• Nancy Mendelson

Boss Wants to be Besties and It's Not Cool

Dear Nancy,

When I started my new job about a year ago, I loved my boss. She was supportive, she was interested in me as a person and took time to get to know me. She friended me on Facebook, and within a month started inviting me along for social events outside of work. I soon realized that this was her way of "managing and motivating". Whenever there was a negative or “tough” situation at work, I would see an immediate change in her relationships with my peers––a complete icing out on her part. If things got better, she would welcome them right back into the fold. This behavior really bothered me, so I slowly disengaged from the social aspect of our relationship, but that resulted in me receiving pressure at work over things that should not be a problem at all. I feel like I am living in the Mean Girls movie! Help me!!!


“UGH!” in Toronto

Dear “UGH” (love that, by the way),


Yay for you that you've recognized your boss’s management style, so you can see it for what it is and avoid getting caught up in a dynamic that makes you uncomfortable. Now the question becomes, how do you feel about your actual job and the work that you’re doing? Because that’s what’s really important here.


Bosses come and go, so this is not about her. Handling this situation in a way that makes you feel good about yourself is what really counts.


Did you know there’s a book called Mean Girls at Work: How to Stay Professional When Things Get Personal by Katherine Crowley?


There’s also a wealth of helpful information out there on this very topic, like:


My Boss Wants to Be My BFF, and It’s Making Me Uncomfortable

How to deal when your boss tries to be your bestie

A Cautionary Tale: When Your Boss Wants to Become Your Friend

It's no secret that I have been in therapy, and when I encountered a boss like yours my shrink shared the following words of wisdom: “Games are for business; honesty is for your friends; sexuality is for your mate. If you keep these three things straight your life will be more manageable and much less complicated.”

She was right. Her wisdom provided me with a lens that kept me from going down a rabbit hole and losing sight of what is really important.


Will leave you with this quote from Mean Girls…just because! “I wish we could all get along like we used to in middle school. I wish I could bake a cake filled with rainbows and smiles and everyone would eat and be happy.”