There’s one lesson a lot of young people learn the hard way: Your colleagues are not your friends.
Your co-workers may look like a friend, talk like a friend, and even say they’re your friend – but in 99.99% of the cases – they are not your friends.
This is simply because of human nature.
In a work environment, you and your co-workers are all in a game chasing a slice of the same pie – and there’s not enough pie for everyone.
If there are 5 promotion spots, then there are probably 20 co-workers who want it. If you get it, they probably don’t.
This means you and your co-workers are competitors chasing the same prize and competitors cannot be friends (human nature).
This does not mean your co-workers are your enemies or that you shouldn’t be social with them – it means that you cannot expect them to treat you as if they were your friends.
If you still don’t get it, here’s a super simple example that will explain the difference:
If you complain about your boss to your friend, he won’t tell anyone.
If you complain about your boss to your co-worker, he will let the boss know (directly or indirectly) hoping to get the boss to like him more and getting closer to climbing the ladder.
Even if it doesn’t happen all the time, it will happen if doing so brings a competitive advantage to him. This is simply human nature and if you think you can ignore human nature – you’re a fool.
When you’re talking with a coworker:
- You can be polite with them
- You can wish them happy birthday
- You can occasionally shoot the shit with them
- And do all the other common courtesies you do for an acquaintance
But you have to realize this person is not your bro/sis and you cannot treat them as part of your inner circle.
- No mocking your boss/firm around them (anything you say will eventually reach the wrong ears). Side-note: It’s much better to speak positively about someone behind their backs.
- No gossiping with them because anyone who gossips with you gossips about you.
- No talking about your side online business with them.
- No talking about your personal life problems.
- No “venting” in front of them.
Stay professional and be friendly but do not be under the delusion that the person who is directly competing with you for a promotion can ever be your “friend”.
Don’t be one of those idiots who thinks the world is a fair and pure place where no one has bad intentions.
Or one of those even bigger idiots who actually believes that the corporation is really one big “family” as the HR posters say.
Most people will fuck you over for as little as $25,000.
If your co-workers could do something that would give them a $25,000 raise but would lead to your career being destroyed – would they do it?
You know the answer (and I’m sure many of them would do it for a lot less).
Hope this helps.