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They used to be so sweet and supportive; now they’re practically ruining your life.

You don’t even want to come into work anymore.

Is this a familiar tune? It should be, because all of us have had the experience: you help a co-worker you’re friends with get promoted, and they turn their back on you without acknowledging everything you did for them.

It hurts when you say all these great things to help your friend, and then BAM, they treat you like nobody just because they’re in a position of power. It’s a huge smack to the face, especially if they’re now your boss. The least they could do is invite you to meetings, or ask you for advice, or even just give you an explanation of why they’re sidelining you.

We emphasize a great deal. Auntie Evan is having this very same ordeal going down at an organization he works for, and Uncle David has helped someone get on a national television show who’s now making millions, but who hasn’t acknowledged him since.

Anger is not going to help you get that promotion. We get that you simply want to be respected for your deed, to be acknowledged for your help. But the angrier and more bitter you get, the less people want to be around you.

It can be emotionally draining (and sometimes even downright infuriating) to have someone you cared about suddenly make a 180 and become the biggest bitch this planet’s ever seen. The good news? You can confront them about it. The bad news? You have to confront them about it.

You have several choices, in fact. You can quit, not resolving anything; you can seethe with bitterness till you’re fired; or you can take the high road and talk to your former co-worker/ex-friend one-on-one.

To be clear, just because they’re acting like a flaccid douche bag doesn’t mean you should do the same. With that in mind, let’s move on to how to finally confront your friend-turned-nightmare-boss (the right way):

1) You’ve marginalized me: Sit down with them and say, “Listen, I feel like you’ve marginalized me. It’s hard to talk about this, and I feel awkward doing so, but I really feel like since you got your promotion, things haven’t been right between us.” The amazing thing is, after you tell them how you feel, they might be surprised at your sentiment; they might’ve thought they were acting fine. Or they might get right back up on their bitchiness pedestal. Either way, move on to step 2…

2) Treat me with respect: If you’re going to confront your new superior, don’t come empty handed. Give a legitimate example where you weren’t treated with respect… not a time when you felt unnoticed because your ego wasn’t in check.

3) Cool off, walk away: Don’t push it. you’re trying to mend the relationship, not prove to them that you’re right. If they’re not budging, back off and calm down. Focus your energy on your work.

In the end, this is about your ego. You feel betrayed, taken for granted and left in the dust. But you won’t know the situation till you confront your former co-worker and deal with the problem head on. Even if you don’t hear what you want, leave your ego at the doorstep and focus on the thing that will make you an amazing co-worker: being great at what you do.

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