12 Possible Reasons Why Your Boss Can’t Be Your Friend

Written By Shahzaib Arshad

Why your boss can’t be your friend? This is a question that many people ask, especially those who are in positions of authority. The answer is simple: because your boss is not your friend.

Your boss is responsible for your performance and development at work.

12 Reasons Why Your Boss Can’t Be Your Friend

There are many reasons why your boss can’t be your friend. They are your boss. That means they need to have a power dynamic with you that doesn’t exist in a friendship.

Here are all the reasons your boss can’t be your friend:

1. They Evaluate Your Performance:

Your boss is responsible for your performance review. They need to be able to give you honest feedback – even if it’s tough to hear.

Their job is to ensure you’re meeting (or exceeding) expectations. If they were your friend, they might let personal feelings get in the way.

Honest feedback

Sometimes, bosses need to give employees hard feedback. They might be hesitant to do that if they’re friends with you.

This may affect your work quality and relationship with your boss. And it could lead to you not getting promoted or receiving a raise.

2. They Set Your Goals:

Your boss plays a significant role in setting your goals. They need to ensure that your goals align with the company’s objectives.

If they were your friend, they might be more lenient with you. They might not push you to reach your full potential.

They may also set different expectations for you than they would for other employees. This could create a feeling of favouritism, which would be unfair to the rest of the team.

And this could lead to resentment from your coworkers. They will see that you’re receiving special treatment and may not work as hard themselves.

3. Your Boss Manages Your Career:

Your boss is responsible for your career growth and development. They need to ensure that you’re on the right path to success.

Their friendship clouds their judgment when it comes to your career. They may not be as honest with you about your weaknesses.

And they might not give you the tough love you need to improve. They may also not challenge you enough, which could stunt your growth.

4. They Have Different Priorities:

Your boss has different priorities than you do. They need to think about the company, not just you.

Their priority is to make sure the company is successful. And that means they may have to make decisions that don’t always align with your personal goals.

But in friendship, both parties typically have similar goals. So, your boss may be unable to be your friend if their priorities don’t align with yours.

So this friendship may not last long. As your priorities change over time, the friendship may fade away.

5. Your Boss Has More Power:

Your boss has more power than you do. And that power dynamic is necessary for a healthy working relationship.

If your boss were your friend, they might abuse their power. They may make decisions based solely on what’s best for them.

Power dynamic

Their power also means they need to be held accountable for their actions. And if they’re your friend, you may not feel comfortable doing that.

They may even try to use their power to take advantage of you. For example, they may ask you to do personal favours for them.

This could create a conflict of interest and make it difficult to say no.

6. You Need to Respect Your Boss:

You need to respect your boss, even if you don’t always agree with them. And that isn’t easy to do if they’re your friend.

You may find it hard to give them the respect you would give a stranger.

And if you don’t respect your boss, it won’t be easy to trust them. This could lead to communication problems and a lack of collaboration.

Eventually, this could impact your work performance and result in disciplinary action.

7. Your Boss Needs to Be Professional:

Your boss needs to maintain a professional relationship with you. And that isn’t easy to do if you’re friends.

You may feel comfortable confiding in your boss about personal problems. But they need to be able to remain objective.

And if they can’t, it could impact their ability to do their job. For example, they may make decisions based on personal feelings instead of what’s best for the company.

They may also struggle to give you constructive feedback. And that could hinder your development and growth as an employee.

8. They Approve Your Time Off:

Your boss needs to approve your time off. If they were your friend, they might be easier with you.

They may not make you take vacation days. Or they may let you take off whenever you want.

But that’s not how it works in the real world. Your boss needs to be able to manage your time off in a way that’s best for the company.

So, if you want to vacation, you must request it like everyone else.

9. It Could Lead To Flirt:

Too much closeness between boss and employee could lead to flirting. And that could create a hostile work environment.

It may also lead to rumours and gossip. And that could damage your reputation.

Plus, you may face disciplinary action if you’re caught flirting with your boss. You could even be fired.

So, it’s essential to maintain a professional relationship with your boss. And that isn’t easy to do if you’re friends.

10. You Have To Main Confidentiality:

Confidentiality at the workplace is a must. If your boss is your friend, maintaining confidentiality would not be easy.

Maintaining confidentiality - Why Your Boss Can't Be Your Friend

For example, you can not share confidential information about the company with your friend.

If you do, it could lead to a lawsuit. And that’s something you want to avoid. Confidentiality is a must in the workplace.

11. Risks Of Nepotism:

If your boss is your friend, there’s a risk of nepotism. And that could create an unfair work environment.

Your boss may give you preferential treatment. Or they may promote you without justification.

And that could upset your co-workers and damage morale. It may even lead to legal action.

So, it’s essential to avoid nepotism in the workplace. And that isn’t easy to do if your boss is your friend.

12. You May Not Be Taken Seriously:

You may not be taken seriously if you’re friends with your boss. And that could impact your career.

Your co-workers may think you’re only in your position because of your friendship.

And that could make it difficult to gain their respect. It may even make them reluctant to work with you.

For instance, they may think you’ll only give them busy work. Or they may believe you are not qualified for your job.

Either way, it could hinder your ability to do your job. Some companies have policies that prohibit employees from being friends with their boss.

And that’s mainly due to these 12 reasons. Maintaining a healthy working relationship can be difficult when you’re friends with your boss.

Boundaries To Maintain With Your Boss

Although this does not mean you should be an enemy with your boss. It does mean that you should maintain some boundaries.

Here are a few tips:

1. Don’t Share Personal Information:

Personal information is just that – personal. And you should keep it to yourself.

There’s no need to share your problems with your boss. And there’s no need to share your personal life.

Keep the conversation professional. And if you need to vent, do it with a friend or family member.

2. Don’t Get Too Close:

Maintaining a healthy distance is essential. And that means you shouldn’t get too close to your boss.

Please don’t spend too much time with them outside of work. And don’t share too much information with them.

It’s okay to be friendly. But don’t let the friendship turn into something more.

3. Don’t Flirt:

Flirting with your boss is a bad idea. It can lead to rumours and gossip. And it could damage your reputation.

So, keep the flirting to a minimum. And if you think your boss is flirting with you, stop it.

Flirting with boss - Why Your Boss Can't Be Your Friend

Their job is to manage you, not date you. And if they can’t respect that, it’s time to find a new job.

4. Don’t Take Advantage Of The Friendship:

Even if your boss is lenient with you, you shouldn’t take advantage of the friendship.

For instance, don’t ask them for special treatment. And don’t expect them to go easy on you.

They’re still your boss. And they still have a job to do. So, don’t take advantage of their leniency.

Instead, treat them with the same respect you would like any other boss.

5. Maintain Confidentiality:

Even if your boss is your friend, you should still maintain confidentiality. For instance, don’t share confidential information about the company. And don’t share confidential information about your co-workers.

If you can’t respect their confidentiality, it’s time to find a new job. You don’t deserve their trust.

6. Spend Calculated Time Together:

It’s okay to spend time with your boss. But it should be well calculated in time. In other words, don’t spend too much time with them.

And don’t spend time with them when it’s not necessary. For instance, don’t go to lunch with them every day.

And don’t stay late to chat with them. Instead, only spend time with them when it’s necessary.

Conclusion:

It’s possible to be friends with your boss. But it’s not always a good idea. There are risks involved. And if you can’t handle those risks, it’s best to keep the friendship to a minimum.

To maintain a healthy working relationship, you should respect boundaries. And you should always keep the friendship professional.

If you can do that, you’ll be able to avoid the pitfalls of a boss-friendship. And you’ll be able to maintain a healthy working relationship.

Last Updated on 2 months by Shahzaib Arshad

Shahzaib Arshad
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