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I felt like she was an angel sent just for me

We recognise the telltale signs that someone is saying things that aren’t entirely true even as young children. When a parent repeatedly threatens to have us leave a restaurant but never actually does so, or when a sibling always says she’ll share a cookie but then always eats the whole thing, we stop believing what they’re saying. Our instincts for self-defense, which have been refined over thousands of years of evolutionarily based survival, usually pay attention to the proverbial “boy crying wolf.” In order to avoid being let down again, we will change our behaviour and expectations accordingly, learning not to put quite as much faith in the person the next time. The only thing two distant coworkers can count on one another for is idle small talk or a returned “Good morning” when passing each other in the hallway after 20 years of only talking about the weather and never collaborating closely on projects. What about two coworkers who have only been working together for six months but are constantly in the trenches with each other, needing each other desperately to respond to that email at 9 p.m., to review each other’s work, or to stand up for each other against a difficult boss? Having to be vulnerable with each other has caused them to form a bond that is much closer than they would have through years of small talk.

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