I swear, sometimes working in an office is like working in a middle school or high school (especially if you do work in a middle school or high school). People can get very petty over small things, from parking spots to taking the last cookie at the quarterly luncheon. All of a sudden it can go from being part of a team to talking behind people’s backs or telling rumors about coworkers. Yikes.
Why Office Gossip Can Kill Your Opportunities
People Can’t Trust You With Information
If you’re constantly going around and talking about people, can someone really trust you with confidential information? Being known as having all the gossip may be fun sometimes, but it could kill you in the long run when people really need to trust you. Think about it, do you know any upper level managers (good ones at least) who go around sharing private info about people and the business?
Ever shared something you wish you could take back right away? Gossip and rumors can leave a serious mark on your reputation or the reputation of others, one that might not just come out. What happens when you need their help for something? Or they have a say in some aspect of your career? Oops. There’s no going back from what you say, so think before you speak and try not to burn bridges.
Why are you at work? To be successful, to make money, to learn and grow are all acceptable answers. For your own vanity and to socialize really shouldn’t be your top priority, even though they can be great extra benefits. Make sure that you are at your job for the right reasons, and that’s obvious to those who see how you perform. Trust me, it’s pretty noticeable when everyone is sitting around gossiping but you are working on that presentation or going above and beyond your responsibilities, those things get noticed.
“Surround yourself with people who talk about visions and ideas,
not other people.”
How to Cut It Out
It’s easy to know you shouldn’t do it, but how do you stop?
Always Stay Positive
A negative attitude just attracts negativity. Stay positive about your situation and attract some of that wonderful, happy-go-lucky, loving everything mentality. It will not only make your day better, but will help you stop thinking such negative thoughts about others and the situation you are in.
Change Whose Around You
Sometimes this isn’t possible because of where you work, but when you can try and hang with a group that won’t bring you in to that negative circle. Some people are such bad influences, but it’s hard to tell until you’re outside of that zone of grumpiness. Try and find people who are positive, motivated, and passionate, spend more time getting to know them. You’re a combination of the 5 people you spend the most time with, so make that combination the best it can be.
Put Yourself in Their Shoes
No one likes being talked about behind their backs, so next time your about to whisper about Suzy and how she was a total butt face for cutting you off in traffic, think about how you would feel if you were her. Twenty bucks you did the same thing last week and didn’t realize it, just like she didn’t either. Usually what you’re gossiping about isn’t a big deal, so just let it go instead of letting it fester.
Talk to Your Momma
Or your boyfriend, or your friend, or your journal. If you need to vent, then vent to someone outside of the situation so it doesn’t make the it worse or blow up out of proportion. Take some time and let it all out so that you aren’t tempted to bring up what you shouldn’t at work. However, also set a time limit on this venting period, no one likes a whiner! Take 10 minutes to complain about the girl with the annoying shoes that make too much noise and how your boss totally overlooked you in that meeting and just get it all off your chest. Then move on with your life.
Everyone has drama and gossiping, it’s just a part of human nature and how we interact, and unfortunately it ends up being negative. Step above that and focus on being positive, bringing others up, and why you are truly doing what you’re doing – you’ll quickly learn to cut the whispers out and spread some positivity.