A happiness expert explains why having work friends is vital to your success

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"How To Be Happy At Work" author Annie McKee explains why it's vital to have work friends and also how getting too personal at work can make things difficult. Following is a transcript of the video.

Annie McKee: One of the ways we can make ourselves happy and feel more fulfilled in our workplaces is to build friendships with the people that work with us, work for us, and even with our boss.

We spend 8 or more hours a day, every day, all week long, working. It's unacceptable to be unhappy for that much of our waking lives. We need to feel as if we belong we need to be part of a tribe in our organizations. Part of a group that feels good to be working together on something that we care about. You can build friendships around the work just as much as you can around common interests in your personal lives.

What you do want to be careful about, of course, is to become deeply intimate with people to the point that you lose your judgment. That your judgment is clouded and you can't make good decisions with or for that other individual.

On the flip side, however, if you don't know the people that you're working with very well your judgment is also going to be clouded. So it's an art.

We're all expected to act professionally in the workplace no matter what our jobs are, and part of that is using good judgment about what we talk about, what aspects of our personal lives we bring to work, and which aspects of our personal lives we leave at home. Unfortunately, an awful lot of our workplaces have if not toxic cultures, dissonant cultures. What this means is that people are allowed to behave in ways that really are not helpful to achieving goals much less creating good relationships.

We have to be careful about the kind of information that we share with our colleagues, with our bosses, and with others in the workplace. So if you want to take a more positive stance just really learn how to read people accurately and understand whether in fact, you can trust them and then determine what you can share based on the level of trust in that relationship.

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