, I would consider her a friend before a coworker at this point. Except for last week, when she got a promotion and I didn’t. Then I couldn’t help but think of her as that employee who got my promotion. It’s not that she doesn’t deserve it, she totally does. But I wasn’t prepared for how shitty it made me feel. I know as her friend I should be happy for her, but as her coworker, I’m bummed and a little jealous. Okay, maybe a lot. How do I make sure this doesn’t ruin our friendship? And how do I navigate the new working relationship we have, without compromising our non-working one?

Signed,

Working Girl

 

Dear WG,

You know, kudos to you for admitting that you are bummed and jealous. I think envy is the most insidious of feelings and it’s very hard to admit it. It is absolutely appropriate for you have those feelings. But don’t go crazy with them. I’m no Barbara Business but I think the things that go into one person getting a promotion over another come down to a lot of intangibles. Take, for example, when everyone on The Office was applying for the job in New York. I never thought Michael would get it but I did think Jim would. I NEVER expected Ryan to get it. See what I’m saying? Good. You’re not supposed to, because it doesn’t really make sense to my kind. What you need to do with this good friend is go out for a drink with her to celebrate. And tell her you were a little bummed and jealous but you’re dealing with it. It kind of diffuses the angry tiger in your pants if it’s out there. And if you realize that you’re unhappy with the position you have at your company, and that your talents aren’t being recognized, you may want to end up switching jobs—like, I think you should work in the office of Parks and Recreation. Or even with Rachel Green at Ralph Lauren. And don’t thank me, I’m always happy to share my knowledge of the business world.

 xx Julie

 

Dear Julie,

Two of my friends have had a falling out. I don’t know the details, and to be honest, I don’t really care to—I’m close to both of them and would like to stay that way. And so far they’ve been pretty good about keeping it between themselves but it’s still relatively new. Of course I just want everyone to get along, and I wish they were writing you for tips about reconciling but they’re not, so this question is about me. How am I supposed to deal with their breakup? When we have group gatherings, do I trade off inviting them? Do I invite them and just deal with any drama that might ensue? Do I make talking about it with either one off limits? Or do I try to mediate between them? This feels more complicated than dealing with a romantic breakup!

Please advise.

Middle of Nowhere

 

Dear MoN,

That’s a very stressful situation. Your friends seem to be handling it maturely, though. I think I’d talk to each of them about what they see happening in the future. Are they going to never speak again? If it’s something temporary, just a matter of them needing space, let them be. See them separately. If they’re both really angry, they may not even know how they feel. And then I’d let them be as well. In time, they should be able to interact maturely (if ex-spouses can do it, ex-friends can do it). But my guess is that you’re worrying prematurely. For now, be zen like the Friendkeeper. And as far as group gatherings go, my feeling is invite them both. It’s their job to decide what they want to do. Recently my aunt’s dear friend passed away. She emailed her ex-husband and said, “There’s a funeral and a memorial, I’ll go to one and you can go to the other.” Unfortch he picked the nice cozy warm one and she had to stand outside in the freezing cold on a pile of dirt. But I digress, when people’s relationships go south, it is not our responsibility to keep them apart.

xx Julie

 

Got a platonic problem of your own that could use the Friendkeeper’s advice? Fire away: [email protected]. No situation is too uncomfortable or too small and all details are kept confidential.

 

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