Are you overly friendly at work?

Americans spend many hours at work so it is easy to understand why we prefer working in a friendly environment. However, before you anoint yourself the office welcome wagon or on-staff cheerleader, understand that you might pay the price for your abundant cheerfulness. According to the book I am currently reading, "WTF Are Men Thinking?" the majority of men (that's 58 percent) don't mind workplace friendliness but 42 percent do. That's not including the many women you work with. So how could over friendliness be bad?

It makes you look unprofessional. A polite "good morning" is considered courteous but entering into a diatribe about your child's weekend birthday party is not. Giving too much information makes you look unprofessional.

Some interpret over friendliness as nosiness. Your attempts at warming up the place might be seen, by some, as a nosy attempt at finding information. Even casual questions like, "So, are you single?" make some people nervous. If you try to "pull" an unwanted participant into a lengthy conversation, they could easily make that mistake.

The boss may not take you seriously later. Sadly this is true. Most hiring executives look for "serious" applicants. They want strong leaders that inspire the team toward goals. If you've been labeled the "crazy cat lady" of the office, that's not going to happen for you. It's best to be friendly, but not over friendly. Quiet leadership is better in this case.

It makes you a bigger target for gossip. The more involved with the office staff you become, the easier to get hit with "friendly" fire. Don't give people something else to talk about. Retain the current friendliness level at the office and stay out of the limelight if you want to avoid gossip.

Coworkers may resent you. Even the best intentions can go horribly awry. If you make raising the happy level at work your sole mission, you could make some enemies. Others may resent you for shaking up the status quo. Perhaps they tried and failed and don't want to see you succeed. People think strange things. Don't be surprised if your attempts bring weird results.

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