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Favoritism Fairness Friends Jealousy Teasing

It's very apparent to everyone that our manager shows favoritism toward me. While I have no problem with this, the issue is that my friends are giving me a bad time about it. How do I handle them?

At some point or another during a career, in addition to having fifteen minutes of fame, every employee will have fleeting minutes of favoritism. Your time has arrived, but it does not come without some baggage.

The more that your manager pours praise and perks upon you, the more that your friends will bristle. When it comes to friendship, remember that friends cry when you fail, and they cry when you succeed, but for very different reasons.

The reality is that you are now face-to-face with their very green jealousy. Teasing you is a way for them to vent their frustration while building their own sense of power and camaraderie.

There are a number of ways to deal with friends when this happens. Some employees in your position consciously or unwittingly engage in a form of "dumbing down" so that they will gradually fall out of favor with the manager and then be reaccepted by the group. Unless your peers are more important than your career, this is a step to avoid.

You could sit down with your friends and express your disappointment in their behavior, but there is no reason to think that a guilt launch is going to have much of an impact. If you do take this approach, be prepared to hear comments pointing to how much you have changed and how different you are now.

By showing that you are upset with their comments, you are actually rewarding your friends because that is the reaction they are seeking. A better approach is to continue to be friendly and businesslike, while totally ignoring their petty comments. By doing this, you take all the fun and satisfaction out of badgering you. And, when the behavior ceases to be rewarding, the behavior itself ceases.

One important remaining question is why you are the favorite. If it is because of your stellar performance, perhaps the favoritism indicates that you are a rising star in the organization. However, if there is no logical reason for the favoritism, be on guard because it can disappear in fifteen minutes.

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