by Lawyer Working Girl
My company recently hired a new employee. Since the new hire was a woman and since she was new to the area, I was sure to introduce myself to her. We started talking and she asked if I wanted to have lunch one day soon so she could pick my brain about work and the city. Absolutely! After all, as much as I move, I'm usually the "new kid on the block" and I always welcome insight from others, so this was my chance to help someone else.
So we had lunch and it was cool. I didn't really think too much about it or the new hire after that until the following weekend when she sent me a text asking if I wanted to have lunch. It was a busy day for me so I told her that I couldn't, but maybe some other time. To be honest, I said it in the same manner that we say to people, "We'll have to get together soon" or "I'll call you" but you don't really mean it. It just somehow slips out of your mouth before you can stop yourself from saying it.
That next work week she asked if I wanted to have lunch again and inquired about my New Year's Eve plans. At this point it hit me. She wants to be friends. She's new to the city and doesn't know anyone outside of work and she wants to be my friend.
For me, if I'm going to be friends with someone I work with it just has to happen naturally, like with any friends I make. I don't force friendships to happen. I'm friends with about three people at work (actually, I should probably downgrade one person, but that is a post for another day), meaning that I hang out with them outside of work (that's a key part in me calling someone I work with a friend), but none of these friendships were forced. We got to know each other by working together and talking at work, and then it eventually led to "hey, let's all grab a bite to eat after work" or "You want to have lunch?" After a while, we started hanging out away from work. We didn't go from "Hi, it's nice to meet you" to "Let's hang out this weekend." I don't do instant friendships.
I feel bad that I don't want to hang out with her outside of work...yet. I mean, I still don't really know her. We had lunch, I shared a little about work and the city, and we learned a little bit about each other. Cool. I'm just not trying to hang out regularly, until I get to know someone and determine that they are someone I would be friends with. Does that sound harsh? Do you get what I'm saying? I don't know her personality yet, I don't know what she likes to do, I don't know...well, I just don't know her.
Working Girls, are you friends with any of your co-workers? Did your friendships just happen naturally? How do you handle a co-worker wanting to be your BFF?