The Thick Line Between Buddy And Boss


 The Thick Line Between Buddy And Boss

What is a "buddy"? What is a "boss"? These are two words that we hear every day in many different contexts. But do we really know what they mean?

This article will explore the meaning of these two words, as well as the differences between being a buddy and being a boss. You'll learn why it's important to know, understand and apply these definitions in your personal relationships, friendships, and at work. This will help you create healthier relationships - while also ensuring you maintain healthy boundaries.

How much does it cost to be a "buddy"?

People often use these two words interchangeably. For example, you may hear a friend say: "I have a buddy that I play games with every week". In this case, the friend is likely using "buddy" in the same way they would use "friend". They are simply using words that are interchangeable.

However, the word "buddy" can also carry a different connotation. When we use the word "buddy", in this sense, we are often referring to someone that works for us. For example:

"I'm an expert in database management, and all of my employees are my buddies". (This is also commonly referred to as having a "good old boy network")

If you say that you have a "buddy", then people will likely assume that you mean someone that does work for you. As such, they may regard your past actions towards them in a different light - because they won't know any better (i.e., that you were their boss before).

For example, if a former employee says:

"I was fired yesterday because my buddy didn't like me", the audience may be more sympathetic to the employee - because they won't know about the boss - employee relationship. In other words, their view of you would change if they knew that you used to be their boss.

It's All About Power And Control

The main difference between a boss and a buddy is power and control. An easy way to think of this is that bosses are in positions of power, which give them the right to control how people behave. Buddies, on the other hand, do not have this same power or control over one another.

In other words: "Buddy" is a much more informal word. It's not just about having a good time, having fun or hanging out. A buddy is someone who has the authority to make decisions and enforce rules - usually with regard to personal relationships.

This kind of power and control stems from one's position in an organization. Bosses have the right to lay out the rules of their organization - which everyone must follow. Buddies typically don't have that same power and control within their work groups. This is because they are usually hired on as part-time employees, rather than promoted to permanent positions within an organisation like bosses are.

Being a "Boss" Versus Being a "Buddy"

The word "buddy" has its roots in the idea of being a trusted friend. Both terms are often used in the same way, but they come from different places. For example: we might say things like:

"We need to work on our relationship - we've become too buddy-like". (meaning that we are becoming too casual and informal with one another)

By saying that someone is a "buddy", you are likely referring to someone who is closer to you than just a close friend. This means that they may come up with personal rules about how you interact - and there's an implication that they have authority over your behaviour.

For example:

"I don't want you to call me unless it's an emergency, and I don't want you to ask for help unless it really is an emergency". This implies that they are in charge of what makes you a "buddy", and how close you get with each other.

In this way, a buddy can be more of a trusted adviser than a close friend. They are like the older brother or sister that helps look after their younger siblings. Both roles can range from being very similar - to very different. The main idea is that they have authority over your behaviour, and can make decisions about how you act towards them (e.g., asking for help as opposed to an emergency).

A good way to think of an organization is as an "entitlement community". We are all in this community together, and we all learn how to interact with each other. This is often represented by an organizational chart, where the boss sits at the top. Commonly, this authority flows down from the top to those below.

When you step into a role that has more power and control - you are taking on a higher position within your community (i.e., having more power). This means that you have more power and control over others - as compared to when you're just one of many employees (i.e., not having as much power).

Bosses Are Experts In A Niche

Another difference between a boss and a buddy is that the boss is an expert in a certain field. For example: when you say that someone is your boss, it implies that they are an expert at their craft - and you want to emulate them (in some way). This implies that:

"My buddy is my boss because I trust their judgment". The term "boss" comes from a Latin word, which means "to teach". A good boss can be trusted because of their expertise and experience in the field. For example: if you have an IT support person who's your buddy, they're likely an expert in IT support. Because of this, you can trust them.

A boss is someone who has experience in a certain niche within their industry. They are an expert at a certain type of work - and everything within that field. In this sense, there's an implied social guidance with regard to their words and actions (i.e., how you should behave). Often times, experts in one field will ask for help from others - even though they may be better suited to solve a problem (because of their expertise).

By asking for both outside and insider advice on a project, they are validating their own thoughts on the subject - while also allowing others to give their opinions on the matter as well.

In this sense, a boss is someone who knows their stuff, and can be trusted. This is especially true if you are new to an industry - or if you are just starting out on your own with an idea. People in these situations often look up to others who know more than they do - because they want to learn from them (and trust them).

A Buddy Is More Of An Expert In Their Personal Life

When you say that someone is your buddy, it's likely that this person holds a different kind of expertise - in the personal realm (as opposed to the professional realm). This expertise is related to one's personality or character in some way.


Between "boss" and "buddy", they both are used to describe someone you trust or confide in. The main difference is that a boss has more power, control and authority over you - in the context of an organization. On the other hand, a buddy has more power, control and authority over you in the context of your personal relationships with them.


Similar/Alternative Words: buddy, pal, amigo/amiga, friend, confidante/confidant(e), companion, bosom friend/bosom pal, bestie/bestie-pal.

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