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Is This Fair?

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I am part of a very small group at work. At first, it was just me, an assistant, and manager and boss. We're part of a very big organization, but our group is small.


I worked a lot with the assistant. Over the course of a year, we bonded through some very tough, lean times. We also became friends, work friends, but friends nevertheless.


Another person was added to the group recently. At first the new person and the assistant had some issues working together. The assistant mentioned this to me several times. I myself had some issues working with this new person too.


But things changed in the past couple of months. I noticed that the assistant and the new person were being more sociable with each other. They would have conversations, giggle, laugh, etc. They'd have social conversations, etc. Things that the assistant and I would talk about, thinking it was just between us, I would find later on that the assistant had spoken to this new person about.


Long story short, I feel like whereas the assistant and I had worked through some difficult work experiences together and bonded, and we've always enjoyed each other's company and have had great/smooth professional dealings, the assistant has given all the same amount of attention and has opened up to the new person (professionally and socially) in the same way as to me, to a person the assistant didn't even like in the beginning (professionally and socially).


Why is this?


In a way, I feel like the assistant has not been a loyal person to me, or may be I'm feeling "why has the assistant opened up like this new person"...this new person hasn't earned it yet! almost feel neglected or diminished by this, almost insulted.


I feel I earned the assistant's attention and loyalty....and it took awhile to develop it. So why has this new person interjected? And why has the assistant taken the bait?

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I don't think I can tell you why the assistant feels this way about the new person. But it simply seems to me that you are jealous, in the way one might be about a person they were dating talking to another person.


I think this jealousy is potentially going to hurt you relationships with the assistant and the new person.


As this is a work relationship, is there any committment that the assistant made to you saying your relationship came before others? I doubt that highly.


The assistant is entitled to become friends with whoever he or she wishes to beocme friends with at whatever pace and rate feels right for them. I think your best bet is to act like nothing bothers you and to try and accept this new person as well as you can. if not, you are going to force them together and you out of their society.

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This is why it's good to differentiate between "work friends" and "friends." I can relate to those jealous feelings - you feel like you feel - but I would react to the feelings by reminding yourself that this is a work relationship first, and above all else, so unless what she is doing is unprofessional or hampers productivity, etc. you have to force yourself to react by moving on.

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Great, so your advice is "don't be jealous." Okay, so any advice on how?


Frankly, jealousy or not, I put my trust in this person. There was reciprocity in this respect, and from that, I believed I had an ally in this corporate environment. The question is was that misplaced?


If I believe that my conversations with the assistant were just between me and the assistant, and later on I find out that the assistant has had the same conversation with the new person (who was only recently added to the group), who's to say any of my other confidences have been disclosed?


Jealousy, fine. At the same time, I'm talking about loyalty as well. If you had a workmate/friend who gave off the impression that it was just "me and you", and that same workmate/friend then started to have similar discussion with a person that's brand spanking new, is the assistant being sincere, or was I just being manipulated?


Haven't any of you had a friend who you thought was a friend and then suddenly you began to question the sincerity of the friendship?

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It depends what confidences you're talking about. If the assistant told you about something personal in their life, then why shouldn't the assistant repeat it to someone else too? The more friends, the better. However, you seem to be implying that the assistant repeats things that you have said to her. Can you give us examples? I think you may be worrying needlessly about personal things about yourself being disclosed.


You're right, saying 'stop being jealous' is easier said than done. However, I think what we're all saying here, is that if you can keep it in perspective, then you won't be as jealous. Some people just hit it off straight away, whereas with others it takes time to develop a more enduring friendship. It doesn't mean that there's anything wrong with you, or that you should feel second best. I would say to just try and focus on other things. If you start feeling jealous, rationalise those jealous thoughts with the kind of things we're posting here. Consciously start thinking of something else.

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