I am considering becoming department chair of a small department (10 people, not including adjuncts), and not because I really want to, but because no one else wants to and I like to be a good member of the department in terms of service.
Here’s my concern. I am close (platonic) friends with a couple of adjuncts in our department - I hang out with them socially outside of work, and just chat about personal things like my mental health. In my current position, I have no supervisory role over their positions. But I am worried that once I become chair - and so I will become their supervisor - the power differential will affect the friendship - I would no longer be so comfortable being so emotionally open (and perhaps I never should have been so open with coworkers in the first place, but I never envisioned becoming chair, also I have had trouble making friends outside of work). Also, it would be very hard for me to not give a favorable preference to my friends in e.g choice teaching assignments, raises, etc. And that if some other faculty members see that we hang out outside of work (e.g. through Facebook posts), etc they may feel I favor my friends for teaching assignments and so on. And they would be right.
Any advice? Am I over thinking this and being too cautious or careful? Should I tell the current chair that I have changed my mind and no longer wish to be chair?