I just nabbed a promotion at work, totally unexpectedly. I should be celebrating, but it’s been super hard since my best work friend has been giving me the cold shoulder ever since I found out. I think she thought she had the job in the bag, so this seems like sour grapes. I don’t need her to throw me a party or anything, but how do I get her to move on and at least be my lunch buddy again? Taking on a new job and new responsibilities is hard enough, I don’t want to be friendless, too!
-Win Some, Lose Some Others
She’s acting like a petulant child, you’re right, which is why you have to take the most effective parental tactic known to man: leave her alone until she cools down.
Trying to force the friendship to be normal when she’s still in the “you took my shiny new toy I HATE YOU IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT” phase will just make things more strained. You might manage to force her to sit with you at lunch, but it won’t be fun (which is what you’re looking for, right? The work-friend stress-release valve?). Let her throw her temper tantrum and use the solo lunch time to get a better grasp on your new role. Shit-fits tend to burn out faster when you don’t react to them; you saying “just get over it” SHOULD show her she’s being an idiot, but for most people, it will ACTUALLY just cause an emotional doubling-down.
If she doesn’t get over it, then you need to pick new work friends, anyway. Even if this person never enters into your “real” social life, that kind of spitefulness and immaturity is a big ol’ red flag; right now you’re on top, but if this chick finds a way to screw you, she might–you’d be better off steering clear so that you don’t become a target.
Hopefully, though, she’ll get over the pouting and you guys can casually ease back into enjoying each other’s company.
One caveat: if your new position puts you directly over her, you may have to abandon any hope of being office pals again. The power dynamic between a boss and an employee means that you can absolutely be friendly, but that being “friends” is not only unlikely, it’s ill-advised. It’s very hard to discipline an underling you’re “friends” with, on the one hand, and it’s hard not to try to either take advantage of, or resent any show of authority by, a boss, on the other.
So mainly: patience. Even if it doesn’t fix this friendship, it will be an invaluable asset in your new role, and will set you up to climb even higher!