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Photo: Lighthunter (Shutterstock) When the lines between “work-friends” and “real-friends” get blurred, you risk creating awkward workplace situations or even serious hurdles to getting your job done. Yet if you’re friends with coworkers on social media, or have spent the past year with them on constant video calls, you probably know a lot more about your coworkers compared to the traditional “business professional” relationship. On the one hand, my boss can see all my tweets. On the other, I can see their children running on screen to ask for a snack. Every relationship needs boundaries. Here’s how to draw the line between coworkers and friends so that everyone feels as comfortable as possible at work. Assess your own boundaries first We’ve previously covered how to set different kinds of personal boundaries , which largely comes down to knowing yourself and effectively articulating what you need. If you struggle to envision what setting boundaries looks like in conversation, consider this exercise from Andrea Brandt Ph.D. in Psychology Today : Get a sheet of paper and draw three vertical lines to form four columns. Title the first column “Significant Other,” the second “Family,” the third “Friends,” and the fourth “Acquaintances/Strangers.” Now, write down the subjects you’re uncomfortable discussing with the people in these four categories. For example, you might put “sex life” under things you’re not comfortable talking about with your family and strangers, or “childhood trauma” under all four categories. In addition to what you communicate, you could also list […]