Before you jump on the notion of saying “no” to this, hold your horses. Consider this: without friends at work, you would be miserable. Yes. It’s true. Even the cranky lady in her 60s who sits in the corner cubicle criticizing everyone’s work has a friend in the office.

Friends, no matter where they are from, make the world go ‘round.  Making friends at work is a great way to let loose during a stressful or frustrating shift. Having someone there to share the annoyances of your workplace can make life a whole lot easier in the long run. Are you having a bad day because of something going on at home? Discuss it with a co-worker. Having that unbiased feel to a conversation is always a much-needed asset in life.

But, as with anything in life, be cautious with whom you choose to be friends with in your workplace. The work environment is competitive; there are people there to only get ahead, be the boss’ pet, and downplay their co-workers’ work ethic. These co-workers should not be tangled with or fully trusted. And as we all know, trust is everything, especially in friendships. If other people don’t care for this person you’re thinking about chatting with, maybe you should think it over before spilling your life story to him or her. Don’t let your guard down too quickly.

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However, don’t let this deter you. Is there someone at work that you love to talk to each day? Do the two or three of you enjoy grabbing lunch or after-work drinks on occasion? By all means, make friends. But don’t jump into anything until you’re more than sure it’s the beginning of a truthful, worthy friendship.

So, yes, co-workers can be friends. I have plenty of co-workers that I consider to be my friends outside of the work environment. We talk about work at work, but when the day is over and it’s time to head home, the stresses are dropped. We are able to be ourselves inside and outside of the workplace. And it’s an incredible thing to have. While I have my close friends from college or high school, it’s nice to have a friend who knows my work-self, as well as my normal self.

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