My friend is acting like my manager. How do I change this dynamic without ruining my personal and professional relationships?

I (24M) recommended my best friend (24M) for a job at a company where I previously interned. This year, I returned to the company as a contractor, and my friend was tasked with overseeing my work and guided our mutual project as I transitioned back into the work.

Three months in, we had a falling out (outside of work), straining our relationship. He’s been micromanaging me, which is impacting my productivity and morale (we discussed this and it’s gotten a bit better, but not ideal). He often gives unsolicited and overly blunt feedback at work “as my friend”, contacts me about work outside of work hours, and uses personal knowledge over me at work (he knows how much I actually work for example), blurring professional boundaries. When pushing back on his ideas or advocating for mine, I often feel shutdown by him because he’s so disagreeable.

When I took this role I assumed I would have autonomy over my work after a few months. Thus, I’m planning to discuss this with our mutual boss to seek a change in our work dynamic, aiming to establish a more collegial relationship rather than a managerial one. I want to avoid damage to our professional or personal relationship further is possible. How should I approach this conversation with my boss? Any advice for handling this delicate situation? I still hope we can be friends, work together on projects, and I don’t hate his guts, but I have become exceedingly resentful with this work dynamic.

TLDR; Recommended a friend for a job, now I’m essentially working under him, and now facing micromanagement issues worsened by a personal falling out. Seeking advice on how to discuss this with our boss without burning bridges.



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