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help! What should I do with my Cliquey colleague?

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Oh dear,

I have been in my job for about three years and I really like it. Work is always fun and challenging. My manager promotes my growth and always supports me. My work-life balance is the envy of my friends. There is only one problem: the faction is too intense, I think I am back in high school! “Cool kids” are happy to work with them, but in meetings, they always giggled obviously because of some internal jokes, and now we are all vaccinated, they often post photos on Instagram, where they All of us went out to play and none of us were invited. How can I overcome my jealousy or help change our office culture so that it doesn’t feel like a popularity contest?

——Melissa

A former boss once said that people should never be friends with colleagues. This is a wise philosophy-most people need a clearer line between work and life, not more blurred. Separating the two can avoid toxic cultural issues like the one you are experiencing. But it also cannot identify how humans actually operate. Of the people I can reasonably call friends, about 100% are classmates or colleagues (or partners or close friends of my classmates or colleagues); I don’t even know how else I can meet new friends. When I sat down to write this column, a highly scientific survey of people active on my Gchat buddy list showed that most people feel the same way. Even my reluctant boss succumbed to her principled position; our entire team became intimate, and it remains the same today.

If we accept the inevitability of workplace friendship, we may also be trapped in small circles. It is our nature to form subgroups, and subgroups are by definition exclusive. This is not necessarily a bad thing-it helps to have someone who is particularly loyal to you, even if it means that there are others besides you who are particularly loyal to others.

However, although we rationally know that everyone should have a large group of friends, witnessing other people’s circle of friends can still be hurt. Although I don’t doubt the ability of “cool kids” to create bigger cultural problems-I used to be a seventh-grade girl-I do think that injured self-esteem sometimes causes people to see “factions” instead of ordinary ol’ Friends group. I drank alcohol with some colleagues, but never drank with others, and I would definitely giggle at the meeting because of the sidewalk DM.This is mainly healthy, especially when everyone Feel a bit out of touch Entered into a global pandemic in one and a half years.Don’t you say if you have Close work friend, Melissa, but focusing on finding one or two or making internal jokes with them can be a good distraction and avoid understandable jealousy.

However, let us assume that the cool guy in your workplace is indeed creating a toxic environment, not just occasionally causing jealous laughter.There are many things they You can change their behavior, but your options for changing it are very limited. Because they are adults and not girls in seventh grade, I tend to think that this group is ignorant, not positively evil, and they don’t understand their influence on other people.With this in mind, I suggest you choose a friendly and reasonable member you know and ask them to calm down with you [insert problematic behavior here] Because it will hurt the feelings of others.Also: invite group members to hang out with you your Work friends. Even if you don’t all start to hang out regularly, occasional summits of different groups can greatly reduce the sense of isolation.

However, if none of these work, you will have to figure out how to manage your feelings instead of solving the cause. The first step: mute or unfollow cool kids on Instagram. They have every right to post photos of their wild nights, just as you have the right to avoid seeing them. Step 2: Send a pungent DM to a friend during a work meeting, and then watch her try to control her laughter. You will be happy and will not care about what the group is doing.


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