Life Advice



Promotion Shifts Dynamics of Longtime Friendship

Annie Lane on

Dear Annie: My friend "Emily" and I go way back to our college days, when we used to share absolutely everything with each other -- the good, the bad and the ugly. She recently got a promotion at work (she works for a well-known accounting firm), something I know she's been dreaming of for a while. Of course, I'm super happy for her, but things between us have kind of shifted since then.

Now it's all about her job and her new responsibilities and her added stress, and whenever I try to bring up something about my work or what's going on with me, it feels like she doesn't care. It's like suddenly, she's in the spotlight and I'm just on the sidelines. I'm feeling a bit jealous and overlooked, which is totally not us. I want to talk to her about this without making her feel bad about her success or risking messing up our friendship. How can I bring this up without coming off as jealous or small-minded? -- Feeling on the Sidelines

Dear Feeling on the Sidelines: Try setting aside some time to share your feelings with Emily privately. Start with how happy you are for her success, and then gently express that you've been feeling a bit disconnected from her lately. Highlight your desire to support each other equally, and avoid framing it as a complaint about her behavior. Focus instead on your feelings and the things that you need from a friendship right now. This approach encourages open communication without placing blame. The conversation could reinforce your friendship's foundation, reminding both of you why it's lasted this long.

Dear Annie: I've been working in the same office for nearly a decade, enjoying my job and getting along well with most of my colleagues. Recently, however, we got a new manager, "Sarah," and her management style is different from what I'm used to. She prefers a hands-on approach, closely monitoring our work and frequently requesting updates.

This has been stressful for me, as I feel like I'm constantly under a microscope, making it hard to stay focused and be productive. I value autonomy and trust in the workplace. I've considered bringing up my concerns with Sarah directly, but I worry about pushback or coming off as resistant to change. Should I speak up about how I'm feeling or just try to adjust and see how it goes? -- Seeking Autonomy


Dear Seeking Autonomy: Speaking up is often the best course of action. Consider having a candid conversation with Sarah about how autonomy has previously enabled you to thrive and contribute effectively to the team (and provide some examples, too). Emphasize your willingness to find a balance that suits both her management style and your work preferences.

It's important to approach the discussion with openness to feedback and a focus on solutions that could benefit both of you. If, after the conversation, the situation doesn't improve, it might be time to reflect on whether this environment aligns with your professional needs and well-being.


"How Can I Forgive My Cheating Partner?" is out now! Annie Lane's second anthology -- featuring favorite columns on marriage, infidelity, communication and reconciliation -- is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to




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