Deal with a boss who’s too friendly

A friendly relationship with a boss or someone in upper management can have career benefits. You may have an easier time with promotions or be able to gain valuable information about the organization. However, it can be a problem when your boss becomes too friendly. Here are some tips for keeping your relationship professional.

Maintain healthy friendships. There’s nothing wrong with being buddies with your boss, especially if you’re comfortable with the situation. If the relationship works well, there’s no reason to distance yourself just because it’s your boss.

Know your comfort zone. If your boss unloads personal secrets about infidelity or asks you to edit their dating profile, it’s probably a good idea to distance yourself from the situation. Some people enjoy a little personal gossip, but if you don’t want to know your boss’ dirty secrets, discourage such conversations.

Avoid drinking alcohol with your boss. Sometimes happy-hour drinks are a great way to build rapport. However, it’s best to stay away from situations where your boss gets drunk and tries to share too much. Leave happy hour early or have a solid excuse for why you can’t go out on Friday evenings.

Be direct. If you feel uncomfortable with the direction of a con­versation, say straight out, “I don’t really want to talk about that.” Shift to a more appropriate topic to set an example of what’s OK to talk about and what isn’t.

— Adapted from “Why Becoming Friends With Your Boss Might Be A Terrible Idea,” Lydia Dishman, Fast Company.