Most of us consider ourselves to be lucky if we have a handful of real friends. Usually these are people who we know from way back. They know who we really are, and they want nothing from us. If we need them, they will be there for us. When we get busy with our careers, we sometimes do not speak to them very frequently, but when we see them again it is like no time has passed.
Who do we speak to every day? Our work colleagues. We go to lunch with them. We go for drinks after work. When we are so exhausted that we can neither work nor summon the strength for the commute home, we stop by their office and hang out. These are situational friendships. These people are around us all of the time. We are sociable folks. We hang out together and believe that our relationships with them are meaningful.
It is kind of like some of the people who we socialized with in university and never saw again after we graduated. Situational.
None of this is a terrible thing if you are intentional about it and understand what you are dealing with. But when you make the mistake of thinking that your situational friends are real friends, it can be very disappointing when the ‘truth outs.’
And the truth will out when you go through a personal crisis that affects your productivity and your ‘friends’ start sentences with ‘it is nothing personal’ or ‘it’s just business.’
Or, it will out when you leave the firm and become a competitor, or retire and cease to be useful to them. Out of sight, out of mind.
Call your old friends today. They are irreplaceable. You are going to need them some day.