Some things just aren’t meant to be.
Have you ever liked someone at work? They always had your back and seemed like the kind of person who was more than a work friend, someone you’d enjoy seeing outside of work.
So, you took it to the next level, had a meal or went to the movies with them, and instead of totally bonding and forging a life-long friendship, you realized your work friend was a total and complete fool. And once you’d exhausted talking about every tiny detail about your workplace, your co-workers and even your boss, you realized that you two weren’t a good friendship-fit at all.
Some friendships just aren’t meant to be. I had lunch with either one of two people almost everyday at my job. They were lovely people with terrific senses of humor, but we couldn’t have been more different. When I left my job, we tried to get together — but it just wasn’t meant to be. On the other hand, I’m still friends with people I met at another job over twenty years ago.
So, how can you tell if a work friend, or maybe someone you meet at the gym, is friendship material? How do you evaluate how you really feel about someone?
According to the book, Works Well With Others: An Outsider’s Guide to Shaking Hands, Shutting Up, Handling Jerks, and Other Crucial Skills in Business That No One Ever Teaches You by Ross McCammon, we have many interactions with people that we’re not entirely sure about.
Ken in accounting saved your a*s that time with the IRS, but everybody knows that he’ll eat your food in the office refrigerator and not even replace it. Is he someone worthy of your attention outside of the office?
McCammon says to ask yourself two questions: “Would I have two beers with this person?” and “Would I allow this person to look after my puppy over a weekend?”
“Some people are yes and yes, and those are the best people in your life,” McCammon said in an interview with Science of Us. “And then there’s the no and no people — those are the assh*les.” McCammon says in his book that yes to beer but no to puppy people “are to be cautiously trusted,” while no to beer and yes to puppy people “are no fun but make the world a better place — for puppies, especially.”
You can make your own version of the test. For instance, I don’t drink beer and prefer cats, so I would ask myself, “Would I have a coffee date with that person?” and “Would I allow that person to cat-sit my kitten over a weekend?”
Friendship and time are too precious to waste.