Former Co-Worker Can’t Stop Bragging

Dear Mrs. McVeigh,
I worked very closely with someone who recently took a job at another company. We were friends at and outside of work, and I planned on continuing to be friends. However, every time she calls me she goes on how great her new job is, and how she does not missed her old one. That is fine if she feels that way, but I am sort of getting sick of her bragging. I had one friend suggest that maybe she was telling me how great her new job is because she wants me to work there too, but she has never mentioned any openings. It has gotten to where I do not want to take her calls. How should I handle this?

Dear Anonymous,
I always say that if someone has to brag about themselves or how great something in their life is, then they are over-compensating for their insecurities. Things are probably not going as well as she says that they are, and she probably misses a lot of things about her old job. If her new job were so much better than her old one, she would feel bad that you are still there, and would downplay her new company when speaking to you. Next time she calls and starts talking about work, I would change the subject and ask her about personal things. If she does not get the hint, say something like, “I am glad you are happy in your new position. I am sorry you are so bitter about the old one, but honestly, I am still really enjoying working here. So let’s talk about something else.” That should make her realize that she needs to find something else to talk about when you get together or call each other.