• Resolving Problems

Navigating Workplace Friendship Shifts

Published: January 3, 2024 | Last Updated: January 3, 2024 By | Reply Continue Reading
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When workplace alliances change, it’s important to maintain your focus on work


Dear Friendship Doctor,

I’ve encountered a challenging situation with a workplace friend, Ana. Our friendship blossomed three years ago through a mutual best friend, Sally, and we bonded over shared experiences and disappointments in Sally’s changing behavior. Ana and I became close, supporting each other through tough times.

Recently, I’ve transformed my outlook on life, becoming more positive and optimistic after overcoming personal struggles. However, I’ve noticed Ana distancing herself from me, reconnecting with Sally and excluding me from their plans. Despite my efforts to maintain our bond, Ana seems uninterested.

The workplace dynamic complicates matters, and I’m unsure how to proceed without creating a hostile environment. Should I confront Ana about the shift in our friendship, or is it time to let go?

Signed, Marcie


Hi Marcie,

It’s not uncommon for workplace alliances to shift, and it seems Ana has gravitated back towards Sally. This change might stem from Ana’s preference for commiserating with Sally about shared problems.

If Ana is unwilling to discuss the situation, it’s challenging to reverse the shift. What’s troubling is Ana making exclusionary plans with Sally in your presence. This hurtful behavior, whether intentional or not, needs addressing.

Considering the workplace setting, aim to de-escalate tension by remaining cordial and friendly while minimizing non-work interactions with Ana and Sally. Nurture friendships outside of work for the time being.

Best, Irene

Have you ever had a workplace friendship turn sour? Leave a comment below.


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