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7 things no man should wear in the spring — and what they should wear instead

Help! My best friend at work abandoned me, and now I hate my job

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ashley lutz ask the insiderAsk The Insider columnist Ashley Lutz answers all your work-related questions, including the awkward, sensitive, and real-world ones. Have a question? Email asktheinsider@businessinsider.com.

Dear Insider,

I'm a 26-year-old female professional who been at the same company for three years. On my first day, I quickly bonded with another female coworker named Penelope. We became fast friends, establishing traditions like going for coffee in the morning, grabbing salads for lunch, and gossiping about everything at work.

We also established a friendship outside of work and would often do dinners, happy hours, concerts, manicures, you name it. I counted Penelope among my closest friends.

Everything changed when a new girl, Heather, started at our company. Heather and I get along but don't mesh as friends. Now, Penelope and Heather often go out for coffee in the morning.

I also see their weekend escapades on Snapchat and Instagram. I am never invited. I have given up on asking Penelope to coffee or lunch because Heather is always invited too, and I don't feel comfortable speaking as freely about work stuff.  

I've been going through a rough time at work lately because I am overwhelmed with projects. Feeling distant from my work best friend is hurting my morale even more. I've stopped looking forward to any aspect of life in the office and feel depressed.

Is there a way I can address this with Penelope without seeming petty? How can I be happier at work?

Sincerely,
Deserted By My Work Spouse

***

Dear Deserted,

I found myself in a situation similar to yours several years ago when I was at my first job out of college. I had just moved to the city and didn't know many people. Then one day at a work event, I met a girl around my age we'll call Judy, and we started hanging out. I was ecstatic! I had finally checked off the box of having a buddy for coffee, lunch, and happy hours. 

Before long Judy started pulling away. She bailed on a dinner invitation after I had already started cooking the food, leaving me sadly eating alone. I didn't take the hint and kept inviting her to coffee and lunch, but she always found an excuse for why she couldn't make it. Eventually I stopped trying. Years later, Judy apologized to me, sheepishly saying that she found me overbearing and overwhelming. She was right: In my vulnerable state, I leaned on her too much.  

What did I learn from my experience with Judy? That relying too much on one person is dangerous.

Deserted, you and Penelope had a great connection for years. Your coffee-and-gossip dates became something you looked forward to at work. Now, she's hit it off with someone who you don't share the same chemistry with, at the same time as you're feeling overwhelmed and dissatisfied with your job. The days feel longer and lonelier without a work friend. 

But the difference between my old work friend situation and yours is that it doesn't sound like Penelope is intentionally avoiding you. She's simply made a new friend whom you don't share the same camaraderie with. 

There are a few things you can do to improve your situation.

I'd tell Penelope you miss her and would love to catch up just the two of you. When you get coffee or dinner, keep it light and fill her in on what's happening in your life. Ask questions about how things are going for her. You can communicate how you're feeling by saying, "I've missed talking to you! We should get coffee again soon." I bet she will respond positively. 

Another thing you should try is expanding your horizons at work. Are there other people close to your age in your department? Ask them to coffee or lunch one day. Then you won't feel as dependent on Penelope or as hurt when she leaves you behind for someone else. 

But there's also another issue to address: your dissatisfaction with your job. Is your stress a passing thing, or a big-picture issue with the company? I've known many people who have stayed in jobs they didn't like because they were close with coworkers. When their coworkers inevitably moved on, they felt jilted and bitter.

The benefit of more independence is you can evaluate what YOU want. Do you like your job? Or is there a new opportunity to pursue? You are young and in a position to explore your options. Being close with colleagues is not a reason to stay in a job that is a bad fit. Use this transitional time to figure out what is working for you and what isn't. 

Once you focus on what makes you happy, the rest will fall into place.

***

Ashley Lutz is a senior editor at Business Insider answering all your questions about the workplace. Send your queries to asktheinsider@businessinsider.com for publication on Business Insider. Requests for anonymity will be granted, and questions may be edited.

SEE ALSO: Help! I fear my coworkers are judging me for refusing the 'more hours' mentality

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NOW WATCH: Don't let 'jerks' ruin your day — here's how to overcome their bad energy at work

Here’s how to find out which of your friends like Donald Trump

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If you're curious about which of your friends like a certain celebrity, politician, or TV show, there's an easy way to find out. The trick uses the Facebook search bar in a way many people didn't know it could be used.

Produced by Emmanuel Ocbazghi

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An NYC general store serves a smoked eel sandwich — and it's incredible

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NYC general store Harry and Ida's Meat and Supply Co. is known for its specialty deli foods.

One of the store's most interesting menu options is the smoked eel sandwich, which takes over 24 hours to prepare.

Story by Sarah Schmalbruch and editing by Ben Nigh

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This capsule hotel in Japan lets you sleep in a futuristic pod for $40 a night

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Capsule hotels — hotels that feature futuristic pods instead of rooms — are a Japanese staple. Said to originally have been developed for traveling businessmen who missed their train home, they're now popular among budget travelers.

Story and editing by A.C. Fowler and footage courtesy of faircompanies.com

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Two architects created a design for some of the highest wooden towers in the world

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The Canopia Project is a new eco-friendly design concept that consists of four vegetated towers reaching 164 feet in height. Architects Sou Fujimoto and Laisné Roussel designed and proposed the towers for a Bordeaux area development. 

Story and editing by Carl Mueller.

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Here's what you get when you combine French toast with dessert

A Cambodian-French place that specializes in insects is one of the most radical tapas restaurants in the world

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Bugs Cafe isn't your typical tapas spot. The restaurant near Angkor Wat in Cambodia combines European techniques with a distinctly local ingredient: insects.

It caters to tourists who consider themselves adventurous eaters.

Story by Tony Manfred, editing by Stephen Parkhurst.

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Surprising ways that alcohol affects your body and brain

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drunk drinking alcohol fishbowlWe know different drugs make us experience the world around us in very different ways — and their after effects are often nowhere near as pleasant as the immediate results they produce.

Alcohol, which two teams of addiction experts recently ranked as one of the five most addictive substances, can be especially dangerous when consumed in excess.

Here are some of the surprising ways alcohol affects our body and mind:

SEE ALSO: What alcohol does to your body and brain

DON'T MISS: 11 common myths about the brain that need to be smashed

As a depressant, alcohol puts the brakes on our brain’s "excitatory" messengers and amplifies our "inhibitory" ones, making us feel sluggish.

Source: Business Insider 2016



Within minutes, it starts to slow our thinking, breathing, and heart rate.

Source: Business Insider2016



While these effects can be a pleasant and temporary side-effect of moderate drinking, which is defined by the NIAAA as up to 2 drinks a day for men and 1 for women, they can be devastating if you binge drink, or have 5 or more drinks (if you're a man) in 2 hours or 4 or more drinks in that time period (if you're a woman).

Source: National Institutes on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism



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Go inside a bizarre 'Wizard of Oz'-themed amusement park that has stood empty for the 36 years since it closed

A fork is the right tool for eating pizza

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Because this news cycle apparently isn't dumb enough, we're having another round of shock and outrage because a politician (this time, John Kasich) ate pizza with a fork.

For some reason, a lot of you are very emotionally invested in the idea that pizza should not be eaten with utensils. When I made a pro-fork argument on Twitter, I was called a "psychopath" and sworn at.

Whatever. The haters are wrong; John Kasich, like me, is right.

Using a fork and knife is the best way to eat a slice of pizza. It's neater. Assuming the pizza is served at a proper, hot temperature, it avoids situations where you burn your mouth or get melty cheese on your face.

A fork and a knife allow pizza to be a meal that is simultaneously dignified and delicious. As David Frum says, eating pizza with a knife and a fork is civilization.

I know what some of you are going to say: You're an adult, you should be able to put pizza in your face with your bare hands without missing. At least, I think that's what you're saying, but I can barely pay attention to your words because I'm distracted by your greasy, tomato sauce-covered faces.

A knife and fork are especially appropriate when you're eating pizza on the campaign trail. Try to put yourself in John Kasich's shoes. After he ate that slice of pizza, he was going to have to go around and meet lots of people and shake hands. Maybe he thought eating with a fork would reduce the odds he would get tomato sauce on his suit, which he probably has to wear on television later. Maybe the pizza was hot and he didn't want to burn himself. Maybe he was concerned that, if he used his hands, some photographer might snap an undignified photo of him stuffing food into his mouth.

John Kasich pizzaMidway through the slice, he changed his mind, and started eating with his hands. Maybe he decided the slice had gotten less unwieldy as it got smaller. Maybe he wanted to signal that he's a moderate on all issues, including pizza eating methodology. Or maybe he was caving to social pressure, remembering what happened to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio when he dared to eat his pizza the way he liked.

No matter.

How Kasich eats his pizza is his business, just as how you eat your pizza is your business. He is fully entitled to flip-flop on the issue mid-slice.

And it's fine if you don't want to use a knife and fork. Maybe you're too lazy for utensils. Maybe you feel eating pizza with your hands is "more authentic," even though that's not how they do it in Italy. Maybe you don't mind getting tomato sauce on your face. Whatever. You do you, stuff as much hand-pizza in your face as you want. That's none of my business.

Meanwhile, I'll use a fork. Like an adult.

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NOW WATCH: The net worths of the presidential frontrunners

This creepy selfie is driving the internet insane

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A viral selfie is making the rounds on Twitter, shocking some and piquing the interest of others. The photo of a couple seems normal enough... until you see the woman's reflection in the window behind her. 

Story and editing by A.C. Fowler

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A Russian oligarch threw his son a $1 billion wedding

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Russian billionaire Mikhael Gutseriev's son Said recently got married. It's one of the most lavish weddings we've ever seen, and included appearances from stars like Jennifer Lopez and Sting.

Story by Ian Phillips and editing by Carl Mueller

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This gigantic chocolate chip cookie is baked to order and served in a cast iron skillet

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A warm chocolate chip cookie with a glass of cold milk will always be a winning combination.

NYC gastropub Boulton & Watt takes the combination to the next level by serving a fresh baked-to-order cookie in a cast iron skillet with a frosted pitcher of strawberry milk.

Story by Sarah Schmalbruch and editing by Chelsea Pineda

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Will Smith has a unique parenting style, and it has produced some interesting results

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Jaden and Willow Smith, two of Will Smith's three kids (one is from a previous marriage), have a reputation for being deeply philosophical in their interviews, and are known to talk about quantum physics and energy in the air.

Story by Jacob Shamsian and editing by Jeremy Dreyfuss

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These DIY micro-homes on wheels start at $7,000 — take a look inside

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_BPD8741 (1)

If you're a nomad looking to scale down, 84 Lumber's tiny wooden cabin on wheels may be your dream home.

The company, known for selling building materials, designed micro-homes that owners can build themselves.

Some fully furnished home packages come ready to move in, and others can be completely customized.

Take a look inside one of the four models, which start at less than $7,000 and give owners the freedom to live anywhere.

 

All of 84 Lumber's tiny homes measure under 200 square feet, Becky Mancuso, the company's VP of marketing, tells Tech Insider. The one below, called The Roving, is a mere 154 square feet.



The walls are made from cedar and the roof from aluminum. The homes are completely insulated and can withstand the harshest of winters, Mancuso says.



The kitchen comes with an electric cooktop, a stainless steel sink, an energy-efficient mini-fridge, and a fold-up table.



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Facebook’s new Oculus headset will make you feel like you’re floating in space

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The Oculus Rift is the most convincing virtual reality headset yet. It can put you in fantastical scenarios, like floating in space, being charged at by a T-Rex, and peering down from the top of a skyscraper in a steampunk city. It's shockingly realistic, and the gaming experience is like nothing else.

Story by Jacob Shamsian, shooting and editing by Stephen Parkhurst

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How the 'Rich Kids of Instagram' spent their spring break

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avenue rkoi

The "Rich Kids of Instagram," wealthy young adults whose extravagant lifestyles are curated on the three-year-old Tumblr and Instagram account of the same name, may have outdone themselves over spring break this year.

The anonymously run account has been keeping track of all of their spring-break activities, from ice hotels in northern Sweden to pool parties in Miami.

Ahead, see how their lavish spring breaks compared with yours.

SEE ALSO: Step inside a Russian billionaire's son's insane wedding, rumored to have cost $1 billion

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The weather was great, but Champagne showers were raining down all month.

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And of course, there were yachts ...

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... so many yachts.

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There’s a math exhibit where people can smoothly ride a tricycle with square wheels

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The Math Midway traveling exhibit made tricycles with square wheels. They're designed so you can ride them smoothly on a petal-shaped floor. Because the floor uses catenary curves, it feels like riding on a bike with circular wheels on a flat surface.

Story by Jacob Shamsian and editing by Jeremy Dreyfuss

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A psychologist reveals a trick to stop being lazy

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