Office gossip is often viewed as a harmless distraction from the workaday world. But participating in office gossip, or sharing the wrong information with the resident office busybody, can be the downfall of your career and at the very least can make your working environment uncomfortable and stressful. Avoiding office gossip will gain you respect and ensure your privacy. Here’s how to gracefully bow out of office gossip and avoid becoming the subject of office rumors and gossip:
Avoiding Office Gossip: Don’t Overshare
This can seem a simple prescription at first, but the person most likely to convince you to share your innermost secrets with them is also the person most likely to blab them with everyone! Before sharing details about your personal life, ask yourself if you’d be comfortable with everyone in the office knowing. If the answer is no, just don’t do it.
Avoiding Office Gossip: Draw A Ling Between Personal and Professional
Office gossip often gets started when someone gets a small sample of your personal life. They may hear an argument with a spouse, child, or significant other; they might see a friend pick you up. If you want to avoid the ability of these sorts of innocent incidents to start gossip and rumors, keep them separate from work. Don’t argue on the phone or send out personal emails at work. And keep any personal friends, interactions, or private dealings completely separate from work, because the smallest interaction with a childhood friend or sibling can be enough to get the office gossip treadmill running!
Avoiding Office Gossip: Be Boring
One of the best ways to avoid office gossip is to make your life seem like it’s not a good target for the office busybody. Rather than talk about yourself or other people, ask people about themselves. You’ll get them talking about their favorite topic, which is always a good way to make friends. But even better, you’ll convince them there’s nothing particularly interesting or worth digging into going on in your life!
Avoiding Office Gossip: Don’t Participate
The office gossip is the most likely person to become the target of the rumor mill. If you don’t want to be gossiped about, then don’t gossip about other people! If watercooler talk turns to gossip, bow out gracefully by saying, “She’s my friend and co-worker and I respect her. I’d rather not talk about her personal life.” Not only will you avoid participating in gossip; this is also a polite way to call other people out on their gossiping ways!