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'Rigid' coworker upsets female colleague on last day; 'we're coworkers, not friends.'

'Rigid' coworker upsets female colleague on last day; 'we're coworkers, not friends.'


They say it's important to have a healthy work-life balance. This person felt they had to set some boundaries with a coworker they did not see as a friend.

u/Future_Wrangler_5817 felt they may have stepped over the line so they asked Reddit:

AITA (Am I the a-hole) for making a coworker upset when I corrected her that we were just “coworkers” and not “friends”?

Kind of a weird post but it just happened so I want to know if I’m the a**hole. I just left a job that I had for over 2 years. During that time I had come to like many of my coworkers but I didn’t consider them to be friends as, in my opinion, friends are people who you hang out with and are able to text/ call out of the blue.

I understand that my opinion of “friend” may not be the universal definition of friend but I have used this definition in my life and I consider people who fit the above description friends. All others are coworkers and colleagues. So if I don’t hang out or text you about non work related things then I am not your friend.

On my last day at work, a former coworker of my mine kept saying they would miss me and kept referring to me as their friend. I reminded them that while I enjoy their company at work, I don’t consider us to be friends.

They were confused as they thought we were. I reminded them that every time I asked them to hang out outside of work, they would say no and would give reasons that ranged from understandable to one’s that were, well obvious that they didn’t want to hang out with me.

I soon realized that maybe we weren’t going to be friends and that I had a coworker that was a colleague who I could talk to during work hours. I let them know that I only consider people my friend if I hang out with them outside of work. They tried to laugh it off as if I was not being serious.

I told them I was serious and that I would consider them a coworker. They got upset and said that friends come in all different varieties and that we were friends because we had conversations at work. I politely informed them, that while they might see that as a friendship, I did not. I saw us as coworkers.

My coworker got quiet and didn’t continue the conversation. They then called me an a**hole for making them upset. I was confused as it was a cordial conversation. Am I the a**hole for making my coworker upset that I didn’t consider them a friend?

Was OP being rude to their co-worker? Let's see what Reddit has to say!

sjsyed says:

YTA (you're the a-hole) - Do you tell people that you find unattractive 'Hey, ugly person!' to their face? Do you tell kids 'You know all that stuff they say about kids having unlimited potential? It's trash. You're a stupid kid and you're going to grow up to be a stupid adult.' Why do you feel the need to express every thought in your head?

NeoNachtwaechter writes:

Your last day there. You don't intend to see them again forever. You 'correct them' on an issue that has no consequences. You even insist repeatedly. That's pathetic behaviour. No wonder it got them upset. YTA (you're the a-hole).

Celiac_Muffins laid it out:

You come across as one of those people whose 'not an AH, I'm just honest!'. Learn to pick your battles. YTA.

There were still some voices on OP's side, however.

DeiiDei2 writes:

NTA (not the a-hole). I use the same definition you do. I find it so annoying when people at work talk about how we're all 'friends' or, worse, 'Family'. No. We're not. I have friends and I have family. They aren't at my workplace. I find it dishonest and yeah, it's annoying.

ChiWhiteSox247 says:

NTA at all. People need to respect boundaries with this stuff. We’re paid to get along and work together. The second I clock out my co-workers don’t exist & we sure as shit aren’t friends. It’s even worse when co-workers start trying to add you on social media too.

Reddit was split!

Although, most users saying OP was the a-hole seemed to think they weren't wrong for the way they felt, only for the need to say it out loud.

Sources: Reddit
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