Leadership and Loneliness and the Importance of Friends Outside of Work

You need friends outside of work.

When all of your meaningful relationships are at work, you might eventually say something to someone that will damage your work relationships and hurt the impact of your efforts. If you only turn to your spouse with your career frustrations and aspirations, you may burn out your marriage. Your spouse might start feeling like your psychotherapist or counselor and not like your husband or wife.

You need friends you can just relax with. You need friends you can turn to for companionship and to vent with and to discuss work situations without any possible repercussions at work. If you try to go it alone all the time, that lone eagle approach can backfire. It can evolve into dangerous loneliness and can cause you to turn to drugs or alcohol. It might cause you to have an affair and really damage your marriage or your relationship with your significant other.

Investing time and energy in friendships outside of work can have the added benefit of making you an even more effective leader at work. And those friendships can help you maintain a healthy peace of mind. As long as you don’t go overboard, those friendships can also help you maintain a strong marriage.

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