Monkey Life

In Dear Barbary this week, Theresa feels unloved and unsupported at work, should she consider a career change?

Dear Barbary,

I don’t seem to have many friends any more. I used to have, but now everyone says they don’t like me.

I’ve lost all confidence at work, too. My job seems so difficult, no one supports anything I do and I’m wondering if I should look for something else. Several of my old colleagues say that after-dinner speaking is lucrative so I might dress up my cv a bit and throw my hat in the ring for that.

Some people say I’m stubborn but I say I’m just standing my ground. I’m strong and stable.

What do you think might have happened to make my friends desert my side?

Yours sincerely,


Dear Theresa,

Oh dear. Your friends sound like a rum lot, don’t they?

You didn’t say what your job is, but it sounds demanding. Remember it’s important to listen to your colleagues and take their points of view into account when you make important decisions. People feel disaffected if they think you don’t listen.

Try asking your closest colleagues what they would do on a big project. Show them you are interested in what they say, then make sure you include their ideas in the final outcome. They will be pleased about this. You don’t want to be known for insisting on only doing things your way. Nobody will like that.

If people still don’t like you, it could be possible that you’re just not very nice, you’re two-faced and insincere or maybe you’re in the wrong job, or all of those, in which case a change of job would be good for everyone. Try resigning and see how people react.