Tag Archives: 7 Things Your Coworkers Don’t Want to Hear About; Things You Shouldn’t Talk About With Your Coworkers

7 Things Your Co-Workers Don’t Want To Hear About

27 Feb

No matter what type of office environment you have at your current job, i.e. young and energetic, reserved, all-business-no-talk, or somewhere in between, everyone chats with their fellow co-workers from time to time. Heck, we spend more time with these people then we do with our own families, right? Sometimes I find myself becoming quite comfortable with my co-workers and talking about things that are far beyond the workplace. I know that sometimes these talks can lead to workplace drama and the spreading of rumors, that is why I tend to choose my words carefully around my colleagues. Of course we all know that politics, religion, sex, and anything in between is completely off-limits when it comes to subject matters you shouldn’t be discussing with your co-workers, but have you ever wondered what other things you shouldn’t be discussing with your co-workers? Here are 7 things I think you should leave out of your cubicle chats:

1.  Problems Conceiving or Other Intimate Baby Problems.

At one of my old jobs there was this young woman, recently married, who was trying to have a baby with her husband. She was always one of those people who just looked down in the dumps. So, naturally, you would ask her if everything was ok. That is the polite thing to do, right? Wrong. These how-are-you-doing questions always lead to her divulging her entire medical history and her inability to conceive. Sure, such a topic is ok to discuss with those whom you are REALLY close to, but not with everyone at the office. I found myself trying to avoid being alone with this woman for fear of being sucked into a sad conversation about her cervix, the shots she was taking, and her period. We all know and understand that being unable to conceive is hard on someone and can cause a lot of stress in their lives, but please, please, please don’t share it with everyone you know!

2.  Weekend Recap.

The one question everyone asks each other on Monday mornings is, “How was your weekend?” The normal response would be to tell them that you weekend was great or relaxing or too short. The wrong response is to go into details about how you partied until the wee hours of the night, woke up in someone else’s bed, and puked your brains out the following morning. Remember that rumors around the office spread fast, so be careful what you put out there. The last thing you want is for your boss to hear that story. Despite the fact that these escapades happened on the weekend when you were not representing your employer, your employer may assume that you act that way out of work all of the time. Attracting negative attention to yourself is never good, so avoid the partying and sex related stories.

3.  Wedding Planning.

Sure, all of your co-workers are excited that you are recently engaged and probably can’t wait to be invited and attend your wedding, but this doesn’t mean that they want to hear about every single detail of your wedding planning. When someone asks, “How’s the wedding planning coming along?” they really don’t want you to go into details about the cocktail napkins you ordered with your wedding date on them. Instead, they want a short conversation where you tell them that the planning is going well. Sure, if you are particularly close with some of your co-workers it may be ok to go into more detail, but be careful who you make listen to your wedding planning stories.

4.  Family Drama. 

Everyone on earth has had or is currently experiencing some sort of family drama. Whether it is a divorce, a child getting in trouble, someone getting hurt, or something really juicy, no one wants to hear about it. Everyone has their own family issues and the last thing they want is to hear someone griping about their family issues everyday at work. The last thing you want is for your boss to think that your mind isn’t on your work.

The same girl who always talked about her inability to conceive always came to work and told us about her marital problems. The only thing this did was lead to gossip among the co-workers discussing whether we believed her husband was abusive or not. At the end of the day we had no idea whether he was the nasty person she was portraying him to be, but her stories definitely lead to some workplace gossip. In an effort to keep your family out of the gossip and to avoid people hating your significant other, keep your marital and relationship problems to yourself.

5. Salary and Raises.

Most of you should hopefully know that talking about your salary, raises, and bonuses with your co-workers is completely off-limits. But, just in case you didn’t know, I decided to add this to the list. A person’s salary, like a person’s religion, is an extremely personal matter. If you tell your co-worker that you got a $20,000 raise and he only got a $2,000 raise, how do you think that is going to make your co-worker feel? Worthless, stupid, and incapable. It is always best to keep salary conversations to yourself no matter what, even if you are good friends. No one wants to feel bad about their raises or salary. The only thing salary talks will lead to is workplace gossip and conversations about why Bobby doesn’t deserve the salary he gets.

6. Negative Views of Your Co-Workers.

When I go out to lunch with my co-workers we often end up talking about work and the people at work. While discussing matters that everyone knows about (like Mr. X’s wife having a baby the previous week) is ok, telling your co-workers that you hate or highly dislike another co-worker is NEVER appropriate. This applies to those whom you consider good friends. We would all like to think that when we tell our “friends” at work certain things about other co-workers that it would stay between the two of you, but this rarely ever happens. Rumors always go around and someone always tells someone else what you said badly about your co-worker. It is best to keep these thoughts to yourself in order to avoid workplace drama and unnecessarily hurt feelings.

7. Complaining About Your Job or Boss.

Everyone has had a bad day or week at work, but this doesn’t give you a free pass to complain about your job or your mean boss to other co-workers. Too often I hear people complaining about how their boss is a jerk, is in a bad mood, or just plain sucks. Sure, you may be thinking those things, but in an effort to avoid looking like a constant complainer, keep those thoughts to yourself. My advice is to not say anything to another co-worker that you wouldn’t say to your boss’s face. You would certainly never want any of those negative comments to get back to your boss and then have to explain yourself, would you?

Socializing is oftentimes a part of going to work, and that is fine. Just remember that co-workers, whether or not they are your good friends, have their own interests in mind. So, rather than divulging every personal detail about yourself, keep the conversations fluffy and not too personal. Of course there are those of us that have really good work friends, or think that we do, but my advice is to make sure you know that these people are real friends before you discuss any of the above topics. At work it is always better to tread lightly.