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Jokes and Jokers Friends Assertiveness Threats Bullies Control Freaks

My supervisor constantly plays practical jokes on me, especially in front of others. Things are said about me in a playful way, but others donít know this person is playing around. I enjoy a good joke, but when I am trying to work it becomes hurtful and annoying. The other issue is that my supervisor is one of my closest friends. This makes it hard for me to say anything. What can I do?

Practical jokes at work are often impractical at best. When comments are made in a so-called playful way, but are actually hurtful and annoying, it is difficult to see how they qualify as jokes.

If these comments came from a garden variety supervisor, it would be easy to think that perhaps he or she is a bully, or maybe is feeling threatened by you. However, since your supervisor is one of your closest friends, his or her motivation to tease you may be to show the others that there is no favoritism.

Although you said that it is difficult for you to say anything to your supervisor because of your close friendship, it is this friendship that should make it easier for you to discuss this with him or her. After all, friendship is premised on openness, trust, and mutual respect. With that in mind, you should meet privately with your supervisor and let him or her know exactly how you feel about these jokes. If this person is a good friend, a good supervisor, or hopefully both, the jokes will end.

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