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A coworker and I are on pretty good terms. We've been working within talking distance from each other for a few years, usually on the same projects in a team. We sometimes, but not very often, discuss topics that are not work-related on our breaks, but neither of us are big talkers.

I had a dream a few days ago in which that coworker was. Both of us acted weird (in a funny way) in the dream, and the situation was hilarious.

I thought about telling him about it, figuring he might get a laugh out of it. But then I figured that it could be inapproriate in the workplace. After all, it still has the premise "I had a dream about you", which I guess could come off as pretty weird to some people.

The dream contains nothing illegal, it's just a very weird situation.

Is it appropriate to talk about weird dreams about a coworker in that situation?

closed as off-topic by JasonJ, gnat, Mister Positive, Jim G., The Wandering Dev Manager Jun 12 '17 at 19:06

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  • I'd say our Relationship is somewhere between friendly acquaintance and friends. – Kaito Kid Jun 12 '17 at 14:01
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    Since you are not sure, I would err on the side of caution and keep it to yourself. – user1008090 Jun 12 '17 at 14:02
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    Too many words spent at the outset trying to convince yourself (and perhaps us) that you are not attracted to another man. – Brandin Jun 12 '17 at 16:59
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    I have to kind of agree with @Brandin here, that disclaimer makes it seem like you're worried about romantic/sexual undertones which in turn makes it easy to, perhaps incorrectly, assume that your dream contained what you'd call "boundary crossing behaviour" in a workplace. If that's involved you're dealing with a more black-and-white situation. I think you could simply cut the first two paragraphs and be left with a perfectly answerable and detailed question. – Lilienthal Jun 12 '17 at 18:41
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    It's totally "not my site", but the fact that this was closed is just plain weird. the question has nothing to do with "advice" (as in "should I become a gardener"). It's an absolutely straightforward business etiquette question, is topic X suitable at work? (Although I answered in the negative, I was really interested to see what others think, perhaps in different regions.) Note - the couple silly sentences about sex, so what, just edit them out. – Fattie Jun 12 '17 at 21:06
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I'd surely say "No" - it's really that straightforward.

Here's the key point:

Totally setting aside if the person is also a friend, acquaintance, good friend, friend-outside-work or any other issue: the person is in fact a coworker and it is a work setting.

Never mention dreams (or anything remotely that personal) to coworkers and never mention them in any way in a work setting.

Example: say as it happened my Wife actually worked at the same place as me. Hell, say we were both the owners and both worked there. I would never for any reason bring up topics like "dreams" in the workplace. The person is a coworker and it is a work setting.

Enjoy your "work life" at the workplace, and enjoy your personal life, totally separately, in your personal life.

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It's probably not appropriate to discuss dreams with a coworker; it can be appropriate to discuss dreams with a friend. It gets hard when one person fulfills both roles, and we can't really tell.

If you think your friend would enjoy the story, you can tell it. If you're not sure, in this case, I'd err on the side of caution. Saying something wrong or weird to a friend is one thing, but if it's a person you need to work with 5 days a week and you can't let the embarrassment die out in a few days of silence, then it might get uncomfortable.

If you're not completely comfortable classifying your coworker as your friend, I'd also just not tell it.

  • The thing is, even IF the person is additionally a "friend", even "good friend" he is in fact "a coworker". So, don't relate the story, forget it. – Fattie Jun 12 '17 at 14:14
  • @Fattie You never talk to coworkers (even good friends) about what you did during the holiday or a movie you watched? It really depends on the relationship with his colleague and the atmosphere at the company. At my workplace, people frequently share funny gifs or videos. Mentioning a weird dream wouldn't feel out of place. That said, telling a coworker you dreamt specifically about them (as opposed to an unnamed group of colleagues) has a high danger of coming off as creepy. – Llewellyn Jun 12 '17 at 18:14
  • As I said, don't relate the story about how you dreamed of the coworker, and generally never mention dreams. Stick to (just as you say) movies, etc. – Fattie Jun 12 '17 at 18:17
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If it was truly funny I would say go for it. Yes, there it could get a little weird, but, given the context you describe, I doubt it would be that bad. Keep in mind though, that other people usually do not find our dreams as interesting as we do.

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