Friday, July 15, 2022

Tell your work friend you appreciate them today

Via the New York Times, this lovely and fun article: 
Mollie West Duffy and Liz Fosslien, the authors of “Big Feelings: How to Be Okay When Things Are Not Okay,” have created a typology of workplace friends. There’s the confidant, who can be entrusted with any secret; there’s the inspiration, also known as a platonic work crush; there’s the frenemy, who can stir up competitive feelings but also push for your success. (The authors’ own relationship, born of a mutual friend, was deepened when they realized how much they enjoyed writing and illustrating together.)

What holds true across all these types is the growth that a work friend can support. High school and college friends see each other through parties, family feuds, crushes and coming-of-age. But work friends see each other through the world of ideas. And they can be easier to find early in a career.

“The ties you make in your 20s tend to withstand the life changes that happen in your 30s,” Ms. West Duffy said.

It would be interesting to know if the friends that a chemist makes in late undergrad and graduate school are of more lasting stuff than those formed later in life. I definitely have and have had work friends, and they are pretty wonderful relationships. If you have one, send them a note of appreciation today.  


  1. It's hard to decouple age from changing workplace norms. The beginning of my career coincided with the end of the era of coworkers going to happy hour, playing on company sports teams, and generally socializing outside of work. I'm Facebook friends with a lot of people I worked with in my 20s and very few coworkers thereafter, and it's hard to say how much of this is my age versus how much is the world changing.

  2. There's also the concept of the 'work wife' or 'work husband'... I had no idea this was a thing until I was labelled as such in relation to one of my (opposite sex) co-workers who I have lunch with. It's a sort of platonic marriage analogue where you tend to bounce work off one another and socialise with one another more so than other coworkers. I've been through a couple of work-spouses thus far due to turnover!


looks like Blogger doesn't work with anonymous comments from Chrome browsers at the moment - works in Microsoft Edge, or from Chrome with a Blogger account - sorry! CJ 3/21/20